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The Emerald City (Osland Trilogy #1)

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  247 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
In this loose young adult re-imagining of the Wizard of Oz, Kansas teen Gail Dorjee has tried to escape from the pain of her parents' death by retreating into a hard shell of anger and sarcasm.

When her aunt and uncle ship her off to an elite Seattle boarding school, Osland Academy, she spends her first day making enemies, including the school's most powerful clique, the Wi
ebook, 183 pages
Published February 5th 2012
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Alana ~ The Book Pimp
4's (I'm rounding up to 5 for Goodreads.)

The Emerald City is witty, entertaining, and an imaginative retelling of Wizard of Oz. No matter how well you know the original, you will be surprised and amused by this recreation of the beloved tale. It's a little high school/boarding school 'young' drama (like a High School Musical without the music) mixed with some urban fantasy magic; somehow it is more believable than the original tale but still more supernatural, too. It's really hard to describe,
Midu Hadi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Haunted Reading Room {Cthulhu Down the Chimney Tonight}
Feb 13, 2012 The Haunted Reading Room {Cthulhu Down the Chimney Tonight} rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Oz aficionados, YA, Paranormal
An extraordinarily delightful YA paranormal novel, the “clues” to the real nature hidden behind the curtain are so subtle and so smooth. Excellently written and characterized, by page 2 I was entranced. Author Beard captures the inner self of young adolescents admirably, and then puts a neat spin on the situations they encounter. I loved the approach to bullying that begins the first chapter-would that such a solution could be fond for every victim of bullying, and every onlooker afraid to step ...more
Matt Posner
Dec 05, 2013 Matt Posner rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed The Emerald City in part because it was fun to spot J.A. Beard's re-envisioning of Baum's Oz material in all the places that he slipped it in. However, mostly I enjoyed The Emerald City because I liked heroine Gail Dorjee and her friends Lydia, Leandra, and Nick. They have distinct, exciting, and fun voices, and they didn't really need magic powers to hold my interest. Gail is spunky, brave, and cool; Lydia is funny with her malapropisms; Leandra's fearfulness and hidden talents had me ...more
Feb 21, 2012 Marva rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: YA fantasy readers
I liked this book a lot. It held my attention from the first line onwards. The play on Wizard of Oz is handled deftly and not heavy-handed with th "look at my in-joke" attitude I've seen elsewhere.

Most surprising to me is how well Mr. Beard portrays the first person voice for Gail. His understanding of the teenage psyche is excellent.

There are a couple of downsides, but nothing that would diminish a pleasurable read. One of my main pains in the a.. (I guess the Osland Academy's rule against cur
Jennifer (random jendsmit)
Apr 23, 2012 Jennifer (random jendsmit) rated it really liked it
I got this through the ARR program here on GR - now with that stated let's get to the review!

I liked this book - it was good and entertaining. I want to give this 3 1/2 stars, but since GR only has whole stars, I rounded up!

I love J.A. Beard's take on the classic Wizard of Oz story! The characters are young - think Disney comedy or movie, not cartoon - they were smart and funny. I was intrigued with this twist on the story. I like Gail - she is smart and sharp tongued. She cares for her friends
Wendy O'connell
Mar 04, 2012 Wendy O'connell rated it it was amazing
The loose re-imagining of the Wizard of Oz, first piqued my interest in The Emerald City. Many years of watching the old black and white version of the old Wizard of Oz, I became fond of the cast and crew that drew very distinct lines between good and evil. And as a young girl this was comfortable for me, and snuggling with my Granny was the best, but as I grew older I wanted color, and parts of me challenged other things like …challenging the old ideas of good and evil.

J.A. Beard does not disa
Ee Hwee
Apr 18, 2012 Ee Hwee rated it liked it
Check out my new review blog:

