Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Review: Dorothy Must Die

Title: Dorothy Must Die
Author: Danielle Paige
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA // Retelling // Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: (Purchased)

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?
Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.
What happened? Dorothy.
They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.
My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission (goodreads).
What started off as a jumble of characters attempting to survive in Dorothy's horror story that is Oz, ends up being an action packed adventure that I couldn't put down!
Plot: Amy Gumm is what the other girls call "trailer park trash;" one day while her mom is out getting her fix, Amy and her pet rat, Star, are swept away to the fictional Oz. The beginning of the novel seemed a We start off with Amy commenting on her social life and the Queen B of the school, her mom's additions, and then we are in Oz. I kind of felt like I was in a roller coaster with the pacing of this story: one moment we are getting character development, then we are rushing through Oz, and then we have a love story (kind of), then we're at the end of the first installment. Throughout this novel, I was set on a firm 3.5 because of the pacing, but the ending made me reconsider and give it a 4. That being said, Dorothy Must Die is a creative story that isn't afraid to hold back. I love dark and creepy writing, but some of the descriptions of killings and amputations made me grimace. 

Characters: Dorothy Must Die is told from Amy's perspective, this allows us, the reader, to experience Oz firsthand through her eyes, and it is gruesome. Amy is joined by a large cast of characters, like a lot of characters. In the beginning, I thought that too many were being introduced, but they all tied in together in the end. There was a hint regarding romance between Dorothy and a fellow resistance leader, but I wasn't too interested in it. This time, the story trumped the love story which was a good thing because I was more interested in Dorothy's dark and twisted ways. My favorite characters would have to be Dorothy friends: The Scarecrow, The Cowardly Lion, and The Tin Man.. Their personalities and appearances were nothing like you remember from the movie. From mauling to sword hands, they are the things my nightmares are made of. 

Setting: The World of Oz gets a five out of five from me. Ms. Paige does an excellent job articulating that this is not your normal Oz; the land is barren and the citizens live in terror. Everything in Oz is described with such vivid imagery that is all thanks to the author's beautiful writing style. 

Short N Sweet: This imaginative "sequel" to The Wizard of Oz will have you hold your breath, grimace, and cringe until the wicked witch is dead. The only thing keeping this novel from being a five-star rating is its pacing in the beginning. 


  1. Great review, Elise. Excited to check out DMD now. Next month hopefully.

    1. It's worth getting to sooner rather than later, I would recommend reading the prequel first though!

    2. Okay, I shall do that. Thanks.

  2. I felt the same way. Took a minute to kind of get into it, but then I loved it!

    1. Yeah I didn't really feel connected to anyone when we are first introduced to Indigo, but I LOVED the Wicked organization! I can't wait to see what happens next!

  3. Wonderful review Amber, I listened to this on audio, and enjoyed her version of OZ.

    1. I hear great things about the book in audio form, hopefully I'll get to that one day.


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