Since this book is a bit on the younger side of fairy tale retellings, I thought it'd be a quick fluffy read and fully expected to be able to predict the plot. Then the novel proved me wrong not once, but around four times. I'm a sucker for twisted fairy tales and Chainani's story doesn't disappoint: Two girls from a small village who grew up reading fables find themselves attending a school designed for the fairy tale characters themselves, except that Sophie (the pink loving blonde with her sights set on a prince) is enrolled in the school for evil and Agatha (the black wearing loner whose only friend is Sophie herself) winds up in the school for good. This supposed mix-up sparks a crazy chain of events that threatens to bring down the entire fairy tale community. The story is all about subverting expectations and, while I probably would have written it differently, I enjoyed finding out where it ultimately went. Let's just say the ending wasn't at all what I expected; I went out and grabbed the second in the series the next day. The only problem I had while reading was that it felt like the characters hadn't learned anything over the course of the novel. It was as though they were completely ignorant to everything happening around them, story-wise. After 300 pages, the audience certainly gets what's happening and it was frustrating to read that the characters weren't. Maybe this was because the book was written for an age range pretty far below my own, but 9-11 year olds who are reading 300-400 page books are sure to catch up to the storyline and ideas pretty quickly. Still, I couldn't put it down.
Best friends Sophie (princess wannabe) and Agatha (witchy loner) are headed (via kidnapping) to the School for Good and Evil, but their assumed destinies are reversed: Sophie's dumped into the School for Evil for Uglification and Henchmen Training classes, while Agatha attends Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication at the School for Good, and when a certain prince charming (son of King Arthur) is thrown into the mix, anything can happen! 150,000 first printing.