Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Actual Rating: 5

Holy shit. This was amazing.
Everybody take notes – this is the kind of story I want in a retelling.

Dorothy Must Die centers around Amy Gumm, who is trash. Basically. Her father’s left her, her mother is an addict, and she lives in a trailer in Kansas with no fun, no friends, and no future.

And then…a wild tornado appears! And it sweeps Amy and her little pet rat away from her boring and lame life. And they land in Oz. Except Oz isn’t Oz. It’s dark, it’s barren, it’s dirty, and it’s nothing like the fairytale land of sparkles and rainbows that Amy’s grown up seeing.

So what happened? Dorothy happened. (Yes, our little blue and white aproned girl is the antagonist in this novel, and I love that).

Dorothy came back to Oz because she missed the magic, the power, the recognition. And she started to suck all the magic out of the land – because she was hungry and greedy and wanted more than what she already had.

And so, good is wicked, and wicked is good, and yet when Amy joins forces with the witches of evil (or good?) she must learn to harness magic and destroy Dorothy once and for all.

But of course, all is not what it seems, and of course, you never know who to trust.

Speaking in terms of plot, this was such a wild ride. It was full of action, adventure, and plot twists, and best of all, it was believable. Not believable as in “this is real, you have to believe me.”, but believable as in “Silly reader, did you think that the story actually ended with The Wizard of Oz?”

The storyline was definitely full of surprises, and for me, I’d say it was an adventure from the very start – I was engaged from the moment Danielle Paige wrote about Amy’s ninth birthday party.

Now, the writing style honestly wasn’t beautiful or unique> per se, but it was easy for me to get pulled in – and there were some scenes that made me go:

or just

Okay, now my favorite part of this story was definitely the characters.
Amy was witty, sarcastic, and multifaceted – she had positive traits, but was not a Mary Sue, and she had flaws, but not annoyingly so.

The evil witches were kind but cruel and I trusted them and yet I was so suspicious – and it was impossible to decide and that’s what made them great characters.

And Nox was oblivious and yet there were so many jewels and tiny moments between him and Amy – sometimes I wanted to smack him upside the head and other times I wanted to give him a big hug – and these are the crazy emotions that I want characters to make me feel.

And the characters that were originally in The Wizard of Oz became so wild and twisted – and yet they retained their original traits, which is what a retelling should be all about. And that is what I must applaud Paige for: for being able to keep bits and pieces of the original, and yet at the same time being able to make it entirely her own.

And no wonder I was able to finish this book not only in one sitting, but in the time span of only a few hours. Amazing read and I can’t believe I didn’t start it sooner.

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