Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Dorothy Must Die
Danielle Paige
Expected Publication: April 1, 2014
I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
Steal the Scarecrow's brain.
Take the Lion's courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!
This is how you take a classic, beloved story and create an entirely new, refreshing tale without compromising the original and staying true to what is Oz, albeit a little darker. *maniacal grin*

Amy was a likeable character but she suffered from what I call the TOWAP or the Teenage Outsider with Absentee Parents. It's not a very imaginative name but I can't come up with something better. She's a girl from Kansas who grew up in a trailer with a runaway father and a mother who neglected her. What's more is that she's the perpetual target of the school prima donna. Sounds familiar? So she wanted to get herself out of there. Anywhere but here. Be careful what you wish for.

I am not in Kansas anymore but wait, this is not the Oz I grew up hearing about. Is this the wrong place for this story? 

No, dear, it's just that the place got a little makeover because Dorothy got a little greedy for attention and magic. We're oppressed, we're being forced to wear a smile. That is why you need to train and learn magic and then kill Dorothy because you're also from that Other Place. It's providence! You can do it!

I've often wondered what went through the minds of these heroines who landed smack dab in a place with lots of problems and suddenly it's up to them to save everyone and everything. Did they just shrug and went along, swept by the fervent propaganda? Because it's what they were fated to do? Without questions, without doubts about the team they're working for? Didn't they say wait a minute, explain everything to me including and all danger? Like here, in Dorothy Must Die, Amy plunged in because (1) she was bound to, (2) she's the "only" one who could do it, and (3) it was not Oz as it should be. She was trained, told vaguely of what she must do and dropped in the middle of the enemy's court. It was while she was already in the thick of things when she started getting quite frustrated and angry with what she found herself in. Did these heroines ever feel that they were pawns until it was too late? When is the critical time when you stopped thinking like it is what you are fated to do and what you are manipulated to do and start thinking that you would do this because it is the right thing to do and what you want - with a free mind and a free heart?

"Know anything about arson?"
Ayanami Faerudo

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