Dorothy Must Die (Book Review)

What if everything you know about Oz is wrong? What if Dorothy came back after clicking those heels? It turns out that Dorothy may not be as “good” as the story goes.

Amy Gumm is not having the best day. She’s just been suspended for her supposed fight with resident bully and mom-to-be, Madison Pendleton. Amy tries explaining herself to her mother, but she’s already on her way to a “Tornado Party” held at the local bar. That leaves Amy and Star, her mother’s pet rat, to brace the tornado together, but that’s not where things end.

The tornado whisks Amy and Star to Oz, but it’s nothing like the story. Oz is losing its magic, fast. Through a series of events that draw Amy closer to figuring out what happened to the Oz she’d once read about, she gets her mission. Oz is in trouble and only she can save it. The only catch is, to save Oz, Dorothy Must Die.

The world building and descriptions were vivid. It was an interesting take on a cherished story. I’m a fan of fairy tale retellings, I love the creativity that comes out of it. I enjoyed some of the characters but there were quite a few that were forgettable.

Amy was a layered character. I liked the backstory presented at the beginning of the novel. There were moments throughout the story where this was brought up and definite character development took place. She is someone who reacts far more often than she acts, which is also mentioned during her training. I hated how much she hesitated instead of completing whatever action she was doing. The story would’ve been over a lot sooner if she didn’t hesitate so much.

My main complaint is that I feel like Danielle Paige missed out on a great opportunity to add some diversity to the classic tale. As a woman of color, I wouldn’t have expected such a lack of diversity in characters. Pale skin and blue/green eyes seemed a little too common for my taste.

3.5/5 Stars