Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page


Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

I first discovered I was trash three days before my ninth birthday – one year after my father lost his job and moved to Secaucus to live with a woman named Crystal and four years before my mother had the car accident, started taking pills, and began exclusively wearing bedroom slippers instead of normal shoes.


Amy Gumm is living in a trailer park, trying to deal with highschool and a pill-addicted mother when a tornado sweeps up her trailer and she lands in Oz. But Oz is not the colourful place from the film or the book. And Dorothy is not a sweet little girl. She’s a despotic princess, bending all of Oz to her will.

And Amy is the only one who can change that. Recruited by a rebel organization, she’s trained with only one goal in mind: Kill Dorothy.


Oz is definitely not what it used to be. When Amy lands there, there are no happy Munchkins, no colourful fields of flowers. The only thing that’s the same is the yellow brick road. All else is destruction.

Underneath the boy’s feet, yellow bricks, as vivid as a box of new crayons, were almost glowing in stark contrast to the blown-out, postapocalyptic monochrome of the landscape.

And our favourite characters are not at all what they’re supposed to be. The Tin Woodcutter heads the secret police, Scarecrow cuts people up in his little lab experiments and the Cowardly Lion kills everyone in his path. And Glinda the Good Witch? Not so good anymore.

And then there’s Dorothy. Sweet little Dorothy, who is now princess of Oz and reigns with an Iron Fist. And an awful lot of weird ideas.

Dorothy giggled girlishly. “Oh, Jellia,” she said. “I knew you were stupid but I didn’t know you were that stupid. I mean, all you have to do is squeeze.”

“But…”, Jellia said.

“Jellia, it’s you our the mouse,” Dorothy said, the sweet, girly tone gone from her voice and replaced by an icy coldness.

Opposed to her are the Order of the Wicked, a bunch of formerly wicked witches, who recruit Amy to be their assassin and kill Dorothy.

“Me? I just got here. How am I supposed to stop anyone from doing anything?”

All eyes turned to me at once. The boy fixed me with an especially hard gaze. Finally Mombi spoke.

“Simple. You’re going to kill her.” She looked right at me and said, “Dorothy must die.”


The story was fun and compelling, though I had some problems with parts of it. I liked that Amy had to train for her abilities but they came to her way too fast. She becomes an expert fighter in less than a month. I also didn’t like that part of Dorothy’s evilness is shown by her being… dressed more provocatively than before? That was annoying.

Instead of farm-girl cotton it was silk and chiffon. The cut was somewhere between haute couture and French hooker. The bodice nipped, tucked and lifted. There was cleavage.

Lots of cleavage.

I also didn’t like the ending much. It was too abrupt.

But overall it was a really fun book and a great reimagining of the Oz tale.


A fun and exciting retelling of Oz with a bit of a letdown ending.


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