Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
Weeee’re off to see the wizard! The wonderful wizard of—
I don’t want to go to Oz.
You guys know the story. Sweet, innocent little Dorothy is swept up in a tornado, lands in Oz, melts the Wicked Witch of the West, clicks her heels, and returns to dreary ol’ colourless Kansas. But did you know she goes back to Oz? That she becomes princess? That she transforms Oz into a cruel and terrifying dictatorship?
Didn’t think so.
Dorothy Must Die is about another teen from Kansas who gets swept up in a tornado of her own and ends up in what I will henceforth and forever be calling New Oz (clever, right?). New Oz is a depressing place where winged monkeys have no wings and munchkins are sassy and tattooed. New kid on the yellow brick road, Amy, is recruited by the Revolutionary Order of The Wicked—a secret order of wicked witches united by their common goal: Dorothy’s murder. Amy learns a bunch of stuff, develops some pretty kick-ass skills, and is sent off to assassinate New Oz’s vicious dictator.
I quite enjoyed this book. My mom’s favourite movie is The Wizard of Oz so I grew up with this story; it was nice to see it turned upside-down and backwards for a change. Paige did a good job recreating Oz and turning it into New Oz; it had all the aspects of the original story, the things that made Oz Oz—munchkins, witches, magic, the yellow brick road—but with an unexpected twist. For example, good witches turn wicked, wicked witches turn good, and Dorothy is draining Oz’s magic and taking it for herself.
To go along with the awesome setting there are awesome characters. There are many but I’ll just talk about the main two: Amy and Dorothy. Amy is sarcastic, determined, and doesn’t take crap from anybody, but she’s also compassionate and willing to do the right thing despite consequences. I liked that she wasn’t portrayed as some perfect saviour but rather as a real, flawed, ordinary girl thrown into some extraordinary situation without a clue what to do. Also, Amy doesn’t come fully loaded with magical powers she has to harness; she actually has to learn and practice and yeah, fail a few times. On the other hand we have Dorothy; sweet, sweet Dorothy—she’s just about as sick and twisted as they come. Think murderous high school mean girl with an unquenchable thirst for power and you’ve pretty much got Dorothy. She’s vicious and cruel and vain. The one thing I didn’t like about Dorothy is that she dresses like a… how do I put this nicely?… hooker: short skirts, tight dresses, insanely high heels, lots of cleavage; I get that the author wanted to make her as different from the traditional Dorothy as possible, but it just seemed unnecessary.
Another thing I liked was that while there is some romance (very little), the plot remains the focus. Oftentimes, I find that the story of a book takes a backseat when there’s romance involved. That’s fine and all if you’re reading something about star-crossed lovers but not so much if the book is about a war or something. Don’t get me wrong, I live for romance, but I liked that Paige managed to include it without having the character’s relationship outshine the plot.
Just as a side note though: I’m not sure about ones you may have seen, but my copy says on the back of the cover that Amy’s mission is to steal the Tin Woodman’s heart, the Scarecrow’s brain, and the Lion’s courage.This doesn’t actually come into play until the very end, leaving it as part of the plot for the sequel, The Wicked Will Rise. The book is still good and all, just don’t be expecting this to happen.
Overall I thought Danielle Paige did a very good job; the characters are cool, the setting is cool, the plot is cool. Dorothy Must Die was entertaining and different and I’m very glad I read it.
Click here for the book synopsis on Goodreads!