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The School for Good and Evil: Better in Book Form or Movie?

by: Noga Wald

The school for good and evil is a recent and fantastic fairytale fantasy that sucks you in and keeps you wanting more. It's got magic fingers, evil fairies, prophecies, quests, questions and secrets,all the staples of a perfect fantasy. What makes it so good? Should you read and watch it? Let's dive in.

Let's start with the book. The first book in The School for Good and Evil series, called, well, The School For Good And Evil was written by Soman Chainani was released on May 14, 2013. It's a 544 page book so it takes a good chunk of time to read but it's definitely worth it.

Now for the movie: the movie, also called The School For Good And Evil was released on october 18, 2022. It was directed by Paul Feig and is currently streaming on Netflix. It's about 2 and a half hours long and was written by Soman Chainani and David Magee. It is currently the only School for Good and Evil movie but because of its wide popularity and success, I am crossing my fingers for another.

The books and movie are both supposed to be a twist on classic fairy tales like The Little Mermaid and Cinderella. According to the plots of both, all these characters, villains and heroes are trained to live through fairy tales at The School for Good and Evil. In the story, best friends Sophie and Agatha are kidnapped from their small village of Gavladon and taken to The School for Good and Evil. The School for Good and Evil is a very mysterious place full of secrets that are revealed throughout the books and the movie. Nobody is exactly what they seem and if they are, it's usually not what you would expect.

Books or Movie?

I personally really enjoyed this movie as a fan of the books. The books are extremely detailed and take a little while to get exciting but once it does, its nonstop action. From the beginning these books are filled with plot twists, flashbacks, and unanswered questions that never seem to end. With all the action, love, and secrets, I think it's the perfect escape from reality because it doesn't seem to have a time period or a place. It is one of my personal all time favorites and I would probably rate the books a 9.9/10 only because the plot takes a second to get really good.

Now for the movie! For a movie on its own, it is fantastic. It has a great plot and the same fantasy vibe as the books, but with all the same,(and more) characters that the books have. for someone who read the books before watching the movie (like me) this movie is still good. The plot is a little different so you still get surprised, which is good if you have already read the books. The setting is also a little different than described in the books. For example, the evil castle’s school grounds are described to be dark, slimy and in need of a cleaning in the books. In the movie, the castle just seems to be a little old, dusty and gloomy. but the movie is still fantastical and gives a kind of castle or fairy tale vibe while not being too sickly sweet or disney-like. So, as a person who has already read the books, I would give the movie a 10/10.

I would totally recommend these books and the movie but the books are better for someone who has the patience to keep reading untill it really gets exciting or for someone who doesn't need action on every page. I promise it's not a kind of ‘inspiring story about finding love’ type thing because those aren't the best. The first book is more of a background or a villain backstory while the others are full of battles, hideouts, and being on the run or in hiding. This is a perfect upgrade for fans of the Land of Stories, Harry Potter, or any Rick Riordan books. If you like detailed fantasies, these books and this movie are definitely for you. So all in all, read the first book, watch the movie and tell me what you think!

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