Reviewed by Daisy Craigg
The School for Good & Evil by Soman Chainani initially unfolds exactly the way you expect it to – until it doesn’t. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that problems aren’t solved immediately and the girls don’t suddenly fit in or accept their fate. Sophie and Agatha are both equally interesting and motivated. Their stories make sense from their point of view and you feel for each of them (even if what you feel is the urge to shake some sense into them).
And then the dreaded word. Prophecy.
There is a prophecy that these girls are a part of… or must circumvent… or that they are living… or being manipulated into fulfilling? Or are actually supposed to prevent? It’s not clear and never explained.
For all the build-up and admittedly excellent twists and turns, the story ultimately ends with more questions – and not in the good way. Why these girls? If morality and intent are so important, then why is no one else in the school affected? Until suddenly they are? Was it all part of the plan/prophecy?
I liked this book. It was fun and well-written and I liked the characters even throughout their various moments of complete self-absorption and weirdly tunnel-visioned determination and even when they were lying through their teeth and stabbing each other in the back to reach their goal. You’re invested in seeing how their friendship survives.
But it feels like the book lacks an epilogue. Because for everything that they’ve gone through and put each other through… they still don’t have the answer.
Was it all a mistake? And if not, then why them? Hopefully I’ll find out in the next book. Because, mission accomplished: I’ll definitely be reading it. ^__^
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