Reading Level: Middle Grade
Length: 448 pages
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in The School for Good and Evil
Rating: 3/5 stars
This is the second book in The School for Good and Evil series. This series is a planned trilogy with the third book releasing in June of 2015 and titled The Last Ever After. I was honestly a bit disappointed in this book. It is an interesting concept but I was very disappointed in how it stereotyped things like feminism and separation of love/friendship.
When Agatha secretly wishes for a different Happily Ever After Agatha and Sophie find themselves back at the School for Good and Evil. However things have drastically changed. When Agatha chose her friendship with Sophie over her Prince she rendered Princes obsolete. Now Princes are no longer needed. The schools have turned into the School for Girls and the School for Boys. Agatha and Sophie have to figure out how to get their story to End and get back home before the two schools end up at war.
I loved the first book in this series, it was such a fun idea. I also enjoyed the idea of Sophie and Agatha’s choice in the first book causing drastic changes to the world of Ever After in this book. However I was disappointed by a lot of things in this book.
While the idea of schools switching from Good vs Evil to Girls vs Boys is an interesting one, it wasn’t executed very well. Keep in mind this is a middle grade book. This book will be introducing a lot of young readers to the concept of feminism. While I enjoyed that the School for Girls encouraged the Girls to find their own paths there were a lot of things I didn’t enjoy. Feminism is blatantly portrayed as hatred of men. In order for the Girls to fit in in their school they must hate the boys, they cannot find their own way and still like the boys. In fact any of the girls who choose to be girly are ridiculed. This is a bad introduction to feminism and really not done well.
On the opposite coin all of the boys are portrayed as vicious and dirty. Apparently all boys without girls around are dirty and mean. Again huge stereotype. Added to this is the strange idea that you can have either a best friend or a boyfriend but not both. Seriously, it is assumed throughout the story that there is absolutely no way either of the girls can get their prince and still be best friends.
Then there was the degradation of our characters. I really enjoyed Agatha in the first book. In this book she is like a different character. Agatha is easily swayed, she is gullible, and even a bit cruel. She acts more like your typical damsel in distress than the sweet smart girl she was in the first book. What happened?
Then there is poor Sophie. She is still a bit of a brat, but she is trying to be Good. She is trying to put others’ needs before her own. However, the way things turn out she doesn’t have a hope of influencing things in the story.
In the end I was left feeling a bit confused. Is this a story about fate or about being able to choose what you want? Things are awfully black and white with very little grey. I ended not enjoying this book as much as the first one.
Overall not as good as the first book in this series. There are two many ideas here that are misrepresented or just presented poorly. I didn’t like any of the characters and I didn’t like the direction the plot took. I wouldn’t recommend this series, it started out fairly creative but has gone down hill. I won’t be reading any more books in it.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge