The School for Good and Evil, by Sonam Chainani. Fantasy, paperback, 488 pages. First in the series. Giveawaybox.
This is written at the 6th grade level, but is entertaining to anyone who things that Disney is a little too Good vs Evil rather than human opinion/desire vs other human opinion. The book's protagonists are two friends from the village in the woods who are sent to the school and end up in the wrong sides (or so they claim).
Every time the plot seems a little too pat, and the lesson a little too obvious, something (or someone) changes her (or his) mind. The action is non-stop, and the characters are everything that The Princess Academy lacked.
I should also point out that I didn't pay any attention to the author's name, so went through the book assuming it had been written by a woman just from how the female characters interacted. Ha. And nicely done by the guy, too.
I recommend this book to anyone who rooted for Ursula ("And do I help them? Yes I do!") or who thinks that those Grimm boys were on to something.Books for 2014