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 bluebirds. 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 a yellow brick road – 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.
I think it´s safe to say that fairy tale parodies are pretty common these days. We´ve all seen them; modern teenage Cinderella, high schooler Aurora, and even some Grimm tales retellings. But, I´ve got to say, Danielle Paige managed to write my all-time favorite parody. It´s a very entertaining light read.
Besides being a super cool idea, it´s not a parody, exactly. The original story did happen, but the author created an alternative continuation to the original plot, where Dorothy´s slippers are actually six-inch high heels and is the reincarnation of evil. Amy Gumm (the main character)´s storyline starts very similar to Dorothy´s, except she´s got pink hair, a pet rat named Star and was dragged to Oz in a trailer instead of a house.
Amy is so, so relatable. From the very beginning, I could not help but see myself in her. One thing that always bothers me in YA, is that characters always seem to magically acquire strength or abilities they shouldn´t have, all because it benefits the author in that specific situation. But, there was Amy, hanging from her cell´s window, completely unable to lift herself up because she´d never really done any exercise in her life, even if it could´ve gotten her out of Dorothy´s castle. Like a normal teenager. Then, she started training and became the badass, pink haired, knife-wielding witch we all know and love.
I thought all the characters were well developed, no matter how much “screen time” they got. Danielle Paige managed to make me fall in love with everyone, even if they appeared for only a couple of pages (although I could´ve really used some more Indigo time…). The Order witches were quirky and scary at the same time, and it´s kind of hard to NOT like them, despite the occasional wickedness (who am I kidding, the fact that they were Wicked made me like them even more).
Something that really stood out for me, were the settings. I could FEEL my eyes sparkling while reading about the flower-covered walls of the Order caves, and the upside down trees, and even the extravagant rooms in the Emerald Castle. We all know about Oz, but it was so nice to stretch my imagination a little bit more and imagine all these beautiful new things and characters.
And now *drumroll* Dorothy! I´m not even sure how I feel about her, because even though she´s plain evil in this book, I really enjoyed reading about her. She´s mean, bossy, completely self-centered and absolutely unbalanced. She punishes people for being sassy and for just looking at her, and is at the same time the ultimate drama queen (she bursts out of a freaking disco ball during her party, I mean, how much more dramatic can you get?). But I also very much want to throttle her for all she´s done and destroyed.
The cool thing about DOROTHY MUST DIE is that throughout the book, it´s impossible to be absolutely sure who´s good and who´s evil. They all have their moments, but Amy can never trust anyone, even if she desperately wants to *cough*Nox*cough*. It keeps the reader always guessing and unable to set the book down.
Sometimes I felt like a couple of scenes were rushed and could´ve been a bit more elaborated, but it just gave the feeling that everything was going by very, very fast for Dorothy. Someone just dropped her in Oz, then the Order dropped her in the castle, and then she dropped from the balcony… Plus, it showed how different her life was before the tornado, how it seemed that she was stuck in Kansas, fighting with pregnant teenage girls for the rest of her life, nothing ever changing, stuck and never moving…while on the Yellow Brick Road, change was the only constant. “Magic always wants to be something different from what it already is.”