Book Reviews · Books

We’re not in Kansas anymore // Review of Dorothy Must Die


Title: Dorothy Must Die

Author: Danielle Paige

Published: 31st of March 2015 by Harper Collins.

Pages: 480

Goodreads rating: 3.85

My Rating: 3


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 a road of yellow brick—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. And—Dorothy must die.

While Dorothy Must Die starts off a little clumsy, Paige soon finds her feet, sending her heroine on an epic adventure through what comes across as Oz if it was designed by Tim Burton.

It seems like Amy Gumm has no future, with a drug addicted mother and an absentee father she has no money and no way to escape her trailer park life. That is, until one day when a tornado spirits her off to the land of Oz! (Amy takes this remarkably well).

An unquenchable lust for magic and power has driven Dorothy evil, with her former friends (Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and Glinda) also twisted versions of their former selves. Life is cheap in this new Oz and Paige’s Dorothy is a narcissistic, homicidal maniac.



Amy wanders onto the scene with no idea what is going on and after a few mishaps is recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. For me, this is where the novel really became interesting – I loved the eccentric personalities in this group of rebels. The idea that the wicked witches of Oz have banned together to stop a doe-eyed farm girl turned psycho – yes please!

Paige really drives home how evil Dorothy and her friends are. I love how she twists into the worst aspects of their personalities. Even Toto is not spared, appearing briefly as an angry, rabid pest.

This is a book for the outcasts – Amy is not perfect like Dorothy, but life has hardened her to a point where she knows what is important. Unlike Dorothy, Amy starts out already toughened by her experiences. Amy is the anti-Dorothy, finding her strength and sense of self through her checkered history and inner rage. She is real and relatable.

While the writing was flawed in a places the plot and characters were well done. Dorothy Must Die starts off a little rocky, but soon settles into a good pace.

The main factor that lowered my rating from 3.5 to 3 was the ending. Paige spends a considerable amount of time building up to a spectacular ending and in many ways it falls flat. The climax is drawn out and ends with not much resolved. I realise that Paige needed to draw the story out for further books, but just don’t lead the reader towards an epic ending and then take it away at the last minute!

What did you think of Dorothy Must Die? 

Thanks for stopping by!




2 thoughts on “We’re not in Kansas anymore // Review of Dorothy Must Die

  1. Haha, I loved your before and after comparison!

    I had a lot of similar thoughts as you did whilst reading this. I really enjoyed the concept and was intending to give it 4 stars, but the ending definitely mad me drop my rating down to a 3. It felt so rushed and unresolved with all the previous build up.

    Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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