Between 2−3 stars rating, 14 November 2017
The Combination of Good and Evil
By: Aldilla Yasmin Inas
Here is another Middle-Grade novel I've read this year. The last book in the series just came out a few days ago (sadly, I don't have it yet) and I feel like I should do a review of the first book before I read and finally review the last one (of course I'll do it after reviewing the second book too). There might be some minor spoilers here, so if you haven't read the book, I suggest you to read only the last paragraph. The School for Good and Evil is a school in which... See More
the students are trained to be characters of fairytales. Those who are trained to be the protagonists of the fairytale go to School for Good, while the villains go to School for Evil. But, going into this school means you have to be kidnapped first, which explains the majority of students that are unwilling to be there. But, Sophie is different. She wants to go to the School for Good so so bad. She dreams of being a princess and having a prince to sweep her off her feet. She also knows that you must have a good heart first to go there. So, she befriends a scary girl from the graveyard as her good deed, named Agatha. They become the best of friends. When the day comes for the School Master to take two children from their village to be put in the School for Good and Evil, Sophie and Agatha are taken. But, there must be a mistake as they find themselves in the wrong school. Agatha and Sophie must overcome the challenges in front of them as they question the purity of their friendship at the same time. The very first time I picked this book up I thought it was going to be super awesome. I was really prepared for another Harry Potter world mixed with some fairytale shit. But, what did I get? Some annoying and stuck up girls wearing long robes and frilly dresses who constantly whine over boys incessantly for 24/7 and just can't seem to catch their thoughts. I had a feeling that I wouldn't like the characters since the beginning. I was kinda right on this one. By the time I found out that Sophie only uses Agatha as her good deed, I knew that there was no way I'm gonna like this girl. She only gets worse and worse the more I read this book. She chooses a boy over her best friend, she's also selfish as fuck. I couldn't appreciate her constant change on behaviour. One minute she's super nice to Agatha, the next she lies and stabs Agatha behind her back. I mean, I know that she's evil and all that, but can't she at least be able to make up her mind already?! The conflicts are mainly because of boys. We get to see girls whining over their dream boys here. Girls hate each other because of boys. Girls fight each other because of boys. Girls beautify themselves because of boys. Girls wear frilly gowns because of boys. Like, please. Enough already. The concept of friendship is confusing and doesn't make sense. Throughout the whole book, we're told that Sophie and Agatha are best friends. But it seems to me that Agatha is the only one who treasures their association. It's clear that since the beginning, Sophie only uses Agatha as her good deed without really considering her as a friend. Agatha overcomes many risks and danger just to rescue Sophie but still, in the end, Sophie always finds her way to betray Agatha while seconds after that she cries and apologizes to her. What I couldn't stand is that Agatha always forgives her. Every. Single. Time. It looks like that Agatha is the only one who truly sees the existence of their so-called friendship. Because Sophie doesn't even do that much to take care of it. The boy is one stuck up and hypocritical character. He loves one girl after loving the other. He also badmouths a girl when he's with the other girl. I don't appreciate his love for any girl as he's actually not so sure about his feelings in the first place and doesn't seem to know what true love truly means. Some things are just so bewildering I had to reread it a few times. There's this part when Agatha has to go to the School for Evil by crossing a bridge guarded by magic enchantment. I didn't understand what the hell really happens there and no matter how many times I reread it, I still didn't get it. Still don't, honestly. Even though I don't like this book much, there are still some things that I liked about it. Such as that time when they have to pass the test in the replica of Forbidden Forest (I forgot the name), it's just so exciting and adventurous, and boy do I love adventurous things! This book is so full with adventurous things here and there and I really liked it. All in all, this book lacks many things in the term of characters and relationships. I'm not sure whether to recommend it or not because the sequel really ROCKS and there's just no way you can read the sequel without reading this one first. There are many adventures and exciting challenges complete with magic and prophecies in this book while at the same time full of irritating characters and unrealistic relationships. I'd say, just read this book so you can read the next one. But, I guess, I will leave it up to you to choose whether this book worthy of your time or not.