The School for Good and Evil: A World Without Princes, by Soman Chainani

Title: A World Without Princes (The School for Good and Evil #2)
AuthorSoman Chainani
Genre: YA

The School for Good and Evil, the first book in this series, is a pretty fucking awesome book. It's about Sophie (beautiful but shallow) and Agatha (kind but awkard). Kids are regularly stolen from their town to train for appearances in fairy tales. When Sophie and Agatha are taken, Sophie is shocked to end up in the School for Evil, while Agatha resists princess training at the School for Good.

It's so fucking unique, and both girls are seriously likeable. I was pleasantly surprised that a male author could write two female characters who were both so engaging and real.

HOWEVER, I only got halfway through the sequel, A World Without Princes. I. Just. CANNOT. So offensive. And I am CLEARLY not easily offended. Allow me to break it down for you.

My reservations began when Sophie and Agatha were riding the flowerground (the fairy tale version of the subway). Inexplicably, birds and animals begin trying to tear off Sophie's clothes. The scene goes on and on like a semi-pornographic anime, with Sophie's clothes becoming more and more tattered. WHY? No reason!

The girls finally return to the School for Good and Evil, only to find that it's been transformed into a School for Girls and Boys. One of the girls exclaims happily, "There is no beauty or ugliness at the School for Girls!" Despite this assertion, the book suddenly focuses COMPLETELY on the girls' appearance. It was distracting and weird, but I kept thinking it would end.

Finally, I hit the following passage and lost it: "Sophie could hardly tell who was from Good and who was from Evil anymore, since more of the Evergirls had hacked their hair and let their figures go, while a large number of Nevergirls were experimenting with makeup and diets."

WHAT. EXCUSE ME, BOOK?? This is a book about teenage girls. Teenage girls SHOULD NOT BE ON DIETS. They should not be worrying about their "figures." And they DO NOT NEED BOOKS TELLING THEM OTHERWISE. Also, the implication here is clearly that makeup, long hair, and slim silhouettes are pretty, and everything else is not.


I stopped reading after that. I recommend that you do not start.



Full disclosure: Unfortunately, I spent my hard-earned money on this piece of shit.

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