Hi friends! I’m here for a review that’s roughly…4 years overdue??? Although I haven’t even had my blog for one year so am I really in the wrong here*. Speaking of blogiversaries, my one-year is coming up and I was thinking about doing a Q+A so if you have any questions (literally any) just drop them down below! And with that out of the way…let’s not procrastinate any longer haha.
*the answer is yes because I’ve had this saved in my drafts basically since I started this blog so um yeah.
The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.
Two girls, Sophie and Agatha, are best friends. Yet, they live in a town that’s inescapable, and every four years two children are taken away to The School For Good and Evil, a place where legends are made and fairy-tales are born. Sophie seems like a natural fit for the School for Good while Agatha is practically guaranteed into the School for Evil. But what happens when the girls’s places are switched, in a magical land where failure is not an option???
So first of all, when I was younger, I loved this book. Me, the person who hates rereading because I always feel so guilty doing it read this five times in a row. Within a couple of weeks. So when I say this is a nostalgic review, I mean it.
i literally memorized their school schedules, professors, and textbook lists. i needed help (still do tbh)
Anyways…this was just as good as I remembered! If, you know, a little more drama-filled. With a couple of minor plot holes. Oh, and the slightest bit more violence, which is why this actually borders on younger YA. The world in this is incredible, because if there’s two things I love it’s (1) magical schools and (2) weird flipped fairy tales.
I loved how it kinda flipped a lot of commonly accepted tropes upside-down. In the School for Good, literally all the princesses learn is how to put on makeup, stand up straight, and talk to animals, whereas the princes get to learn how to fight. Agatha, of course, was having none of that damsel-in-distress crap. Besides the clear commentary on gender roles, there’s also an incredible contrast between friendship and romantic relationships, and the priority put on each. Which all sounds great, if you ignore the fact that these are all twelve-year old children who are expected to find their true loves within the year. I’m a teenager and I can’t even talk to boys, let alone find my soulmate*.
*then again my soulmate is fictional so what’s the use anyways
This was very entertaining, and had plenty of twists and turns. I thought all character arcs were extremely well-done, in fact! My biggest complaint, however, is the lack of diversity. Most of the main characters were of the same ethnicity, which was very disappointing.
There’s just something about this story that intrigued however-old-I-was-me and every scene sparked some sort of memory. Also, I never appreciated the dry wit and humor quite so much. It’s highkey my brand of humor*. And the foreshadowing is done surprisingly well too! In fact, the entire story is simple, yet complex, like you wouldn’t expect.
*although i could see an egg sitting on a flip-flop and laugh my head off so don’t trust me
Besides being, well, a tad bit unbelievable…there was also a measure of pettiness and shallowness that took away from the impact of the message the author was trying to convey. But overall, this was a really nostalgic read for me, and enjoyable! If I was rating this objectively, it would probably be a 4 star read. Tell me, have you read this???