Review: Dortothy Must Die

Title: Dorothy Must Die 18053060

Author: Danielle Paige

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication Date: April 1, 2014

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 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, and I’ve been given a mission:

The Tin Woodman’s heart,

The Scarecrow’s brain,

The Lion’s courage,

And then—



I’m going to keep this very spoiler free but I just have to say, it’s books like this that piss me off. Books where the summary or the back of the book itself totally mislead you. I picked this book up, read the back of it which is the same thing as above, and went, “Alright, cool. So Amy is going to have to do kind of this road of trials thing and defeat each of these bad guys, collect their important bits, growing stronger every time, only to face Dorothy at the end as the final boss. That sounds pretty damn awesome!” I mean, isn’t that what you would think?

So imagine my confusion when this whole “REMOVE the Tin Woodman’s heart, blah blah…” was not even remotely mentioned through the whole book. I kept flipping to the back to make sure I’d read it right. Then finally, like seriously five pages before the end of the book, after a whole book with a different plot line than the back implies, Amy is told that those three things have to be done before she can kill Dorothy. I was beyond mad. The book was nothing like it said it would be. Apparently someone accidentally posted the summary for the second book on the first. Either that or they had to rope us in and assumed that the actual plot line for this book would be too boring to do the job.

On top of that, this book was also not what I expected in terms of tone and atmosphere. I’d heard about how this is the dark and twisted Oz, where Dorothy is evil and everything is backwards. I expected it to be really gritty and kind of creepy, maybe a bit like Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland movie. I didn’t like that movie, but he made Alice in Wonderland a lot creepier and disturbing than the original cartoon, which was kind of what I thought would be happening in this book. And the author definitely twisted Oz around, but not in a way that I found effective. Everything to me seemed to silly and kind of ridiculous, in the worst way possible. It was like a lot of things were supposed to be kind of dark or disturbing, but just fell flat. Nothing in this book felt serious or like anything was at stake because all of the characters were just silly and one dimensional and the darker things that Dorothy or her henchmen did were just so at odds with the rest of the tone of the book, it didn’t mesh. I felt like the author wanted to go with a blend of darkness and humor, but to me, didn’t execute it well at all.

Amy to me was a character that I couldn’t really connect with. From the beginning, she felt very one dimensional, lacking the layers and depth that really makes a character shine. As the book went one, I felt like we learned very little about who she was a person. It was almost like the author would use all of these examples of things in Amy’s life that happened to her to explain why she thought or felt certain things, but we never really see it in her. Since I found her to be so bland, it made her whole mission in the book unexciting and a little boring. What sort of growth do we even really see Amy go through, or what do we learn about her as a character? I’ll tell you right now that it isn’t much.

The romance isn’t even worth mentioning. It was barely even a part of the book and the guy she was getting all smoochy with was just a huge jerk and he of course was immediately infatuated with her. Then there was another girl in love with him, that hated Amy and the whole thing was super petty and out of place. Nox, the love interest, and none of the other secondary characters were very memorable at all, and everyone that had a good chance at being semi interesting or likable was killed off. Woo hoo.

I did like the idea of Dorothy being a mega bitch, but again, her character was so flat. Maybe I skipped past it since I start skim reading about 100 pages in, but I don’t see to recall ever finding out anything about why Dorothy turned out the way she was. Amy basically gets told that the movie was true, then Dorothy went home, wasn’t happy with her simply life, then came back to enslave everyone? Uhm, that’s kind of a huge change to just randomly go through. They said that she just wanted more since she was stuck in that small town back home, but that’s kinda an idiotic answer. And she is twisted. That’s not something that just happens to you overnight. Unless you’re sweet Dorothy from Kansas I guess.

Holy crap, and the most freaking annoying thing ever… It felt like every five seconds, Amy would think or someone would be dramatically telling her that she needed to kill Dorothy. I kid you not. But the worst part was, it didn’t seem like anyone actually had a good reason to support their believe that Amy had to kill Dorothy. When asked, they would just throw out some crap about her being from Kansas too and being able to think like her and having potential and power. As I’m writing this out, I’m realizing that there was a lot of stuff in this book that felt like the author kind of half-assed it.

I was really disappointed with this book. I heard so many good things about it and I just didn’t meet any of my expectations. With a cast of bland, uninteresting characters and a predictable, silly story, there really isn’t much good I can say about this book. The land of Oz was not as dark or twisted as I would have liked, and the huge amount of boring going on left a bad taste in my mouth.



6 thoughts on “Review: Dortothy Must Die

      • You know I was just watching your last video and I thought about something about this book… Maybe they did this thing where “everything” with the witch happens at the end of the book because in “The Wizard of Oz” it’s a little like that: you know all the book is about Dorothy and her friends and the travel to find the Witch and finally, the “epic” battle is really REALLY fast (and kind of ridiculous) and only takes place on few pages at the end… I don’t know if you understand why I’m triyng to say because I struggle to find the right words in english sorry^^

      • No I think I get what you’re saying and that’s a really interesting thought! I wonder if the author ever said anything about it in an interview or anything? I might have to look around now and see.

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