Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Friday, May 15, 2015

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Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Release Date: April 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 452
Source: Borrowed from Library, on To Buy list
Series: Dorothy Must Die (#1)

Summary ( 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 bluebirds. 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 a yellow brick road - 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.

My Review:


The story opens with Amy Gumm, a girl from Kansas being caught up in a tornado. Sound familiar? It should, the same thing happened to Dorothy Gale in the story Wizard of Oz. Amy knows that story well and is more than a little freaked out that when the storm ends she’s in a place that looks an awful lot like that fabled Oz. Except this Oz isn’t like the story. Dorothy Must Die took everything I loved about the Wizard of Oz and twisted it in such a way that it was a new mangled, dark version of the beloved story. And that is exactly why I loved this book. I spent the majority of the time telling whoever was closest to me at the time how much the book was messing up my mind. The Wizard of Oz has never been my favorite story, but it’s my mom’s and her late sister’s favorite. I have seen the movie countless times and they took me to see the story on ice when I was little. My aunt loved the Cowardly Lion more than anything and I have always felt close to that lion because of her. So it really messed up my mindset when Dorothy Must Die’s Lion was the exact opposite of Cowardly. He was terrifying and strong and horrible. The Tin Woodsman went around killing people and replacing his limbs with sharp objects. The helpful, nice Scarecrow? Forget about him, he’s a maniac who does experiments on people. Tattooed Munchkins went around cursing, the yellow brick road was crumbling, and the bad guys may be the only ones who know what the heck is going on.

So much was happening in this book. Amy had a lot to do, she was relearning about this new Oz, meeting the “real” messed up versions of the characters she had heard about all her life, she met new people, and most importantly she was learning about how Dorothy needed to be stopped. According to the blurb on the back of the book the premise of this book is that Amy must “remove the Tin Woodman's heart, steal the Scarecrow's Brain, take the Lion's Courage and then...Dorothy Must Die” and the entire plot of this book should be that, right? Not so much, unfortunately. Readers learn that that is Amy’s mission, but it is just getting started as the book ends. Hopefully, the next book in the series sees Amy a little farther on her mission to kill Dorothy. Despite not actually getting the book I thought I was getting I like that the plot is a slow build. Amy is training and spying on Dorothy throughout most of the book and that was okay with me. I think this is the type of story that needs to be not drawn out exactly, but taken at a slower pace to really get the feel of this new Oz and all the nice details that refer back to the original tale.