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 the yellow brick road, though—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.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!
I’m not entirely sure where to begin with this book. I have three main points worth mentioning:
1. I loved the plot.
2. The writing was mediocre, it really could have been better.
3. DOROTHY MUST DIE is a product of Full Fathom Five.
I knew about the whole book packaging dilemma, but until I read this post, I had no idea how sickening James Frey and Full Fathom Five were. Worst of all, I read this while reading DOROTHY MUST DIE, which knocked the book down a notch in my conscious. Paying authors a measly $250 advance? Charging obscene penalties?
After reading that post, I debated setting the book aside. I debated reviewing it, because why share a place on my blog with their products? But in the end, I decided to review Danielle Paige’s debut, because it IS her debut. Not James Frey’s, despite it all.
DOROTHY MUST DIE has an amazing plot. Good is Wicked and Wicked is Good, or so we think. Dorothy is evil, Glinda is bad, and Toto is just plain horrible. And Amy, our main character, is a ‘trailer trash’ girl with an anger problem.
That said, DOROTHY MUST DIE had its issues. When I first heard about it, my expectations reached the very top. And when a publisher promotes and markets a book so highly, my expectations turn demanding and I expect the very best.
Maybe that’s why DOROTHY MUST DIE fell flat for me. The writing irked me more than anything. It needed fine-tuning. The execution wasn’t good enough.
I felt nothing for the descriptions of the amazing Oz. I felt nothing for Amy and her anger (which bordered annoying for me). I felt nothing for the romance (which is a very minor, very side thing, mind you). And I felt nothing when horrible tragedies befell our characters. Which was saddening.
Because the writing, at many times, reminded me of my own writing when I penned my first novel. It just wasn’t good enough.
But I kept on going because of the amazing plot and the fact that everyone was enjoying it. I needed to see if Dorothy does indeed die at the end, or if she’ll live for another book. (We’re definitely getting another book after that ending, but does Dorothy die? Maybe. Maybe not.)
If someone were to ask me if I liked DOROTHY MUST DIE, my answer would be I don’t know. Because I don’t. The richly-imagined plot combined the mediocre writing that could use a heaping of work has me placing this at a 3, 3.5 or 4 on a scale of 5. See how torn I am?
But will I be reading the sequel? Hell yes. Would I read DOROTHY MUST DIE again, given the chance? Definitely.
But I sorely wish it was given more time for fixing up. If Danielle Paige had the chance to write DOROTHY MUST DIE and shop it for an agent, I doubt she would have received one right away. I’m guessing the only reason it got published was because of Full Fathom Five. Which I sorely wish wasn’t true. Because ew.
About the Author
Danielle lives in NY. Before turning to YA, she worked in television & was nominated for several Daytime Emmy’s. Dorothy Must Die is her first novel.