Book Club: Dorothy Must Die

Book Club Review
with Laura's Little Book Blog

by Danielle Paige

Pages: 464 (Hardback)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 1st 2014
ISBN: 0062280678

What were your first thoughts after finishing Dorothy Must Die?

Mily: BOOK TWO! BOOK TWO! BOOK TWO!!! In short that was about all my brain could come up with after finishing this book.
It was like being on the set of some twisted Oz film reading Dorothy Must Die and I felt like a rather tall munchkin extra taking in everything Danielle threw at me. I didn’t want it to end, even though some of the characters really did creep me out!! I wouldn’t want to meet the Scarecrow in a dark ally that’s for sure!

Laura: Yes BOOK TWO! Seriously I need to find out what happens! It was so easy to get all consumed by this. I am thrilled it is a series and I hated having to put it down and now have to wait to see what happens. I thought it was absolutely brilliant how different to the Wizard of Oz story this was. It was totally unexpected and I think this was what made me like it so much.

How did you feel about Danielle’s take on the original characters?

Mily: Loved them! Well most of them anyways. Dorothy was a little hard to get my head around but I really liked the take on everyone else. Especially the Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman and Lion as they went from sugary sweet companions to seriously creepy henchmen and the way in which she explains that it’s there new attributes (brain, heart, courage) that has warped them into these monsters was a great twist at the end of the book. It really set it up for book two, which I need, like, NOW.

Laura: So incredibly different and well thought out! It completely threw me as to just how different the characters were to the original. Same thoughts re Dorothy; I still secretly hoped that there was some ‘good’ in her, but she was as evil and cold hearted as they come! But yes cleverly done with Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman and Lion! Maybe there was a reason then that they didn’t have these attributes before! I did actually feel slightly sorry for the Tin Woodsman, when I found out his feelings for Dorothy but not enough to make me like him this time round.

What were your feelings towards Amy?

Mily: She's snarky, stubborn and unafraid to ask questions. Sometimes with characters like Amy the story moves to fast for them to really feel everything and the author can skip over who the character is. But this whole book has the underlying theme of Amy trying to figure out who she is. Her faults make her real and her pink hair just makes her awesome. This is a character that I was happy to read about. 

Laura: She was actually surprisingly relatable, despite the crazy fictional world she finds herself in. The fact that she is trying to figure how who she is means that you really get to know her; she is a likable, real protagonist.

What was your least favorite part of the book?

Mily: The moment the Scarecrow took off the top of his head so Amy could inject stuff into his brain or maybe the description of the Scarecrow’s creations? One thing I will say about this book was that it wasn’t afraid to creep me out with its gritty descriptions of the darker aspects of this Oz.

Laura: Eww Milly, yes that was truly gross that bit! I think the least favourite part for me though was when Dorothy had the Scarecrow kill Jellia and use her corpse to come back as a robotic servant for her party. Truly weirded me out that bit!

The Order of the Wicked… Good or Bad?

Mily: I honestly don’t know. I know that Dorothy is evil and that she needs stopping but I’m not sure that I completely trust the Order. When the good become wicked the wicked have little choice to become good but I can’t shake the feeling that there’s some underlying selfishness to The Orders reasoning. We know we haven’t been given all the information, because we only know what Amy knows and I think the reason for that is if Amy knew everything she might not want to be part of the Wicked.

Laura: Same as Milly, not entirely sure. Although feel like I’m leaning towards the Wicked side as at least they don’t pretend to be something they are not.

Out of all the changes Danielle made to the original characters what were the hardest and easiest ones to get behind?

Mily: The hardest was Dorothy, which I will go into more detail about later. However, the easiest was probably Glinda. No one is that nice! Sugary sweet fairy godmother my arse! No, the idea that the good witch was secretly wicked was all too easy for me to agree with.

Laura: Definitely Dorothy. This new Dorothy is the polar opposite to the sweet, kind Dorothy that we know from the original. And I was SO going to say that about Glinda! She was definitely the easiest to get my head around. Although I did see Wicked at the theatre and Glinda wasn’t a totally nice person in that, so easily adapted to the character change.

How did you feel towards Dorothy?

Mily: I hated her, which I know was the whole point but I didn’t want to. There are a little part of me still holding onto the Dorothy Gale we all know and love. In a way I think I was kind of hoping for something more, like another level to this Dorothy. She was twisted, dark, selfish and above all else evil, but what I wanted was there to be something more. I wanted some good to shine through, something that gave her depth as a character. Although that could just be my traditionalist ways showing though as I try desperately to cling onto the original Dorothy.

Laura: Truly truly despised her! Evil, selfish, cold hearted, vindictive *****! Made me question her original character and what exactly she was hiding. Like Mily I was hoping some good would shine through, but by the end of the book, I have up hope.

What was the main thing you took away from the book?

Mily: Choice. A big part of this story was about Amy’s choice and how it would shape who she was as a character. Good and Wicked lost all meaning and everything that happened throughout the story came down to if she chose to do what was right.
I’m a firm believer in choice, and that we all have the potential to be anything and everything in us and it’s the choices we make along the way that make us who we are and I think that this book, even though fantasy, reinforces that message.

Laura: Choice definitely. Amy has to make a lot of choices in this and it is those choices that make you who you are.

A running theme throughout this book was abandonment; do you think Amy is strong enough as a character to kill Dorothy on her own?

Mily: I do, although I don’t think she should. There’s a part in the book that says something like, if I kill Dorothy doesn’t that make me like her? Or something along those lines and I totally agree with that. Yes, I think the pink haired fireball from The Other Place has the guts to kill the gingham-wearing princess but I really hope she doesn’t. I think that if she kills her then something inside Amy will break and she’ll become wicked too. After all, Dorothy was fine until she killed the Wicked Witch.

Laura: I think eventually she will, but not at the end of the first book. Mily is right in saying that if Amy kills Dorothy something could break and make her just like Dorothy and that is an ending that I do not want to see.

What was you’re favourite moment from Dorothy Must Die?

Mily: Right at the very end when Pete turned into Ozma! Like holy crap on a cracker I didn’t see that coming!! I was totally preparing myself for a love triangle between Amy, Nox and Pete and then *poof* Pete’s no longer a cute gardener with emerald eyes but the true princess of Oz. I think this was my favourite moment because I wasn’t expecting it. AT. ALL!

Laura: When Amy meets Indigo, a goth munchkin; a goth muchkin I tell you!!! And then shows her her tattoos which turn out to be a map of Oz. I thought that was amazing and again totally different to how I’d pictured the munchkins!

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