Emily May's Reviews > Dorothy Must Die

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle  Paige
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

it was ok
bookshelves: coverly-love, young-adult, fairy-tales, 2014

** spoiler alert ** "I realized, looking around for the first time, that we weren’t in Dusty Acres anymore."

Disappointment #1: This book was extremely boring for about 80% of the 432 pages. I was tempted to call it slow at first because it certainly felt like it, but I guess stuff was constantly happening - I just didn't care about any of it. Occasionally I would perk up because I read an interesting page and then I would go back to forcing myself to absorb the words properly. It was a lengthy and difficult slog, despite the exciting premise.

Disappointment #2: The quirky Tim Burton-esque Oz didn't work for me. The strong beginning made me wonder if this was actually a contemporary novel with The Wizard of Oz parallels and metaphors woven into it - well, I think that would have been a better book. The story is about Amy Gumm who has grown up in a trailer park with a mother who is slipping further into a drug-induced oblivion. She has been called "trash" her whole life by other kids at school and the teachers never believe her side of the story because they know all too well who her mother is.

Amy is exactly the kind of character I enjoy reading about. The kind who is realistically flawed, complex, well-rounded and interesting. She's had it rough enough that you feel sympathy towards her, but she's no sappy pushover either. I was instantly intrigued - captivated even - by her life, by her relationship with her mother, by the sad loneliness she obviously felt... then she got tornadoed out of Dusty Acres and into Oz and that's when everything went downhill.

"This wasn’t the Oz that I had read about or seen in the movie. It was as if someone had drained out some of the Technicolor and introduced some serious darkness."

I lost all connection with Amy and her story when she landed in Oz and began moving from one group of people I didn't care about to another. In this version of the story, Dorothy returned to Oz from Kansas because she found our world lackluster in comparison. Caught up in a world of magic where she was deemed a hero, Dorothy was soon appointed Princess of Oz and became obsessed with the power awarded to her. Dorothy proves the saying that power corrupts and begins slowly terrorizing the land and people. And it is up to Amy Gumm to stop her. Honestly? I think an interesting character like Amy Gumm is wasted on a quirky fantasy filled with odd laws (reminiscent of Lewis Carroll's Wonderland) and Permasmile lipstick.

It was almost like it tried so hard to be quirky and weird, that I could see right through the charade. And the reality was dull.

Disappointment #3: Instalove or instaromance or instaangst. Who cares, anyway? People and talking animals are being tortured, the world is in peril, your life is in danger... d'ya think you could control your bloody hormones for a sec? Or at the very least stop getting unreasonably jealous at really inappropriate times. I swear some potentially excellent scenes are ruined by petty jealousies and romantic angst. I want magic and nastiness and darkness and twists! Not young lovin'.

Disappointment #4: Dorothy doesn't even fucking die. It's all lies! You better be prepared for that sequel! Or two. Or three. Maybe it'll never end. I'll be walking around with a zimmer frame* and that bitch Dorothy will still be alive. I wish you luck if you're continuing on this journey, but it's time for me to bow out. I'm glad it's over.

*Apparently it's called a walker! Jeez, bloody Americans. Thanks Khanh! :D

405 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Dorothy Must Die.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

December 21, 2013 – Shelved
April 3, 2014 – Started Reading
April 5, 2014 –
page 234
51.77% "I just don't know what to make of this. Every time I think it's really good, I suddenly hit a slow patch. And every time I consider putting it aside, something really cool happens. Annoying book!"
April 5, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 111 (111 new)

Kelesea I'm so excited to see your thoughts, Em--I just got this book today and I can't wait to read it! :)

Emily May I have literally only read two chapters but I'm really into it already! You know when a book just captures you? That's how I feel right now. I hope it stays good :)

message 3: by Julia (new)

Julia I caught a glimpse of this walking through Barnes & Noble! I thought maybe not. Now I will have to try. Or maybe I will just wait for your final verdict.

