Published: March 24, 2014
Number of pages: 452
Genre: dark fantasy, adventure, mystery
Verdict: 4 owl hoots out of 5
Amy Gunn is just another high school student who lives in a trailer with her mom in Kansas. Everyone knows the story of The Wizard of Oz and so does Amy. But when a tornado strikes she’s blown away and lands in what appears to be another world none other than Oz. But something is different. Oz is different and is ruled over by the evil Dorothy. And it’s Amy’s job to stop her by removing the Tin Woodman’s heart, stealing the Scarecrow’s brain, and taking the Lion’s courage, and finally, kill Dorothy.
I confess that I’ve never watched the movie or the musical, and I’m probably the only person who doesn’t know the story as well as others. But just to be clear, Dorothy Must Die is not a retelling of The Wizard of Oz. So for those of you who have not seen it, need not to worry when reading this book. The story is a dark twist of what happened after Dorothy came home and returned to Oz later on.
First of all, let’s talk about our heroine, Amy Gumm. In the beginning she’s just a normal high school girl but with a lot of problems. She definitely has issues with her family and with no friends at school, Amy’s all alone in her world. She’s a short-tempered girl but most of the time, her actions are the result of not controlling her anger and sarcasm causing more trouble.
I felt sorry for Amy in the first half of the story, as her personal life is really intense because of her school bully and a selfish mother who abandons her at a moment where she’s needed the most. Even in Oz Amy feels lost as she continues to search for a place in a world where she belongs. No longer the Salvation Army girl, Amy struggles to prove that she’s as strong as she wants to be. Going through some serious training, Amy perseveres until she becomes a kick-ass warrior who is ready to fight back.
She used to be the heroine but is now the villain Dorothy has become the bitchy dictator at Oz. It’s clear that Dorothy has to be killed, but what turns into a simple solution becomes complicated as we learn that there’s more to the task that needs to be done. There are a lot of unanswered questions as to why and how Amy was sent to Oz, and I still don’t know why Dorothy turned into a bad apple so hopefully we get more answers in the sequel.
Considering the length of the book, I had to be patient as there are some slow developments in the middle of the story. This could have turned out to be a short book if Amy found out the detail of her espionage plan sooner rather than later, but in the end the real plan as to how to kill Dorothy reveals itself, but in bad timing and as a cliffhanger. Overall, I thought this was a pretty good book with a new twist to the Wizard of Oz story. I’m looking forward to see what Danielle Paige has in store for the sequel.