The Last Ever After by Soman Chainani

Posted October 26, 2021 by Amber in Reviews / 0 Comments

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The Last Ever After

The Last Ever After

by Soman Chainani

Series: The School for Good and Evil #3
Publisher: HarperCollins on July 21, 2015
Genre: Fantasy
Target Age Group: Middle Grade, Young Adult
Content Warnings: Abandonment, Body Shaming, Child Death, Death, Death of Parent, Fatphobia, Pregnancy, Torture, Transphobia, War

Rating: ★★★

Check out this book on Goodreads or buy the book at Bookshop.org

As A World Without Princes closed, the end was written and former best friends Sophie and Agatha went their separate ways. Agatha was whisked back to Gavaldon with Tedros and Sophie stayed behind with the beautiful young School Master.

But as they settle into their new lives, their story begs to be re-written, and this time, theirs isn’t the only one. With the girls apart, Evil has taken over and the villains of the past have come back to change their tales and turn the world of Good and Evil upside down.


The School for Good and Evil series continues to be in equal parts entertaining and ridiculous. The beginning of this book starts off with some problematic aspects, a lot of the same homophobic/transphobic things that appeared in the last book. Fortunately these things go away after the first couple chapters, but Tedros’s confused feelings about his attachment to Sophie-as-Phillip were not handled well. Nor were the sex change scenes… in general, Tedros’s homophobia and transphobia are extremely off-putting, particularly in a book intended for younger readers.

I want to say that up front, because while there are some great aspects to The Last Ever After and overall I enjoyed it as a book, it’s important to know from the beginning that there are problematic attitudes. Unlike the last book, these attitudes shade a very small percentage of the story – forgotten after the first 10%. But they are there.

That aside, The Last Ever After is a much better book than A World Without Princes. Sure, it’s got a lot of repetitive themes and the plot from all three books in this trilogy has been, well, essentially the same. Agatha and Sophie are placed on separate teams and the same stuff happens. If you’re read The School for Good and Evil and A World Without Princes, the story in The Last Ever After won’t be a particular surprise. For those who haven’t read the series and are interested, I won’t say anything more here. But the plot is repetitive as a whole and the ending is predictable from the first moments.

Unlike the other two books in the series, The Last Ever After brings something new to the table. This story is bigger than Agatha and Sophie. Chainani brings in the fairytale heroes we know from lore – Peter Pan, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood and more. This is a fun twist and it adds a level of depth to the storytelling. However, with that comes more fatphobia, another thing which has been a problem since book one. Dot has regained weight and Sophie in particular spends a lot of time looking disdainfully at the retired fairytale heroes. I found it less alarming here than in The School for Good and Evil, but it’s another thing that was unnecessary in this book.

What I didn’t find in this book and expected to was ageism. There are a couple moments of doubt about the heroes’s ability to assist, but a lot of that was due to their own uncertainty, and I feel like they all grew in the course of the story. It was interesting to see the meshing of the Old and the New within the story. It also helped with the repetitiveness of the plot.

There are… a lot of things that are wrong or don’t work in The Last Ever After – a theme in this series. There are a lot of missed opportunities and unfortunate twists. The character growth is fairly limited, especially in Sophie. It’s why Agatha is my favorite characters: she actually grows a little. And I do like Agatha. And the coven of witches. And I was totally rooting for Hort. Because despite all of its faults (and there are many faults), The Last Ever After managed to pull me in and keep me entertained for all twenty hours of its runtime.

As such, it makes it difficult to recommend The Last Ever After. It’s incredible entertaining, easy to read, and a light-hearted story with some fun characters and interesting relationships. But it’s riddled with concerning material and repetitive storylines. It’s something to keep in mind if you choose to pick up any books in this trilogy, but I do think The Last Ever After is the best of the three.

Setting

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Characters

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Pacing

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Personal Enjoyment

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Plot

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Writing

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Narrator

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Code Yellow Problematic Authors Books

Soman Chainani has Written Books with Problematic Content.

While this author has not actively participated in harming marginalized communities, they do have one or more books that have been popularly called out for problematic content. If you would like to learn more about these incidents and what works has been criticized, please click the poisoned apple.

send me your thoughts

Which traditional fairytale hero is your favorite?

I actually don’t think I have a favorite! But I’d love to hear yours.

Share with me in the comments!

stay magical amber

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