Emily May I wish I didn't have bad news... but this is really starting to drag now :/

message 5: by Julia (new)

Julia I had such high hopes, but I will still look forward to your final say that is if you are able to resist the dnf pile. :)

Emily May I'm going to push through and finish it tonight, I'm looking forward to reading something else which is never a good sign.

message 7: by Damian (new)

Damian Dubois Love the Zimmer frame comment ;)

Emily May Thanks ;D

message 9: by Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies (last edited Apr 05, 2014 09:07PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies #4: LOL! I know, right? >_<

Edit: I had to Google Zimmer frame. You silly Brits, it's called a walker! *shakes fist*

Emily May You don't call it a zimmer frame...? O_o I even thought that was an American word we'd picked up, lol.

Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies I've never heard that word used ^_^;; Over here, we've only ever referred to it as a walker.

Emily May Damn it. People probably only like my reviews because they have no idea what I'm saying - just nod along and pretend.

Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies That's not true, but even if it is, there's no shame in it because you're a Brit and I have a thing for British accents, even if they're unspoken >.< You could write a dictionary and I'd read it because in my head you have an accent, so it's all good.

I'm totally not creepy at all.

Emily May Lol. That might be creepy if I wasn't exactly the same with Irish accents. It's why I still watch Once Upon a Time - for the guy who plays Captain Hook *swoons*

Nasty Lady MJ God, I'm glad I'm not the only one. I really thought this book was trying way too hard. I did like the fact it actually tried to incorporate things from the other Oz books like the whole Princess Dorothy thing and Ozama, but really they should leave post apocalyptic Oz to Return of Oz.

Emily May Yeah, it was definitely trying way too hard. I'm not familiar with the other Oz books so I wasn't sure how much was incorporated from them, but that's interesting to know.

Emily May JennyJen wrote: "Zimmer frame sounds like a torture device."

Just a little... :)

message 18: by Damian (new)

Damian Dubois Torn on whether to read this or not. Your review has me wanting to leave it on the shelf and run a mile away where's Khanh's review has painted a picture of an Oz I might actually enjoy. Might have to flip a coin.

Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies I'm a run away type of person, so despite my review, if you have any doubts, run :P

message 20: by Damian (new)

Damian Dubois Not making it easy for me ;)

Nasty Lady MJ Damian, I'd library it or borrow it from someone if you can. I just couldn't get into it but it wasn't the worst thing I ever read. The writing wasn't halfway bad and for what it's worth the last fourth of the book did interest me and I think things could possibly pick up in the next few installments.

Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies Ok, I'll make an argument for the book. I'm usually bothered by insta-love, but I didn't feel that there was any here. Yes, the MC was jealous, and pettily so at times, but I didn't feel like it overwhelmed the book, and she's a teenaged girl, and I know I've been guilty of that sometimes, so I forgive her. The romance did not overwhelm the story.

Furthermore, nothing hurt about the book. I'd be the first one to hop onto slut shaming, girl hate, etc, but there was nothing that majorly stood out enough to have me get all ragey and ranty about it. I think you should give it a shot, if anything, I can guarantee you it will not be the worst book you've ever read.

Emily May Khanh's right, you should give it a shot. I found the romance unnecessary but it's true that it didn't overwhelm the story. Books that are, IMO, too "quirky" don't work for me, but if you like Tim Burton style things then you could end up loving this :)

message 24: by Damian (new)

Damian Dubois Tim Burton works for me :)

message 25: by Elisabeth (new) - added it

Elisabeth Disappointment #4... I swear one day when I find myself extremely bored I'm gonna snap and just copy&paste your reviews to my Word, print them as book and be done with life. That's just how funny they are! Quite a bummer you didn't like the book though. :$

Emily May Hehe, thank you XD

message 27: by Sierra (new)

Sierra It just sounds dumb :(

Emily May Sierra wrote: "It just sounds dumb :("

It had the potential to be good but it just tried way too hard for me :(

message 29: by Rogier (new)

Rogier Awe ,I'm still giving it a try . Tnx 4 the review

message 30: by Mindy (last edited Apr 06, 2014 01:01PM) (new)

Mindy This is where my mind is. When Khanh said we call it a walker, I thought zimmer frame was a zombie. Hahaha.

message 31: by Taryn (new) - rated it 1 star

Taryn The disappointment #1 paragraph sums up my thoughts to a t. I'm just over halfway by now and I'm not even sure I should continue. I just don't care.

