REVIEW: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

August 31, 2014

Edition: Harper Collins Paperback
Release Date: June 1 2014
Pages: 464
Series: Dorothy Must Die #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Retelling
Source: Received as an ARC from Harper Collins Australia (Thank you)
Links: Goodreads | Author's Twitter | Buy the book
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.

As you can see from the blurb, things in Oz aren't at all what they're supposed to be. The munchkins aren't happy, there are no impromptu performances or sugary sweet witches to be found. Instead there is a fine line between Wicked and Good. Rather than the kind and hopeful heroine we all know, Oz is now ruled by a power hungry and cruel Dorothy. Things in Oz have certainly changed since Dorothy and her companions walked the yellow brick road, killed the wicked witch and Dorothy was awarded with her famous slippers. Now they are twisted versions of their former selves and nothing is the same.

Introduce a normal girl from Kansas, the only person to arrive from the normal world in a tornado other than Dorothy and The Wizard, and things become interesting. Amy Gumm is a average girl who lives a fairly uninteresting life with her junkie mother in a trailer park. She has super cool pink hair, great sarcasm and a enemy in school mean girl, Madison Pendleton. Totally confused yet amazed with what she's presented with upon landing in Oz, Amy finds herself on a interesting journey and she's given one mission; kill Dorothy.

Dorothy Must Die is such a unique, spooky and creative spin on the tale we all know and love. Ever since my childhood I've been obsessed with The Wizard of Oz, I was constantly re-watching it and longing for a pair of my own ruby shoes. The world building in this was totally epic. Oz was creepy and not exactly somewhere you want to be teleported to. It was all a bit scary. Without giving away too much, the magic curses through the land so as a result of Dorothy stealing it all, everything is pretty much dark and crumbling.

But despite this there were some pretty cool things mentioned in the book with magic existing and all. I could picture it all so clearly and it was hard not to feel as though you were also in this horror film version of Oz. The whole fantasy and magic fairytale aspect of this book rocked, even as creepy as Oz was.. it sounded cool. I mean there was even a goth munchkin, is that not cool?

I loved Amy's reaction upon arriving. She was in disbelief yet instead of crumbling, she embraced it. Amy was not exactly confident or aware of who she was but she still had such a kickass-ness about her. She hadn't ever had things easy, she made mistakes, got screwed over, didn't know who to trust or what to do but she still rocked it. I loved her sarcasm and her ability to listen to her gut. There were so many times when Amy felt alone and I just wanted to hug her and tell her I was there.

Dorothy's crew; the lion man, the tin woodman and the scarecrow freaked me out but I had great fun picturing their creepy appearances. Basically everyone we know in the original story as good, is now power hungry and twisted. Meanwhile the bad are for the moment, good.. I suppose. I just like Amy, didn't know who to trust.

I liked that the beginning of Dorothy's tale is mostly the same as the original but with a few tweaks. This book is essentially the continuation of that, the what happened after Dorothy clicked her shoes and zapped back home.

The book had just a dash of romance and I appreciated that it took sideline to all of the action. Because really if I were in Amy's situation I don't think i'd have time to worry over broody good looking boys. But half the time I wasn't sure if something was there or wasn't so I'm interested to see if that develops in the next book.

Dorothy Must Die starts of strong and I was pleased, continued that way. I couldn't put it down and I was 100% invested in the storyline. Despite some scenes a bit anti-climatic, there was a lot of action and plot twists. It's is one of my favourite books of 2014, it was just wholesomely epic. The concept of the whole story was probably the best part, I just really dug the idea of Dorothy Must Die.

The end though had me all (gif below) panic mode. How could it end there? I wanted to read so much more, more needed to happen. It concluded things but still left me with a cliffhanger. I now that i'll be rushing to the bookstore when the sequel comes out. Maybe I just really loved this book because The Wizard of Oz is close to my heart, but I really enjoyed it and would highly recommend it.

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  1. Ooh I've been seeing some great things about this one! It's so interesting to read retellings of stories and movies we know do well, and the fact that this lived up to the original really makes me want to read it even more. Awesome review Sunny :)

    1. I find retellings really fun, if you like them then you'll probably enjoy this one. It was lovely to meet you earlier this week :)

  2. I know, it had a massive cliffhanger didn't it? I really loved this book but I know it was a love or hate for some people. But Dorothy's character was so emphasised and every single character was pretty out there and amazeballs! Glad you enjoyed Sunny. Great to see you back <3

    1. It really did, I was so surprised when I turned the last page. It does seem to be a pretty love hate one doesn't it? Thanks for stopping by xx

  3. NOOOOO not a cliffhanger! I agree, the concept is just so darn unique! I never even imagined Oz could turn dark and scary, so the idea for this book has already drawn me in. I love the way the well known characters have turned out as well. I'll probably wait until the sequel comes out to read it so I don't have to experience the cliffy :P Wonderful review lovely


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