Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1) by Danielle Paige
Published June 1, 2014 by Harper Collins AU
Source: the publisher
Rating: 4 stars
From the blurb: 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.
Dorothy Must Die is the debut novel by Danielle Paige. Amy Gumm is a teenager living in Flat Hill, Kansas, along with her mother, who spends her time either heavily medicated or out drinking. Amy is biding her time until she can leave Kansas and find a new and better place to live. Then a tornado sweeps her, their trailer, and her mum’s pet rat, Star, to Oz. But it’s not the Oz we know from the film or book. This Oz is clearly in trouble, the landscape has faded, magic is being mined, the flying monkeys are choosing to cut off their wings. What is the cause of all the trouble? Dorothy, and her need for more and more magic.
I liked Amy from the beginning, she’s determined, loyal, and kind. She hasn’t had the best life, she’s been neglected and she’s quite lonely, but she doesn’t complain. What she does is save her money and think of the future. But that will only get you so far, especially when your mum steals your savings and abandons you right before a tornado. Amy’s reaction to winding up in Oz was so believable, she wonders if she’s dreaming, or if it’s an Oz-themed amusement park. Her magical training was also as realistic as magical training can be, it didn’t just come to her, she had to work at it.
This was such an imaginative version of Oz. I liked that there were so many well-known aspects (the Yellow Brick Road, the Emerald City), but it was also unpredictable and edgy, often violent and cruel. I liked that the harsher aspects weren't tamed for the YA audience, there are some really horrible scenes, but they’re still appropriate for YA. The former good guys, Dorothy, Glinda, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and Lion are now the baddies, and it’s up to Amy, and the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, to fix things.
The only thing that lost me was the ending, with a title like Dorothy Must Die, I had expectations as to how the story would end, and I was not aware this was going to be a series, but after that ending it’s obvious this was just the beginning. It’s not a cliffhanger, but there is lots left to wonder about until the sequel. Also, bonus points for no love-triangle - I thought we might have been heading in that direction, but there was a pleasant twist at the end that proved me wrong!
Dorothy Must Die is a captivating re-telling of a childhood favourite. It’s creative, surprising, and sure to leave you wanting to visit Oz again.
Thank you to Harper Collins my review copy.
I first heard of Dorothy Must Die late last year and loved the cover immediately. In February the author, Danielle, commented on another bookish manicure of mine and said she'd love to see nails for her book. So, I waited patiently for the book to be released here, and six months later, I have nails to match!
I began with 2 coats of Ulta3 Black Satin on all nails.
I added red tips to my nails using acrylic paint.
For Dorothy’s dress, shoes, and bow I used acrylic paint and a fine brush.