BWW Review: Why THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL Series Works So Well
Today, I want to talk about one of my all-time favorite book series. It's a middle-grade series, but has a very YA feel to it by the end and I think it will appeal to all ages!
I frequently talk about how much I loved the first three books in Soman Chainani's New York Times Best Selling Series The School for Good and Evil. (If you haven't, I've reviewed both THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL and A WORLD WITHOUT PRINCES. I didn't review the final book in the trilogy, THE LAST EVER AFTER, because final book spoilers, but oh my goodness!
When I finished reading THE LAST EVER AFTER, I was getting misty-eyed because EVERYTHING WAS ENDING. And I had SO MANY FEELS. I finished that last page and kind of just...hugged the book for a few minutes because I just wasn't ready to let go and lose that connection with the book.
(To put that into perspective, I very rarely cling to my books after finishing them and can let go--at least of the physical book/e-reader--right away. There was one other time this year I had that emotional attachment, and it was when I read A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES by Sarah J. Maas. It was Beauty and the Beast perfection and I didn't want to share my ARC with Kat the next day because it meant that the book would leave me!)
Chainani takes so many traditional elements, not just of fairy tales, but of children's books in general, and turns conceptions upside down. Why SHOULD things always be tied up pretty and neatly with a bow? Why can't friendship be as enduring and satisfying as romance? What are the bounds of how far we'll go for our loved ones? The series goes so far beyond a fairy tale and explores themes that make up our very core as human beings.
I'm also consistently impressed with how Chainani changed his world completely with each new book and yet kept everything very thematically similar in a way that never felt disconnected. Main characters Agatha and Sophie twist every ideal and standard that their school and the rules of Storybooks have in place and cause the School for Good and the School for Evil to change and become new with every turn of their story. His imagination is vast, and I have loved seeing how every new book changes the world we've been embracing. Each book gets darker and more terrifying, but also delves deeper into the themes that hold us together as people and explores how we interact with and perceive one another.
I cannot say enough good things about this series. The emotional payoff is huge, the books are engaging, and I can't put them down once I start. Upon finishing the grand finale, I realized that The School for Good and Evil is one of my all-time favorite children's series. I've made such a connection to it and so many characters--both main and secondary--have wormed their way permanently into my heart. I highly recommend this series, no matter your age. It has enough depth and emotion to capture older readers as well as enough action, adventure, and enchantment to hook the hearts of its intended younger readers.
I've also worked with author Soman Chainani several times, and he is such a nice guy. I can't be happier that he's had so much success and that the series has done so well. Definitely follow him on social media if you like seeing what authors are up to, because I can't wait to see what he does next.
Even though The School for Good and Evil is now officially over, I am SO EXCITED that a movie is in the works. Even better? THERE IS A SEQUEL TRILOGY. And it launches TODAY with QUESTS FOR GLORY.
I have been waiting and waiting and waiting to get my hands on this book! I'm so sorry I don't have to say goodbye to this amazing series yet and am so eager to be reunited to these characters I've grown to love and see what they've been up to!