Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige (Review)

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Synopsis: 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 bluebirds. 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 a yellow brick road—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.

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Retellings

Cover: This cover is really awesome looking. It’s simple yet dark and seeing the title take over the entire cover really drew me in when I first saw it.

My thoughts: Amy is just a regular girl who lives in Kansas where she constantly gets made fun of by people in school and has to deal with her alcoholic mother who doesn’t seem to full care for her. On one particular gloomy day, a tornado hits her town when she is abandoned by her careless mother who went out with friends, leaving Amy alone with her mom’s pet rat. The next day Amy wakes up in Oz, a place she thought only existed in the movies and books, except this version of Oz is dark and menacing. Everything seems to be the complete opposite from the Oz she thought she knew. Dorothy has become a ruthless leader, the Scarecrow is a mad scientist, the Tin Man is obsessed with Dorothy, and the Lion is a coldblooded killer. Even Glinda is wicked. Here, everything that used to be good is evil and everyone who was wicked is fighting for peace. Amy eventually joins the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, a group of people set out to kill Dorothy who is stealing all the magic from Oz. Her mission is to disguise herself into Dorothy’s palace where she must eventually kill her in order to allow Oz to be peaceful once again. 

I really enjoyed this book. It was dark and disturbing and, at some points, very creepy. The way some characters died throughout Amy’s journey through Oz is very graphic and grim. The characters in Oz are also very all rebellious and vulgar, something YA books don’t normally show. I loved Amy’s inner thoughts throughout the story since they were bitter and sassy. She was a very funny yet independent character to read about. I also loved her pet she brought to Oz which was her mother’s rat that did unexpectedly help her through tough times. There was also some dry humor in here that I thoroughly enjoyed reading and sometimes I even laughed out loud at certain conversations in this book.

Most of the book was full of action and suspense. Danielle Paige didn’t waste time with a bucket load of romance like other YA books and instead chose to focus on the story at hand. I found this entire story to be a very quick read that I was fully immersed in from start to finish. I easily fell into the somber world of Oz ruled by Dorothy and was left wanting more. I highly recommend this book to lovers of fantasy, action, suspense, independent characters, and retellings since this story is jam packed with so many positive things that made me wish I had the sequel already on my shelf.  

Rating: ★★★★☆

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