Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dorothy Must Die Review + Discussion

Yesterday I finished Danielle Paige's debut YA novel, Dorothy Must Die. And here a review and my thoughts on it.

Dorothy Must Die showcases an evil version of Dorothy and her friends. It's surely a different story from the Wizard of Oz and the main character isn't Dorothy. Instead, it revolves around a teen named Amy Gumm who is in a unfortunate state in her life: estranged father, intoxicated mother, a pregnant bully, and life at Dusty Acres, Kansas. But then, a tornado passes by and she is swept away, landing herself on the land of Oz. Because of Dorothy's powerful leadership in Oz, the magic is diminishing and Oz is corrupting, prompting Amy to get recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. Her mission is to kill Dorothy. The concept is cool, but they are cons that make this book a little more than mediocre. Oh, and also I will discuss the pros and cons with and no spoilers. The writing in red will direct you to the proper information.

*Pros and Cons with no spoilers*


Stereotypical elements on Amy's background

Slow in the "beginning", or first-half of the book 

Some undeveloped characters


Instriguing scenes

 Different versions of Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Lion, and the Scarecrow

Still able to read this book even if you're not familiar with the Wizard of Oz story

Amy's conflicts


*Pros and Cons with spoilers (Discussion)*



  • I felt like Amy's life in Kansas was stereotypical with the divorced & sucky parents and having a sucky life in a trailer home and being bullied by a "mean girl" who happens to be pregnant. It felt like Amy's "normal" life was too unfortunate and felt like it could be apart of a dramatic show or another story.
  • I wasn't interested in the characters or the world until the second half of the book. For me, the interesting parts happened after around the 200th page. In other words, it was a slow first-half.
  • Characters, I felt, were underdeveloped. I couldn't sympathize with some of the characters when they were in a situation that calls for pity (e.g. Gert).


  • There were many scenes that were intriguing. (When Amy saves Ollie's sister, the Wizard confrontation, Jellia's reveal at the party, Pete and the garden, Pete transformation into Ozma)
  • It was a great twist on Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Lion. They were very weird, vicious, and interesting. They're the real bad guys.
  • Really liked the Wizard, Jellia, and Ollie. The Wizard was a suspicious-type of character, Jellia was strong and awesome, Ollie was a character that made me smile.
  • I read this book knowing the basic facts of the Wizard of Oz, but it wasn't necessary to read/watch it in order for me to get parts of the book. It's all explained and easy to follow.
  • Amy's conflicts on whether or not the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked is good or not

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It is not my favorite of all books, but it wasn't bad. I think the series definitely has potential.

3.5 out of 5 stars