Sep 07, 2021BPLTeenVolunteers rated this title 3.5 out of 5 stars
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige is the first book in a four book series about the reimagined world of Oz after The Wizard of Oz takes place. When I first started reading the book, I thought it was a stand alone book; However it turns out that there are prequels, sequels, spin offs, and other books that take place in Danielle Paige’s version of Oz. I was expecting this book to be fun to read, mostly predictable, and to turn Oz into a different sort of messed up world that wasn’t what we saw in the movie. I expected it to be pretty cliche- and it was at times; but a lot of the turns it took surprised me, and it didn’t go the way I thought it was going to.
The book’s main character is a teenager named Amy living in a trailer park in Kansas. One day there is a massive tornado that takes her, her small trailer, and her pet rat to the land of Oz. At the start of her adventure, she meets a winged monkey and a munchkin who join her on a journey down the yellow brick road. I was pretty sure where the rest of the book was headed at this point, however the author subverted my expectations and Amy ended up in a completely new part of Oz with a new challenge she needed to face. Amy’s quest was always changing, and she could go from completely trusting someone, to not trusting them at all, and then back to trusting them again in only a few chapters. However, once I understood the new location or characters, it was pretty easy to guess what was going to happen.
The main plot is that Dorothy found a way to return to Oz and has now taken it over. Amy is forced to work with “The Order of the Wicked” because they think she is the only one who can kill Dorothy and save Oz. The part where she was working with the wicked witches and trying to take down Dorothy was pretty cliche, but still fun and enjoyable. There was romance in this book; I wasn’t really a big fan of it, but I know there are others who would like it much more than I did. I’d say my favorite parts of this book were the world building, I liked this dark version of Oz and how the “good” people and the “wicked” people weren’t that different. I also liked how the winged monkeys worked as well as how the magic in this universe made sense and was well explained. I think the beginning was really good as well, because it subverted my expectations for how the rest of the book was going to go.
I didn’t really like how it was predictable and cliche; however I expected that when I started the book, and it didn’t really ruin the other good aspects of the book. I think I will probably read at least the second book The Wicked Will Rise and maybe even the third and fourth books. I would recommend this book to people who like YA fantasy novels, particularly fans of darker YA books or fans of assassin novels. Anyone who is into fairytale retellings would also probably enjoy this book. Overall, I would give this a 3.5 out of 5 star rating because I had a good time reading it and I know of many young teenagers who would probably really enjoy this book.
- Alexa Schmitt