The School for Good and Evil

The School for Good and Evil - Soman Chainani (As reviewed on Paper Riot.)First thoughtI DID IT! I finally finished this book! I really did enjoy it but it took me soooo loooong and I lost the plot a couple of times.More thoughtsThe School for Good and Evil, with it's gorgeous cover and insanely good book trailer, has been on my highly anticipated debuts list for a while. I am a fan of everything magical and middle grade, so the combination sounded perfect to me. And yes, it was a good book. I really liked it. It was easy to get lost in the world and enjoy the shenanigans of fairy tale heroes and villains to be. It was fun and sweet and exactly what I think a middle grade should be. But it didn't completely blow me away, and that disappointed me. There were so many things going on it felt cluttered to me at times. Still, I think this is a pretty unique story and the first in a series I'd like to continue.Agatha and Sophie are meant to be in a fairy tale. This is why they are kidnapped and dropped off at The School for Good and Evil, in a land where fairy tales are real life. But Sophie, with her long blond hair and obsession with clothes, ends up in the School for Evil, while Agatha, who has dark hair and a habit of lighting matches everywhere, ends up in the School for Good. Of course this can't be right. Right? I really liked both these girls as characters. Yes, I did like Agatha much better than Sophie, who was selfish and vain and annoying at times. But I think that was sort of a given. They were both very well-written and I found it easy to get inside their heads and understand them, which is very important to me.I thought the world building was a little confusing at first. We barely get used to the world before we're ripped out of it and dumped into another. Nevertheless, I loved the (second) world. I mean, a world where fairy tales are real life and all the kids go to a magical boarding school to study before they start their own story? A world where villains learn uglification and heroes study beautification? A world where magic is a real thing? Sign me up please! I also thought the writing was pretty good. Where it was a little more descriptive than I was expecting, it was quite an easy story to follow and get invested in. It was the kind of book that I got lost in as soon as I started reading.Still, I had some concerns with this book, the length being the biggest. I don't necessarily think that all middle grade books have to be shorter than 300 pages, but I don't think 500 pages did The School for Good and Evil good. In fact, I probably would have liked this book better if it were a couple hundred pages shorter. I don't mind big books, but the plot was so detailed and there were so many things going on that I was just confused at times. I have never ever felt like I lost the plot before, but that was the case for me in this book. Overall, The School for Good and Evil is a fun, entertaining and magical middle grade book that I liked despite my concerns.