Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Teen review: Oh, Dorothy!

Dorothy Must Die
by Danielle Paige
452 pages
Fantasy, part of a series
Recommended for 8th grade and older

Reviewed by Michelle M., grade 8

Dorothy Must Die takes place in Oz, where the Wizard and Dorothy lived their famous lives, but it begins with a dirt-poor girl from Kansas named Amy Gumm. Amy never had much to live for in life: Her mother was detached, and left Amy alone in their trailer to cook meals and survive. One day, after a fight with her mother, a violent tornado hits Amy’s trailer while her mother is off drinking in a bar. Alone and afraid, Amy is whisked away into a magical world called Oz. It's the same Oz that Amy was familiar with from the movies and childhood books, but there is also some disparity between the two worlds. The Oz Amy is taken to is duller, and everything has a washed-out look. She soon realizes into what evil Oz has been plunged because of former hero Dorothy Gale, and what role Amy has to play in all of it.

The plot of Dorothy Must Die is interesting, and I like what the author did with Dorothy’s story. The story has a lot of action-packed scenes, and I was totally enraptured by their concept of magic. I also really enjoyed the main protagonist, Amy. Amy is really spunky, sarcastic and sometimes rude, but she is actually a really kind person and very funny sometimes. The world of Oz was also a wonderful mystery to unfold; I adored every concept and detail about its environment, the various species who live there, and how the magic cycles around. Another major thing about this book that I loved was Amy’s character development. Amy struggles in the beginning of the book to understand that Oz is now reality and how she deals with people who live in Oz. But, later she begins to adapt to the dangerous and weird life in Oz, and eventually finds herself dabbling in magic.

One thing I did not like about this novel was that some of the things Amy does in the beginning did not seem too realistic for a girl her age, who is obviously freaked out. I won’t mention anything specific though, so I don’t spoil it for anyone.

I believe that Dorothy Must Die would be appropriate for 8th graders and above. The characters curse sometimes, and there is some blood and gore, but mostly action. I rate this book a 4 out of 5.

Editor's note: The sequel, The Wicked Will Rise, was just released on March 31. It was ordered for all three branches, and should be available any minute now! Check out another review of Dorothy Must Die, by our guest reviewer, Daryl.

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