Review of “Dorothy Must Die” by Danielle Paige

Summary: 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.

When I first came across Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige in the store, I was immediately intrigued by the title in combination with the cover. What could Dorothy have done to warranted someone wanting to kill her?

The answer: Corrupt and disfigure the beautiful and magical land of Oz.

Readers follow Amy Gumm, a girl from Kansas, who gets swept up in a tornado and lands in Oz. Amy knows all about Oz from reading about Dorothy’s adventures, but she soon realizes this is not the same Oz from the story. 

After being recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, Amy is tasked with killing Dorothy. 

This concept is fascinating, and the descriptions woven throughout the story on how the beauty and magic of Oz has decayed and how Dorothy and her companions have been corrupted are well done. These scenarios are especially aided by having the story told from Amy’s perspective. 

In this story, she’s just like the reader in the sense that she is familiar with “The Wizard of Oz.” Because of this, when she begins to view certain characters, such as the Lion or Toto, in a different way, it matches the same thought process as the reader. 

Paige also does a great job in keeping readers questioning who can be trusted. We are placed in the same shoes as Amy because she doesn’t know either. This aspect is one that keeps me invested in the story.

One of the negatives is that the story has a lot of cliches. There were many places where I predicted exactly what was going to happen. However, most of these occurred during the fight scenes, and the action usually kept me interested enough that I could ignore it.

Overall, I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars. Again, there were a few places that made me roll my eyes, but in the end, I really enjoyed the concept and I like the execution of it. I definitely plan to read the next book in the series sometime in the future.

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