book review: The School for Good and Evil

The School for Good and Evil 

by Soman Chainani

read in November 2017

format: audiobook

review contains minor spoilers!


I received the entire trilogy for my birthday two years ago, so I am incredibly disappointed I didn’t enjoy The School for Good and Evil. I wish it wasn’t as (over)hyped, since I don’t plan on continuing this trilogy.

The plot of this novel is incredibly repetitive, predictable and messy. Over and over again, Agatha forgives Sophie for screwing her over. THAT’S THE ENTIRE PLOT! How am I as a reader supposed to believe that these two are best friends, when Sophie has never done something that didn’t benefit herself?

So many events didn’t have any consequences, it makes me wonder why they were included in the first place. The plot dragged and seemed all over the place.

I had the feeling the author attempted to show how there are shades are grey and not everything is black and white, but he ultimately failed in my opinion. In The School for Good and Evil, someone who is evil is either ugly, disabled and/or scarred, whereas a good person is conventionally beautiful and skinny. This resulted in many anti-fat and ableist language.

Unfortunately, the setting only featured allocishet characters. Boys and girls are in seperate classes, only “he or she” language is used, the boys “act like a man”, etc. At the end, two girls share a a true-love’s kiss, but as far as I can tell based on reviews, that was purely a friendly thing and doesn’t result in queer representation in the following books.

There was also some paedophilia, because the schoolmaster – who is over 200 years old – was in love with a child.

content and trigger warning for: anti-fatness, ableism, deceased parents, allocishetnormative

This author attempted to write about complex themes, but he ultimately failed. Unfortunately, I do not plan to continue this series as I didn’t enjoy anything about it. There was too much problematic content for my taste and the plot and characters weren’t redeeming either.

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