“I hate to break it to you, but just because someone has pretty hair and a good skin tone and a crown instead of a pointy hat doesn’t mean she’s not the baddest b*tch this side of the emerald city.”
I am so excited to share with you my thoughts on Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. I will say that this book took me a while to read. Somewhere along the middle I got lost and stopped reading it. One day, I picked it up again and I didn’t know why I put it down in the first place. I absolutely loved the imagination, depth, action, romance, and darkness that Danielle Paige was able to put into this book. Sadly, there were some things that were disappointing. Without further ado, here’s my review.
When I first received it for Christmas, I will admit I was a little confused. I couldn’t decide what it was really about. Was the the Wicked Witch of the West’s view? Did it even have anything to do with The Wizard of Oz? Was that just a metaphor of some sort? I was happy to find out that it was a modern and twisted version of The Wizard of Oz.
Basically, Dorothy is the evil dictator of Oz. She digs up all the magic of the fantasy land and uses it for herself. She’s kind of addicted to it. Amy Gumm, the main character, is an outcast at her school. Her father lives with a different family and her mother is never sober. One day, Amy gets sent to her trailer home from school after getting involved in a fight. Her mom goes off to a bar and a tornado hits, taking Amy and her trailer home with it. Sound familiar? When Amy wakes up, she’s in Oz. During her Oz adventure, she meets a lot of people each with their own mysteries. She discovers how brutal Dorothy, the Lion, The Tin Woodman, The Scarecrow, And the Good Witch is. She ends up in a group called “The Order of the Wicked” and has a goal to kill Dorothy. There’s a lot of blood, sweat, tears, romance, confusion, gore, mystery, and anger that went into the training. Then there was a lot of waiting, hopelessness, careful planning, and more confusion that went into the execution of the plan. Amy was told to wait for a signal that would tell her when to kill Dorothy, but her actions led up to getting her signal killed. What will happen? Will Amy win? Will Dorothy finally die?
I am ashamed to say I am surprised about how amazing this book is. I was not expecting the book to be like this. I absolutely loved this book. It’s a fun book. There’s humor, surprising, juicy romance, gore, lots and lots of mystery, and genuine emotion. The author cleverly combines classic elements with new, fresh ones. The result is a twisted story with an interesting plot. I was reluctant to buy it because I was scared it would ruin The Wizard of Oz for me. Luckily it didn’t. However, the ending is very slow and it felt dragged out to me. It was also unsatisfying which is the worst for book endings. Amy kept on taking swings at Dorothy and kept on missing. She just had to say something witty before she took a swing, which is not the way to ambush someone. That characteristic in Amy was a little annoying, but I was able to let it slide because the west of Amy was super awesome. Hopefully, the sequel has a better ending.
Let’s talk characters. I absolutely loved Amy, Jellia, and Pete. Amy is just a normal girl that completely changes in her Oz experience. She has a wonderful mind. In the beginning, she seemed like she kept everything to herself, but she showed a lot of character development as the story went on. She also has a wonderful sense of sarcasm and a lot of her thoughts make me laugh to myself. Something that impressed me was when Danielle Paige explained what went through Amy’s mind while she was working on improving her powers. The depth and detail in the writing truly made me feel like I was in Amy’s mind. I absolutely loved it and could not get enough of it. Jellia was super awesome because her traits involved a twist ending. She seemed like a pretty, brainless maid that bowed down to Dorothy. In the end, it was revealed that she was actually working for the Order, and was there to help guide Amy on her quest. Sadly, she was uncovered as Amy’s mistakes lead Dorothy to Jellia. Jellia was handed over to the Scarecrow and was cut up and built back together into a walking-death kind of thing, no longer Jellia. I also loved Pete. We don’t know much about Pete, but that’s exactly why I loved him. His mystery is so interesting and I get extremely excited whenever there’s a scene with him included in it. In the end, I didn’t like him as much because it is discovered that he is actually Ozma, the true princess of Oz, in disguise. I didn’t like Ozma because she was hard to follow and crazy. The fact that she could be someone so awesome as Pete really confused me. They were two different people in my mind, and finding out that they were one was confusing.
I kind of hated Dorothy. Obviously, most people would. I hated Dorothy for her traits, but I loved Danielle Paige for the way she carried out those horrible traits. Dorothy was evil, yes, but she was a kind of beautiful evil. She took so much joy in hurting other people. It was disgusting. But the way she carried herself. She was like the mean girl in school that everyone was jealous of but everyone hated at the same time. She reminded me of Maleficent. They are both evil and both beautiful on the outside only. If book ever gets carried into a movie, Angelina Jolie should definitely play Dorothy! I would be heart broken if she didn’t.
A character I had mixed feelings about is Nox. Nox is Amy’s love interest. He’s cute, but he always puts the mission in front of everything else. Somehow, he changes and becomes very caring of Amy. However, it is hard to trust him because he has tricked Amy many times, just to get her to improve her powers meaning that he still cares more about the mission than other people’s feelings. That was annoying. Another annoying things about him that I didn’t understand was when he kissed Amy right before she was sent to Dorothy’s palace. If someone is sent on a mission that’s basically a suicide mission, they need to focus. Don’t distract them by kissing them! Luckily, Amy was able to push those thoughts out of her head.
AMAZING AMAZING BOOK, minus the ending. You must read this! It has the perfect amount of gore for a YA book. I am looking forward to getting my hands on the second book.