For What It's Worth

Friday, April 11, 2014

Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige


18053060_thumb[1]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 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:
Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
Steal the Scarecrow's brain.
Take the Lion's courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!


Goodreads | Author | Amazon

Source:ARC provided by Amazon Vine for my honest review

Review:
I’m a big fan of dark twists on old favorites. Just look at that cover and title – DOROTHY MUST DIE. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. I’m sorry to say that while it delivered on the dark and gruesome, it fell short in almost every other way for me.

It started off great. Amy Gumm is living with her alcoholic, pill popping mom in a trailer park. She’s bullied at school. Life sucks and then a tornado hits. When Amy is first whisked into Oz she’s kind of happy about it. It’s a way to escape her horrible life and enter into a world that she’s seen over and over as a means of escape on her TV screen. Except this isn’t the Dorothy of the movies and Amy has to face down far worse than her neglectful mother.

Once I made it through the first few exciting chapters, I realized that I didn’t like Amy. Kansas Amy is complex, troubled and flawed. Oz Amy is constantly questioning (& I do mean constantly…almost every action is followed by a paragraph of questioning if it was the right or wrong thing to do) and thrown from situation to situation so fast that I couldn’t really connect with her or the characters she meets along the way. 

I loved the perversion of an evil Dorothy and it was all explained quite well. Things are dark and evil in Oz. Amy must find people she can trust to defeat Dorothy. But every time Amy meets a cool new character –Indigo, the Munchkin, Pete, her rescuer, Ollie the wingless monkey – the story seems to turn and then she’s with new people. All interesting…but they weren't given enough page time to interact and develop.


The romance landed like a lead balloon. I have no idea why it was even in there at this point in the series. It was instant, unexplained and angsty for no reason IMO. Not awful but not compelling either.
This story is very descriptive and fascinating, although it felt very similar to the world of Harry Potter at times. There’s a lot of build up without a lot of reward to the reader at the end. At just over 500 pages, I would have hoped for more.

Oh well…this just wasn’t for me but not horrible. I think a lot of people would enjoy it. You can check out my friend Wendy’s review on The Midnight Garden here. She had a few of the same issues but enjoyed it overall. And you can read the first 12 chapters on Epic Reads to see if it’s for you.

33 comments:

  1. Aw sucks that it was a little disappointing for you. I hate that when the premise is so promising, and it starts really good.

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    1. I usually avoid that kind of hype but I loved the sound of this one. Oh well...

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  2. I think I'll cross it off my list, Karen. It sounds like it will only piss me off :)

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    1. Quite a few of my friends loved it so you never know.

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  3. I had the same feelings about it as you. There were some very, very good parts, all of which involved a surprising twist on the Oz stories (not just the first, famous one, but all the books in the series). However, she kept meeting characters who were not from the stories, and as you said, every time she did the story seemed to wander off track and it lost my interest. The most intriguing part of the promotional blurb doesn't even get started until very late in the book. I really, really wanted to like this.

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    1. Yeah - I agree. It's like the whole premise falls through. i do understand it's a series but this was more about how cool the world and a set up for book #2 than there any actual plot. Basically by the end nothing happened.

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  4. I do like twists on old favorites but sad that the romance just didn't fit

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    1. I wish the romance was written more subtly in this first book. It just doesn't make sense yet.

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  5. Sorry that you didn't like this one. I've always like retellings of fairytales or classics, or old favourites. Seems like this one just didn't work

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    1. IMO - there wasn't enough time to connect to any of the characters. When I can't make that connection, everything else usually falls flat. I did like Oz though.

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  6. ugh okay I think I will pass on this one...did you know that she is apart of the james fey writers who are behind I am number 4 series.

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  7. Oh no! I had high hopes for this one!

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    1. Read it! So many of my friends really enjoyed it! You might too.

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    2. I won't rule it out just yet :)

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  8. I love the title and the premise to this book, but I haven't read many positive reviews, so I'm going to steer clear of this one for now.

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

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    1. I've only read positive reviews so I felt like odd one out.

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  9. I saw that Wendy really liked this and I love reading a completely different opinion. I guess I'll have to decide for myself!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. Wendy and I usually agree so yeah - you need to read and pick a side lol

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    1. It's very weird. And when it applies to the world of Oz it was very cool. I just didn't love Amy.

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  11. The premise does seem pretty amazing. It's really too bad Amy and the unneccessary romance ruined DMD for you. Gorgeous cover, though.

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  12. Shoot! I was hoping for just dark and twisty and enjoyment overall. While you do get the first two, I don't know if it would be enjoyable for me as well. I think the constant questioning would start to grate on my nerves. Hm... maybe I'll library book this one if I decide to read it.

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    1. Oz might be enough for you to overcome the other things - that's why I link dot Wendy's review. She had the same issues but loved it anyway.

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  13. I'm so glad you reviewed this because I've been wondering about it. I like the dark, creepy and flawed, but I would be annoyed by Amy as well. I don't need a character to question every decision...I do enough of that in my real life! And you know how I feel about romance and if this one didn't work, I think it would *really* bug me. I am curious about the twists though. Thanks for the great review.

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    1. I do think you would like the darker aspects Pam. I'm not sure how you would feel about the other stuff.

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  14. I'm curious about the darkness, will check the first 12 chapters. Happy Friday, Karen!

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    1. I like dark too. It felt like the tone switched from dark to young though and it didn't work for me.

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  15. This sounds interesting to me. I'm going to add it to my wishlist.

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    1. Good! So many other readers loved it.

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  16. Sorry you didn't really love this one. I am curious though. I think I might like it overall, but it sounds like a library read.

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    1. So many people loved it so I would say give it a shot. There's a lot to like - I just didn't think it came together in the end.

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  17. you're right, it really is such a great title! i don't think i'll be keen on this book though because having a paragraph waxing about good and evil after every action doesn't seem like something i would enjoy! thanks for the review.

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  18. I think I'm going to hold off reading this until the sequel and see how that's received. I had a bad experience reading Wicked long ago (though I LOVE the musical), and because of that I'm very hesitant about reading any more retellings. Though this one sounds quite different. Do you know if this is based off of The Wizard of Oz movie or the book? Are there Ruby Slippers? I'm pretty sure they were a different color in the original story. Anyway, sorry this didn't work out for you. Amy sounds annoying to me already :(.

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