My first read to review book! This book improved as it progressed which makes it very hard to rate. I nearly gave up after the first 100 or so pages because it was for a younger audience. The dialogues, the plot and the characters sounded like they were from the princess diaries. "OMG cute guy! He's walking this way! Ugh but he is the evil bitch's boyfriend, i hate him! But ohhh he's sooooo hot! Talk to me!" - the first few chapters were pretty much this. I LOVE the
First off, let me say that the primary reason this book didn't get more stars from me is that I found it to be directed to a younger audience than I expected. And it could be that my expectations are my own fault, so try not to hold this against the book. This book is marketed as young adult, but The Wizard of Oz is more of a middle grade story. Likewise, I felt like this book is a middle grade book, and I generally avoid middle grade. You can call me sick if you like, but it's tough to please ...more
Mar 11, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it
This book is definitely not the typical "Wizard of Oz" style story. There are a few similarities, mostly in the characters' personalities; otherwise it is a completely different story altogether. I was expecting to read a remake of the "Wizard of Oz" and was pleasantly surprised at the twists and turns throughout the story. The characters are likeable and realistic, for the most part; and the magical element is plenty fanciful and strange. My only negative is that I had to read slowly in a lot ...more
Caedy  Eries
Mar 30, 2012 Caedy Eries rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves the Wizard of Oz
Recommended to Caedy by: The Nexus Group; J.A. Beard (Author)
Wow. Just wow. I absolutely fell in love with this book. The Wizard of Oz stories are some of my favorite books, from the original books to the Wicked series, I absolutely adore it. This book is among those favorites. J.A. Beard has created a fantastic world using the Wizard of Oz as a leaping off point, and I readily give this book five stars and am proud to add it to my favorites. Some people have tried to recreate stories that have been around for ages, and some succeed, while others tend to ...more
May 25, 2012 Jennie rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I'm doing something I don't normally do: I'm being generous with my rating. Because honestly, the execution of this book fell flat on a number of scales. But I like the premise and the idea and it got better as we went along so I'm going to be kind.

That being said, it wasn't what I expected. I guess I didn't read the description well enough because I wasn't expecting magical powers, but more of a modern The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. And why is it that everyone thinks the only book to Gregory Ma
Ian Wood
Aug 22, 2014 Ian Wood rated it did not like it
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's novels reviewed on the blog will generally have some images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a novel is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate a nove
Apr 01, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, read-in-2012
Gail is sent to the Osland school after her parents are killed and her Uncle is given custody.
On her first day, Gail has a run in with the mean and nasty Diana and her friends, whom like to call themselves "Winged" Since Gail has stood up to Diana she has made herself some enemies and soon becomes the new joke at school. Her roommate and new friend Lydia is ditzy but a sweet girl. Lydia has a need to always quote someone when talking, but she can never get them right. And then there are the ones
Jaclyn Cotton
Review: The Emerald City by J.A. Beard and GIVEAWAY (on my blog)!

The Emerald City by J.A. Beard
Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The Emerald City by J.A. Beard is a young adult novel about a high school girl named Gail Dorjee who is sent to a boarding school in Seattle, Washington after the tragedy of her parents untimely death. Once there strange things begin to happen forcing Gail to re-look back at her life up to that point.

J.A. Beard has taken L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz and transposed it into
Julie(Reading By The Beach)
Feb 18, 2012 Julie(Reading By The Beach) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arr
I received a free copy of this book from the author through the group, Making Connections.

An enthralling, modern take on the Wizard of Oz told through the captivating voice of Gail Dorjee. You get the whimsical aspects of the old story that are expertly interlaced with new twists that will have the characters eagerly reading to the end.

I think we all know the characters and plot line of the Wizard of Oz, but just to do a minor recap(without giving anything away): We meet the reminiscent characte
Mar 08, 2012 Samantha rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
The Emerald City by J.A. Beard is what the title suggests and is a rewrite of the broad strokes of Wizard of Oz. Having said this, its not some boring old rewrite or a pale imitation of others such as Wicked. This book is truly a unique reading experience that has depth while maintaining a fun and enthusiastic read. The characters were refreshing and unapologetic; I must admit that it was fun connecting them to the original characters while seeing how the author made them new, fun, and relatable ...more
Apr 17, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
(I was given this book for free on a read-to-review basis.)
Gail Dorjee is just starting at a new school. Her parents recently died and she’s now been sent to a boarding school by her aunt and uncle as they don’t really want her around.

The new school is weird though. Firstly; mobile phones don’t work, secondly; Gail can’t send out email or access the internet, and thirdly; when she tries to leave the grounds she is unable to. There’s something weird about the water too. During a confrontation wit
Jess Mountifield
Apr 09, 2012 Jess Mountifield rated it really liked it
Shelves: arr, added-2012, read-2012
I immediately got to grips wth the main character of this book, the young but fairly mature 'farm-girl' out at a new boarding school because she lost mum and dad to a car crash. i had a few ideas of what to expect as I knew this was based on a kind of wirzard of Oz style book but it was thankfully still pretty original and it wasn't until all the characters nicknames were listed tother that I realised who everyone was and how it all fitted together.

