Dorothy Must Die
Author: Danielle Paige
Series: Dorothy Must Die #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Retelling
Release Date: April 1, 2014
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.
First Sentence: I first discovered I was trash three days before my ninth birthday – one year after my father lost his job and moved to Secaucus to live with a woman named Crystal and four years before my mother had the car accident, started taking pills, and began exclusively wearing ballroom slippers instead of normal shoes.
I originally wasn’t planning on reading Dorothy Must Die because of two main issues I automatically had with it: Dorothy Must Die is a packaged book (packaged books and I have an awful history) and it is a Full Fathom Five book, something I do not support at all. However, despite all these problems, I couldn’t help but read Dorothy Must Die anyways since one of my ultimate weaknesses are story retellings. If there is any kind of story retelling, I must get my hands on it and Dorothy Must Die is no expectation to this rule/temptation of mine. In the end, Dorothy Must Die didn’t impress me much, which is honestly what I had expected from a packaged book written by a Full Fathom Five author.
“You say Wicked like it’s a good thing,” I said.
“You’re getting the hang of it.” Glamora’s voice was glittering mischievously. “Down is up, up is down. Good is Wicked, Wicked is Good. The times are changing. This is what Oz has come to.” (132)
If you have a physical copy of Dorothy Must Die, look at the back cover of the book. If you don’t have a physical copy of Dorothy Must Die, the back cover of the book basically says this: “Your mission: Remove the Tin Woodman’s heart. Steal the scarecrow’s brain. Take the lion’s courage. And then – Dorothy must die. Only you can make Oz a free land again.” Okay, now for the ultimate reason why this book made me mad: NOTHING IN Dorothy Must Die TALKS ABOUT “THE MISSION” UNTIL THE VERY LAST EIGHT PAGES. That’s right, you guys read what I wrote correctly, nothing in the book had to do with “the mission” Amy has to go through like the back cover of the book says until the very last eight pages. Dorothy Must Die is 452 pages long and 444 pages of those pages is spent talking about something else useless. (I’ll be talking about the other 444 pages later on in my review.) No, just no. I honestly still can’t get over my disbelief over this.
That leads me to my next problem; apparently Dorothy Must Die is a series. I never knew that Dorothy Must Die is part of a series (I don’t count a novella and a book as a series, which is what Goodreads did). I repeat, I never knew that Dorothy Must Die is a part of a series. Judging by Dorothy Must Die alone, I also think that this will be a very long series. I mean, Amy only did ONE task out of the four tasks written on the back cover of the book. That pretty much means that there would be one book dedicated to one task, so overall, this series might be four books long. That’s just way too long for me, especially when you consider my next problem written below.
“The Scarecrow’s brains,” I said, thinking out loud.
“The Tin Man’s heart…”
“And the Lion’s courage,” I finished.
“Retrieve them and you’ll be three steps closer to accomplishing your mission.” (445)
Like I said earlier in my review, Dorothy Must Die has 452 pages. About 200 pages of Dorothy Must Die could be easily cut out. Let me explain: Dorothy Must Die started off great. It captured my attention asap, quickly got me engaged and invested in the story, and I couldn’t wait to read more. Flash forward six chapters later and I slowly got bored. Flash forward five chapters chapters after that and I got even more bored. Another three chapters later and I wanted to escape from reading Dorothy Must Die. I was even happier studying for my midterm than reading Dorothy Must Die. One of the biggest problems Dorothy Must Die has is that the middle and the end of the book, which is a lot and very long (we’re talking about 350 pages or so here), was so boring to read because it was very slowly paced. Most of the 350 pages is basically Amy getting some free therapy lessons in Oz for her issues. Parts will sometimes pickup somewhat in between, but fall flat once again. I’m here to warn you guys: don’t fall for the awesome beginning like I did guys. After that great start comes great boredom.
There is romance in Dorothy Must Die, which is honestly what I expected since 98% of young adult books have romance in it nowadays. There is one problem I had with the romance though: I’m not sold on it. In fact, I felt absolutely no chemistry between Amy and her love interest and no sparks flying between them. In fact, when they first kissed – randomly in my opinion – my jaw literally dropped in shock. That was how surprised I was by them kissing. The romance in Dorothy Must Die has also been done many times before; it is basically the story of an “average” girl who attracts the attention of a hot guy that every other girls also want. The other girls all tried to get him to like them that way, but of course failed, because he is only interested in the main character for some unknown reason.
He closed the gap between us without taking a step and his mouth closed over mine before I could speak. He was kissing me. I closed my eyes and let go of everything except him for a few seconds. (259-260)
In the end, all I have to say is that Dorothy Must Die is not worth the buy, especially considering its many problems and the fact that it’s part of the Full Fathom Five. If you really want to read it, I strongly recommend you to borrow it from your library first. If you like it then, buy it. All I’ll say is that I’ll definitely avoid the rest of the series – it’s not worth spending my time reading, especially with the uncertainly if the same author, “Danielle Paige,” would be really writing the book.
And if you’re confused about the terms I’m using like Full Fathom Five and a packaged book, this link will explain everything and explain it well.