Emily May Litchick (is stuck in the 19th century) wrote: "Did you see this, Em?

O_o Shit, I feel sorry for the author.

message 34: by Navessa (new) - added it

Navessa Yuuuup.

message 35: by Navessa (new) - added it

Navessa Actually, I wonder if knew what she was signing up for. She has experience in the "business", and she even thanked Frey in the acknowledgments. Still, talk about a bad deal.

Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies Litchick (is stuck in the 19th century) wrote: "Actually, I wonder if knew what she was signing up for. She has experience in the "business", and she even thanked Frey in the acknowledgments. Still, talk about a bad deal."

That's messed up -.- She thanked Frey?

message 37: by Ranee (new) - added it

Ranee I'm not quite done with this book yet but I feel the same way. I was super into it in the beginning but it all went downhill for me when she landed in Oz. So disappointed.

message 38: by Brittany (new)

Brittany I was about to put this in my to read list, but I think you just saved a week of my life. Ha! I'll stick with Gregory Maguire, thanks. ;P

Zarmeen Ramzan well i thought it was an amazing read.
dont know whats wrong with u guys.

message 40: by Navessa (new) - added it

Navessa Why are you trolling all the people that rated this low? Put your opinion in your own damn review space.

FYI, they trolled Brandi's review too, Em.

Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies Zarmeen wrote: "well i thought it was an amazing read.
dont know whats wrong with u guys."

Wtf is wrong with you? I liked the book and do you see me bitching about every low review? Get the fuck over yourself.

message 42: by Amy (new) - added it

Amy I can't bring myself to finish this, and I thought I was the only one who wasn't loving it! Thanks for your review!

message 43: by Miriam (new)

Miriam In this version of the story, Dorothy returned to Oz from Kansas

That's actually the case in the original Baum books as well. The "it was all a dream" ending of the movie doesn't make sense since there are sequels...

I'm pleased to finally know what a zimmer frame is!

Emily May Miriam wrote: "In this version of the story, Dorothy returned to Oz from Kansas

That's actually the case in the original Baum books as well. The "it was all a dream" ending of the movie doesn't make sense since ..."

I wondered if that was the case. I'm not familiar with any of the stories except the first one so I wasn't sure.

Glad I could provide some pointless British info ;)

message 45: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Great review. Thanks for the insight. Might give it a go, but I tend to be unable to push through books if I'm not captured somewhere at the beginning.

message 46: by S. (new) - rated it 1 star

S. Davis Agree on all four points and then some, though you put it into words I didn't care enough to write. This book made my head spin and not in a good way. Dnf'd at 75%.

Emily May Thanks, Shanah! Sorry to hear it was a disappointment for you too :(

message 48: by Ivonne (new) - added it

Ivonne Rovira Khanh (Destroyer of Dreams) wrote: "#4: LOL! I know, right? >_<

Edit: I had to Google Zimmer frame. You silly Brits, it's called a walker! *shakes fist*"


Cherie I was afraid I was the only one who wasn't thrilled with this book. I agree completely with everything you've said.

Michelle Santos Yup, I couldn't understand the excitement over this book. Amy is spunky but is too much of a victim. Asserting one's independence takes more than changing one's hair color. I also have issues with the narrative tools, I.e., real character of Pete, was already used in the original book series. Hopefully the succeeding books in the series would be better.

« previous 1 3
back to top