In Dorothy Must Die, the heroes from your childhood are villains. It was a delicious feast for my imagination, each page rich with descriptions of a place that–despite its darkness and corruption–I really wanted to visit.
Amy Gumm stole my heart and loyalty from the beginning. Her mother is so self-centered, so broken, she doesn’t care about her daughter’s struggle at school; off to party, she leaves Amy alone during a tornado.
That tornado takes Amy away to a whole new world where she’s on her own–and in danger. But she can take it. She’s not scared at all. We see that her heart has become one of steel, making her the kind who’d survive in a place like Oz. She is gutsy enough to break the law and question people. It also makes her just the girl to face Dorothy and kill her.
But will she succeed?
Our childhood hero has become a monster who doesn’t hesitate to torture or kill. The Scarecrow, Lion, and Tin Woodman are just as bad; you wonder about their backstory, asking yourself what happened to change them so drastically.
Those questions are not answered here. Indeed, a great deal of Oz is left in a shroud of mystery. Just enough is revealed to make us feel like Ozians, craving the next book desperately.
We see Amy’s effort to reach Dorothy so she can kill her. She starts working as a servant in disguise at the palace; with every chapter, we dislike Dorothy more. But the servants are expected to adore her, brainwashed into singing her praises and blessing her name. According to them, nothing she does is wrong, and she only cares for their well-being.
I don’t think I’ve disliked a villain this much in a long time; the book was great at playing with my emotions, making me feel pity, disgust, and anxiety. I wanted to join in the fight and make things right again; I was rooting for Amy the whole time.
Dorothy Must Die is thrilling. Teaching us that up is down, it changes how we see right from wrong. It also advises us to trust no one–except me. Trust me when I urge you to read this clever, disturbing book. I had my eye on it for a long time before I finally gave in to read, and it was worth it.
Without a doubt, Dorothy Must Die is one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. Five stars to this one–and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book!