Book Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Posted November 21, 2015 by @Angelized_1st in 2015 Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge, 2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge, Books, Entertainment, Reading Challenges / 0 Comments

Book Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle PaigeDorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
Series: Dorothy Must Die,
Published by HarperCollins on April 1st 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, General, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance
Pages: 464
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
ISBN: 9780062280671
Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks

The New York Times bestselling first book in a dark new series that reimagines the Oz saga, from debut author Danielle Paige.

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 a road of yellow brick—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: Remove the Tin Woodman's heart. Steal the Scarecrow's brain. Take the Lion's courage. And—Dorothy must die.

“Those who have sacrificed always have the most to lose.”

Author Danielle Paige’s debut novel, Dorothy Must Die, begins where the famous novels and film ends. Kind of. The heroine, Amy Gumm, is another Kansas girl who finds herself in Oz, when she finds herself recruited by The Order of the Wicked to assassinate Dorothy. Why? Simply because everyone’s favorite gingham wearing girl has grown up to be a tyrant bent on stealing all of Oz’s magic for herself. Along the way, Amy meets a host of interesting characters. Some turn out to be friends, while the motives of others still remain unclear.

“I didn’t know what was worse: to have your shot and screw it up, or to never have had a shot in the first place.”

Amy Gumm is a pretty complex character. When we first meet her, she’s a girl from small-town Kansas living in a trailer park. The most popular girl at her school is knocked-up, and Amy’s mother is an alcoholic. Amy’s life is pretty bleak, but once a tornado rips through her town, everything in her world goes topsy-turvy. I really liked Amy’s character. She uses snark as a defense mechanism, and is a pretty nice person. Thanks to her life back in Kansas, Amy strives for a better life then she’s had so far, but still wants to help her mother. I enjoyed reading her journey in the story.

“I hate to break it to you, but just because someone has pretty hair and a good skin tone and a crown instead of a pointy hat doesn’t mean she’s not the baddest bitch this side of the emerald city.”

Another aspect of Dorothy Must Die I really enjoyed was how Danielle Paige turned everything we know about The Wonderful Wizard of Oz on its head. Dorothy, a girl we’ve grown up rooting for, is now the villain. I really liked how the book offers another lesson on not judging a book by its cover, or people by their looks. Not only does Amy discover that the good witches are bad, but that the wicked witches are now good. Or are they? One thing about this tale is that nothing is what it seems, and allegiances can change at a moment’s notice.

“No matter how tough you think you are, there are certain things that just get to you, and they’re usually the little things. The ones you don’t expect.”

Amy’s love interest in the story is a warlock named Nox, who Amy meets along the way. Right now I’m enjoying the development of their relationship, but I don’t feel he’s very well-developed. For that matter, neither are any of the other characters saved for Dorothy, and a maid Amy meets. I think this may be done purposely to keep the Amy, and the reader, guessing on which characters can be trusted. Hopefully int he second book we’ll learn more about the other characters, and get a better idea of their motives.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Dorothy Must Die, but it took a while to get into. I’m not sure if it was the initial pacing, or because I was also reading 4 other books at the same time. However, once I did concentrate only on the book I did find myself becoming more invested in the story. I would recommend this book to fans of fairy tale re-tellings. Dorothy Must Die is pretty funny, has some action, and a bit of mystery that will keep readers engaged. Now that I’ve finished, I’m definitely going to read the next book in the series.

About Danielle Paige

Danielle Paige is the New York Times bestselling author of Dorothy Must Die, its upcoming sequel The Wicked Will Rise, and the upcoming Stealing Snow series (Bloomsbury, 2016). In addition to writing young adult books, she works in the television industry, where she’s received a Writers Guild of America Award and was nominated for several Daytime Emmys. She is a graduate of Columbia University and currently lives in New York City. You can find her on


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