Book Review – Dorothy Must Die

Dorothy Must Die Book Review by Casey CarlisleFrom Goodreads:

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 along 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.

Page border by Casey Carlisle


It’s not really a book I would have picked up, but after being suggested by many friends I finally caved – and it wasn’t half bad.

I got lost in the story easily and the narrative carried me through Amy’s adventures with ease. The underlying tone of bullying and corruption of power is very prominent and I like how these issues were dealt with in a magical setting. It was about finding your voice and standing up for yourself – without crossing that imaginary line that causes harm to another… unless absolutely necessary. This is a book about premeditated murder after all.

An enjoyable and fantastical read, I can see it appealing to those who love fairytale retellings or inspired stories. Not really my interest, but nonetheless Danielle Paige weaves a colourful world where two-dimensional characters are given three dimensions.

Our protagonist, Amy, felt a little whiny and altruistic at times, but when you’re dealing with clichés, it’s hard to put it off completely unscathed. I’m glad her internal monologue questioned everything, how she drew her own conclusions and formed her own opinions from facts and observations. She’s not the typical victim we usually see in YA (not completely).

I found Dorothy Must Die quite a fast read, and there were plenty of times I was rolling my eyes at the story, but it has witty and comedic moments, in addition to building tension to a point where you really get a sense of danger. The pacing is a little stop-start at times, which left me yearning for the climax… and when I finally reached the end, wasn’t entirely impressed. It could have had so much more punch if the storyline was built better towards the culmination. Dorothy Must Die, wasn’t terrible, it’s entertaining and pleasant to read, but not something I will rave about.

Dorothy Must Die Book Review Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle

There were elements of brilliance in Danielle’s writing, but it didn’t quite pay off.

If you are into the fad of fairytale genre novels, be they adaptations, or new novels in the same world (which is not unlike fanfiction) then you’ll most likely love this. Otherwise I’d only recommend it if you want spend an afternoon reading something light and a little left of centre.

Dorothy Must Die Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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