Dorothy Must Die! I love retellings of fairy tales and this one by Danielle Paige totally captured my interest when I saw it at Barnes & Noble. I read the blurb on the back cover and was instantly intrigued. A version of The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy is evil? Sign me up.

So the gist of the story is that Amy, a teenage girl from Kansas, is sucked up in a tornado and deposited in… you guessed it, Oz. Sound familiar? Good, because the parallels don’t end there. The parallels are fantastic, partly because the balance of good and evil (or wicked in this case) has been tipped. The characters and creatures you think are wicked are actually good, but technically still wicked. There isn’t a whole lot of “good” happening in Oz at the time that Amy gets thrown into the mix. Even those who are trying to better the situation are, by definition, wicked witches. But when Dorothy the supposed “good girl” from Kansas is now the evil overlord, anything can happen. I consider that to be one of the perks of this book – because all of the characters being twisted into new shapes, it is hard to figure out who to trust and almost impossible to tell what will happen next.

My expectations when I started the book were pretty simple – a teenage girl with possible hidden talents fights Dorothy. So in that broad sense, the book definitely lived up to my expectations. The book also surpassed my expectations. I was not expecting it to be so dark, and sometimes gory. The goriness came as a shock

Now let me tell you, at first I was a bit disenchanted with the protagonist character of Amy because it seemed like a recycled story of “misfit teenage girl who finds her true calling”. And that is what her character is on a superficial level but I think that it is important to have misfit characters because they are who everyone can relate to in some way. I do wish that the misfit hair color wasn’t always “mousy brown”, you can be a misfit but still have blonde or black or auburn hair, just a suggestion. But I digress…

I really do like Amy’s character though. Mainly because she is such a badass and not really portrayed as a damsel in distress, or lovesick. There are some hints at a love story but thankfully it does not take center stage. Amy struggles at first with accepting where she is and the things she is being taught to do, but once she embraces it, she goes all in. Fighting, magic wielding, girl power awesomeness.

I’ve read all three books in the series and I will be writing reviews for the other two as well (The Wicked Will Rise and Yellow Brick War). Spoiler alert – I loved them all!

I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on Dorothy Must Die, and hopefully it got you to add it to your TBR list! If you have already read the book, what did you think? I would love to know!

 

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