Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dorothy Must Die (#1) by Danielle Paige

Amy Gumm is a just a high school girl living in Kansas with her pill-popping mom in a trailer.  She's bullied at school and has had to take care of her self for a long time now.  Her only goal is to leave and never look back.  Then a tornado comes and lifts her trailer to a strange land.  Amy has landed in Oz, but this isn't the Oz from the books and movies.  This Oz is a lot more desolate and is ruled by Dorothy.  It turns out Dorothy returned to Oz and was crowned a princess.  Once she got a taste of power, she became insatiable.  Now she rules Oz with fear and death.

Along the way Amy meets The Order of the Wicked and learns that they believe Amy is the only one who can take Dorothy down.  And they begin training Amy to do just that.  Throughout the process, Amy must wrestle with figuring out what the meaning of good and wicked really is.  She also must decide if she's really capable of killing someone... even if it is the most evil person she's ever come into contact with.

I almost DNF'd this book.  But I'm glad I didn't!  Why did I almost DNF it?  The first 1/3 of it bored me to no end.  I didn't like Amy.  The writing felt juvenile.  The world building was ehhh.  But after I pushed through that part, I started to actually click with this book.  Reading it became fun and exciting.

At first Amy was just okay for me.  Once she got to Oz she became really bland and boring.  And the world of Oz at first felt really fake and convenient.  What I mean by that is I didn't believe in the world.  It just sort of felt like the author was throwing things in and not really building something for me to imagine.  Like I said, that changed for the better as the book went on, but the beginning of the Oz part was just not impressing me.

Amy ends up joining The Order of the Wicked and training with them, which I have to admit was not my favorite part either.  Some of it was really boring to read and I wasn't feeling the Nox crush.  Amy was in a life or death situation and her thoughts toward Nox just felt so inappropriate for the situation.  For instance, a robot/human girl shows up half dead and bleeding, and when Nox picks her up to help her, Amy gets jealous.  Really??

Amy then infiltrates Dorothy's palace in disguise and THIS is where it gets good.  I loved it from there on.  It was interesting, creepy, and even thrilling at times.  I really loved some of the themes where Amy questioned who she could trust and the meaning of good and wicked.  That stuff really made the book for me.

I also really liked Dorothy's 3 freakish sidekicks.  The Lion, Tin Man, and Scarecrow were all scary and crazy in their own ways.  The Scarecrow was obsessed with doing Frankenstein-type experiments that scared me to even think about.  And when he was described with his felt tongue.... ewww, my skin crawled.  The Tin Man was more like a scary Swiss-Army knife.  And the Lion was like a steroid-head who liked to eat people.  It was really rather terrifying- and I loved it!

The ending was definitely abrupt.  All I'll tell you is that very little is resolved.  And because of the last 1/3rd of the book, I definitely want to continue the series.

OVERALL: It started out slow, but ended on a high note.  Dorothy Must Die is a super interesting look at a dystopian Oz, where Dorothy is evil and another girl from Kansas is commissioned to bring her down.  This is certainly not the best retelling I've ever read... but I would say it's worth a try.

This Book Contained:

  • An Evil, Sexed up Dorothy
  • Munchkins with tattoo sleeves
  • Monkeys who cut off their wings
  • A rat named Star
  • An insanely freakish Lion, Tin Man, and Scarecrow
  • Permasmile- freaked me out
  • A M/C with pink hair
  • TOTO!!
  • Death and destruction

My Rating:

How I got this book: I own it
Date Published: 4/1/2014


  1. Looking forward to reading this one soon. Great review.

  2. There are a few books I have almost DNF which I ended up enjoying. Game of Thrones is one of them (this is way way before the show). So I am glad you continued. I will have to give this book a go!

  3. I still haven't started this book, it just keeps getting pushed back, thanks for the review and the reminder.

    88dreamers @ Seriesly Reading