I enjoyed Dorothy Must Die so much that I'm struggling to pull my thoughts together for a coherent review!
Dorothy Must Die is the story of Amy, the other girl from Kansas. Like Dorothy many years before, Amy is swept up in a tornado and deposited in Oz. However, she finds a much, much, much different Oz than Dorothy did. Dorothy is now in charge, and the Munchkins are enslaved. Glinda is an evil overseer of the Munchkin slave miners; the Tin Man is in charge of the army, and often mutilates Munchkins into half-tin/half-human war machines; the Lion roams the countryside, pillaging villages and spreading chaos; and the wicked witches are now good. Many people in Oz believe that Amy was brought to them for a reason: to take down Dorothy once and for all, and return Ozma (the rightful ruler) to the throne, thus granting peace and freedom to all citizens. Can she do it?
A LOT happens in this book! I was hooked right from the first chapter, when Amy gets punched in the face by a pregnant teen. I was cheering for Amy immediately when she still managed to get in a snarky insult to the soon-to-be-teen mom before getting hauled to the principal's office. She is a FIGHTER. And I love how her strength continues to shine through in all situations throughout the book. There's a scene much later on where she gets pushed a bit by a witch and a boy trained in magic... and she fights back. An Ozian witch! And a boy who has trained nearly his whole life in magic! And she's only been training for a few days! But when pushed, she pushes back. No doormat here!
Lest you think that Amy is a too-tough unlikeable character, the author also shows us Amy's softer side. She never, ever lets any of the big, tough guy characters pick on those less strong. She repeatedly fights on behalf of the underdog, even if it means taking a big risk to her personal safety.
As the title states, Dorothy must die in order to free Oz, and that's Amy's objective right from the start. But there are so many twists and turns along the way! I was so impressed by the author's attention to detail. There were no loose ends or unexplained events. And yet the book never came across as preachy or dry. Most often, other characters would explain things to Amy, and that's how the reader learns too. Pretty early on in the story, the author makes a move with a Munchkin that showed that anything goes. The reader has no reassurances of anything. This really kept me on my toes! I was super fortunate to have a Snow Day while reading Dorothy Must Die so that work didn't get in the way of reading it through to the end!
Now, the ending. If you've read this book, feel free to leave a comment below. Is anyone else super upset by that ending?!? And the sequel isn't out yet! I want to recommend this book to everyone. A great suspenseful Wizard of Oz reimagining with super characters. I'm going to have so much trouble waiting for The Wicked Will Rise!
*I checked out my copy of Dorothy Must Die from my local public library.