Dorothy Must Die,
by Danielle Paige (HarperCollins, RRP $20):
The Dorothy that landed in Oz and met the Scarecrow, The Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion must be killed. But why would anyone want to kill Dorothy?
She’s good right? Well, no, she’s not. At least not in the world that Danielle Paige has created.
Turning what we know as Oz on its head, Danielle Paige tells the story of Amy, a teenager dealing with a school bully and an addict for a mother.
Following in the windswept journey that Dorothy experienced, a tornado picks Amy up and dumps her into the wonderful world of Oz, where she quickly learns that Dorothy and all the other good guys are now on the side of the evil, and the wicked ones are now the heroes.
I had high hopes for this book, based purely on the front cover. It has this wonderful gothic feeling, with splashes of vivid red and a great font which follows through for chapter headings.
Sadly, I found the plot at its heart predictable and formulaic. A chosen person is on a quest to do something is not that original and, adding in a forced romantic relationship with little development and easily spotted plot twists, I was disappointed.
However, with the bad comes the good. I particularly enjoyed the brutality that is often missing from young adult novels. They are intense to read in a great way and fit with what I had hoped this book would be. These moments were complemented with the menacing Scarecrow, Tin Man and not-so-cowardly Lion who are given descriptions which are vivid and terrifying to imagine.
Overall, Dorothy Must Die was all right. I had pictured something different, though, something with a bit more grit and depth. This is going to be a series, so perhaps the second endeavour will have what I wanted.