Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige


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

Author: Danielle Paige

Format: ebook( HarperCollins| Owned)

Find it on: Goodreads | Book Depository

Blurb (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!

My Thoughts:

Why did I pick this book?

I did not hear or come across this book until one fine day. I was on Youtube and looking through my subscriptions and Tina at Regular Reads had a video announcing the Dorothy Must Die readalong. It was hosted by a few other booktubers as well.  There’s a full post on this Dorothy Must Die hype on Youtube here.

The Plot:

I have read a few fairytale retellings and most of the time the protagonists are still the protagonist. For example Cinder from the Lunar Chronicles is still the protagonists. And the other example is Alice from the White Rabbit Chronicles is still the protagonist as well. But in this case Dorothy is the antagonist as well as the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Lion. A new protagonist was introduced in the story and is a totally new character. She did not appear in the story of the Wizard of Oz. Next I would like to talk about the setting. It’s set in Oz but its no different from what we know except the humongous pits which are the size of canyons which existed all around Oz. But we still have the Yellow Brick Road as well as the Emerald City. So there was little need to emphasize on the world building as it was based on the original story and also the film adaptation. Next we have the twisted truth of Oz, everything was haywire and things were upside down. There is no longer clear distinction between what is good and evil. There are no meaning in this two words and I think that was a very good representation of how screwed up Oz is when Dorothy is now the princess and Oz’s real owner Ozma was just Dorothy’s puppet. And I would say this was a pretty gory retelling. Dorothy’s friends, the Tin Man, experiments with the creatures of Oz and he replaced some of their parts with metal. He’s just sick and obsessed with his experiments. There’s the Scarecrow who wants to be the smartest in all of Oz and he drains the brains of the creatures of Oz and injects it into his own brain. *eew*. Then there’s the lion who feeds on the fear of the creatures of Oz.He’s like sucking the life out of them or something. He even eats them. I really liked this version and it was slow to get into at first. When I finished reading, I had this one question in mind which is what is the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked’s main objective? And can the Wizard and Pete (who is really Ozma) be trusted? As I mentioned earlier, there is no clear distinction between Good and Evil in Oz.

The Characters:

I did not feel that is was necessary for Amy to be portrayed as the girl who had family problems and in her schoolmates’ eyes she’s an Loser. I felt that it was extreme and did not see the link of how she being a Loser is related to her mission. It seemed to me that the author wanted us to have the perception that almost everyone in Kansas is delusional. That it’s normal that Amy is at the bottom of the food chain. I mean is it a town problem or such a situation is not necessary. I did not really enjoy the first few chapters as Amy was portrayed as a Loser but she seems like she unaffected by it. Since she almost has no friends and I was wondering how could a teenager survive school without friends. I mean I’m a teenager as well, friends are like the most important thing to survive school. I mean let’s be realistic. Who could shun the looks and stares coming from your schoolmates?  Another thing is that Amy does not make an effort to change. So what if she can’t afford new trendy clothes. She could work part time. I kind of felt that she was aiming for pity or symphaty from the readers but that does not work on me. You must show that hey I’m aware of the situation and I want things to change. No. I did not really like her. She’s just a character who wants things to change but does not budge and hope for a miracle to happen. Which is the tornado. Seriously? Character wise I really don’t have much positive stuff to say. What I must say kudos to was the emphasis on how evil and twisted the four are. The author was able to evoke the hate towards the four. I mean its not an easy feat since the four are the protagonists in the original story and its pretty hard to change the mind set in readers since we grew up with the original version. But I felt that it was not done in a proportionate manner. I felt that Amy’s character was neglected at the expense of introducing the evil side of the four.

The writing:

I had problems with it and I felt it kind of monotonous and that made the characters seem very flat and for that fact, I did not enjoy it as much.

What do I look for in the sequel?

More character development of Amy  with an equal balance of plot and pacing. I think the plot was really well done. I would not mind the book to be thicker if more character development is added in to balance with the plot.

Rating: 4/5 stars (mainly for the amazing plot and the 4 main antagonists)

4 stars




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