I also really liked the sense of humour of the
Mar 08, 2012 Sandy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nook, ya
This was not what I expected but I really enjoyed this book. What a great cast of characters plus a great moral lesson to throw into the mix. I was drawn into the story from chapter 1 and I couldn’t wait to see how Gail turned out in the end. Would she end up being expelled from school, run away or end up being friends with one of the people she despised from the beginning? Gail was a feisty girl who didn’t seem like the type to back down but she had no friends, she was new to the school and she ...more
May 26, 2012 Amanda rated it liked it
This was a modern day story very loosely based on L. Frank Baum's "The Wizard of Oz." I knew that from the description, and so it was fun to figure out which characters in this story paralleled the characters in the original, and how the story line of this one was similar to the original. In spite of the influence of the original story, this story is very different and unique from "The Wizard of Oz." It was a clever idea, but parts didn't seem fully developed or explained. I believe the target ...more
May 01, 2012 Ab2y rated it really liked it
Great story , love the Cover . This book reminds me of lots of beautiful stories ; its like a great mix of Jane Eyre , Harry Potter Series and Wild Child movie .
Gail is an orphan kid who lost her parents recently ,her uncle and aunt send her to (Osland Academy) boarding school in Seattle , she got bullied and had enemies since day one but most of all is the supernatural thing that going on in that place .
Well written story ,nice characters ,great reading material i Recommend it for Paranormal
Apr 16, 2012 Maryann rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
I recommend this book for young adults. I enjoyed the storyline and the author is very creative with the characters. I liked Gail's "I don't take crap from anyone" attitude and her friend Lydia was great with her "mis"quotes. However, some parts of the book dragged on. The main characters are in high school and their dialog fit in with that genre. Inspired by the Wizard of Oz, but not a total copy of the story. Overall, a good book.

I was given this book by the author and the Goodreads group Basi
Joan K.
Apr 08, 2012 Joan K. rated it liked it
Creative way to re-tell The Wizard of Oz. I especially liked the character of Lydia who was always incorrectly quoting famous quotes or sayings. I also found it quite amazing that a grown man could capture the world of teenage girlspeak and actions so well.

That being said, I found the amount of proofreading/editing errors to be distracting. I expect a couple from any book, even from major publishers, but there were just so many in this book.

I would recommend it for an audience who enjoys fantasy
Erik Willén
Feb 07, 2013 Erik Willén rated it it was amazing
The Emerald City by J.A. Beard is a very well written (short) story. Even though I believe this particular story is aimed towards a younger audience I think that anyone that are interesting in magic from Wizard of OZ to Charmed will find this book very intriguing. The plot is easy to follow - the character development is well executed, and I like some of Beard’s humor when the characters are thinking. There are some surprises through the story, especially towards the last third of the book. I ...more
Sandy Grissett
Good and different

Gail's parents die and her Uncle doesn't want her to live with them so he sends her to a school where she meets Nick, a handsome guy that shows no emotions and is dating Diane who appears to be a witch.
She has two friends Lydia and Leandra. I do love some of the quotes that Lydia comes up with. Gail finds ut she can control water which gives her confidence. The book takes a whirl with the teachers and her and her friends leading to destruction. You will have to read the book t
Apr 25, 2012 Marissa rated it really liked it
This book was good! I really enjoyed it. I loved how it was like a remake on the Wizard of Oz characters. There wasn't a boring moment. I just wish there would have been more! I hope the author writes another one, because I really liked the characters. Nick was my favorite. Overall it was really interesting and defiantly worth reading.
Aug 06, 2012 Virginia rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012, free-on-kindle
I found the first half of this book EXTREMELY slow. In fact I almost gave up on it. Thankfully I persevered and got to the good parts, so to speak.

Would I recommend this book ? Probably not.

Was it a waste of time ? No

Theres a small little "cliff hanger" at the end that piqued my interest so I will probably give book two a shot, if and when that comes out.
Jul 21, 2014 Laura rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, 2010s
I know its probably aimed towards a younger age, so I kind of disliked the writing a little and some of the cliche situations. Yet, I overall generally liked the book. I originally that it was going to be something like Wizard of Oz, but it wasn't completely. It had some elements, though I didn't know Wizard of Oz was a series of books and I've only read the first one so I don't have a clue,
Jul 19, 2012 Mindy rated it it was ok
The writing of this book was actually good. I just didn't like it. I thought the vague references to The Wizard of Oz was dumb and poorly done, I also did not like the plot at all. However, I could see how others would enjoy it.
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ROBUST: The Emerald City 8 11 Feb 15, 2012 06:10AM  
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J.A. Beard is a restless soul married to an equally restless soul. His two children are too young yet to discuss whether or not they are restless souls. When he hasn't been writing, studying history, or making excuses for not writing, he's tried his hand at several careers including intelligence analysis, programming, and research science. Though he likes to declare himself the Pie Master, he's ...more
More about J.A. Beard...

Other Books in the Series

Osland Trilogy (2 books)
  • The Eternal City (Osland Trilogy, #2)

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