Book Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Title: Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1)

Author: Danielle Paige

Publisher: HarperCollins (April 1, 2014)

Format: Paperback

Pages: 464

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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:
Remove the Tin Woodman’s heart.
Steal the Scarecrow’s brain.
Take the Lion’s courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

We all are probably familiar with the classic tale, The Wizard of Oz. I was only familiar of it. Honestly, I haven’t read the book or seen the movie. I only got an idea about who Dorothy, the Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow are and what a magical place Oz is. Plus, I know the song, Somewhere over the rainbow. I know. It’s embarrassing to admit that I haven’t read the book or seen the movie. At first, I was hesitant to read this because my image of a good Dorothy will be ruined once I read about her being an actual villain. But then, I thought, screw it. This sounds like an epic retelling of The Wizard of Oz.

I got the interest to read Dorothy Must Die when I watched its book trailer. That was really good. I mean it’s the kind of book trailer that will make you want to get the book, immediately. It looked spooky. So, I got curious. Here’s the book trailer:

The first few pages of Dorothy Must Die got me hooked. Amy Gumm is the typical poor girl who’s got a miserable life. Her mom is always drunk and drugged. She’s always bullied by mean girls at school. Basically, she has no one who cares for her. One day, tornado came and transported her into another place.  Then, she realizes that she is somehow at Oz. Not the Oz that everyone read about in books though. It’s the ruined version of Oz. The colors and magic of the place drained by the vicious Dorothy Gale, the sweet little girl who saved Oz before. Amy was puzzled to find out that everything she knew from the books and movies were the opposite in this Oz. Later on, she discovers that she was destined to do the task of killing Dorothy and ending her tyranny.

Amy Gumm’s journey in Oz was very thrilling. I think from the clueless girl, she grew a lot as a character. She also got qualities which I thought made her a good heroine. She’s strong, funny, kind, reliable, and smart. I liked that she fought hard for herself and her friends. Also, she’s not oblivious and gullible. Thank goodness that she isn’t because if she is, she wouldn’t have probably survived.

The other members of the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked are awesome. I enjoyed reading about how they performed their magic and them telling what things changed since Dorothy went back to Oz to rule it. I can’t pick which one is my favorite. Gert, Mombi, Glamora, and Nox are all cool. Like seriously cool. Plus, I think they made me trust them. There’s something about them that didn’t made me suspicious as a reader.

On the other hand, Dorothy and her army are all scary. Dorothy turned into this power-hungry and self-absorbed bitch. The lion made a feast of the rebels. The Scarecrow used his brain to make creepy experiments, attaching different body parts of different creatures to each other, and draining intelligence out of other’s brains. Then, the Tin Man got these swords, ax, and other weapons attached to his robot body. To top all of it, they do the creepiest and gory stuff to whoever decided to antagonize them.

Dorothy Must Die is full of action, magic, and gore. I think I would love to see this book turned into a movie or series. It will definitely be fun. The only thing that made me disappointed about this book is the cliffhanger. I seriously thought that this would be a standalone novel. Well, I think Amy Gum could have killed the Lion, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Dorothy in one book. I got the urge to throw the book at the wall but I can’t because I still honestly enjoyed and loved the book.

If you are a fan of retelling of classics and fairytales, you will surely love this novel. Oh and if you have always enjoyed reading witchcraft, sorcery, magic, and just a bit gory stuff in general, you should give this a try.



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