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Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die Series #1)

Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die Series #1)

4.2 138
by Danielle Paige

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The New York Times bestselling first book in a dark new series that reimagines the Oz saga, from debut author Danielle Paige.

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


The New York Times bestselling first book in a dark new series that reimagines the Oz saga, from debut author Danielle Paige.

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 a road of yellow brick—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. And—Dorothy must die.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A former writer for television, Paige makes her YA debut with this edgy update of Baum's classic series. When Kansas teenager Amy Gumm is carried away by a tornado, she arrives in a nightmarish version of Oz. The Scarecrow is a mad scientist, the Tin Woodman a sadistic military commander, the Cowardly Lion a ravenous beast, and Dorothy a vainglorious tyrant obsessed with stealing the land's magic and enslaving its people. After being thrown in prison for breaking the rules, Amy is rescued by the witches of the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, who train her in magic and combat, and charge her with a singular mission: kill Dorothy—a near-suicidal task requiring her to go undercover in the Emerald City. While Oz purists may howl with outrage over the subversion of a childhood favorite—with some characters meeting gruesome ends—Paige delivers a solid, intense, and strange narrative that draws deeply on its source material. However, the lengthy buildup and abrupt ending make this installment feel like setup for the planned subsequent novels. A Full Fathom Five property. Ages 14–up. (Apr.)
USA Today
“Gone are the days of rainbows, Lollipop Guilds and pretty much anything to sing about in a major key. For those willing to go on a quest with a heroine more attuned to our times than the Dust Bowl era, there’s no place like it.”
ALA Booklist
“Paige’s world building is intriguing and effectively augments the original world created by L. Frank Baum.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“[Dorothy Must Die] strikes a similar tone to Marisa Meyer’s Cinder series, with its blend of fantasy, humor, and horror, and it will likely inspire fans of that series to make their way to the Emerald City.”
“Dorothy Must Die is kind of the ultimate in girl-powered literature. You’ve got empowered heroines, sure, but Paige also conjures a formidable villainess in Dorothy and some manipulative lady revolutionaries. Here, women and girls are allowed to be anything. This really is a woman’s world.”
Teen Vogue
“The Wizard of Oz as you’ve never seen it.”
Huffington Post
“For anyone who likes a good story turned on its head, Dorothy Must Die is a must-read.”
VOYA, June 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 2) - Richard Vigdor
Forced to take care of her alcoholic mother, Amy Gumm skips childhood and immediately becomes an adult. At school, no one accepts her, referring to her as Salvation Amy, the girl who lives in the trailer park. Just when she thinks she cannot take any more ridicule, her life completely changes. A tornado twists through her small Kansas town and whisks her trailer off to Oz. Amy quickly learns the real Oz is a dark place, full of greed and corruption. Dorothy controls all of Oz, using all the beloved characters as her evil enforcers. Amy’s arrival to Oz is not an accident; someone chose her to rid the country of Dorothy and, in turn, save Oz from certain destruction. Paige’s dystopian Land of Oz is devoid of essential elements needed in a successful fantasy world. Magic in Oz seems limitless, causing the reader to question several plot decisions. Amy meets new characters in Oz that do not quite fit into the overall story. Even the reimagined characters appear to be missing something. This new Oz represents a shell of the original. Strewn throughout the story, profanity is used with the intention to better develop some characters. However, its overuse deters the reader from forming any type of bond with the characters. There are far more engaging stories to spend an afternoon with than Dorothy Must Die. Reviewer: Richard Vigdor; Ages 15 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In this edgy update of Frank L. Baum's Wizard of Oz, Kansas teen Amy Gumm gets sucked into a complex assassination plot to dethrone the megalomaniac and magic addict Dorothy. Oz is no longer the cheerful Technicolor world made popular by the Judy Garland—starring film, and it has been drained of its fairy-tale glimmer by the red shoe—wearing despot and her crew of twisted friends. The Scarecrow, the Tin Man, Glinda, and the Lion all make horrific appearances, and characters from Baum's original are also highlighted in this grim and gory take. Roles are reversed as good and evil witches band together in the revolutionary group of the Wicked to train Amy to kill Dorothy. Debut author Paige doesn't hold back in this fast-paced action novel, and the body count mounts as the tale progresses. Leaps of logic distract from the overall story, and choppy language overwhelms at times, but teens will identify with the heroine's insecurities and feelings of abandonment caused by her parents' divorce and her mother's subsequent drug abuse. The tentative relationship that begins with one of her tutors seems a bit tacked on but will hopefully be developed more in future installments. Plot twists will keep readers guessing, and Amy's affinity to her pet mouse Star will garner some chuckles. Give this cinematic upper-YA novel to fans of A. G. Howard's Splintered (Abrams, 2012), Frank Beddor's Looking Glass Wars (Dial, 2006), and TV shows such as Once Upon a Time and Grimm.—Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
When a cyclone deposits a 21st-century Kansas teen in Oz, she and readers discover there've been some changes made. Dirt-poor "Salvation Amy" Gumm lives in a trailer park, effectively parenting her alcoholic mom (her dad ran off years ago), who seems to care more about her pet rat, Star, than her daughter. That doesn't mean Amy is eager to be in Oz, particularly this Oz. Tyrannized by a megalomaniacal Dorothy and mined of its magic, it's a dystopian distortion of the paradise Baum and MGM depicted. In short order, Amy breaks the wholly capricious laws and is thrown into a cell in the Emerald City with only Star for company. There, she's visited first by the mysterious but sympathetic Pete and then by the witch Mombi, who breaks her out and takes her to the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked (among whom is the very hot Nox). Amy may well be the salvation of Oz—only someone from the Other Place can take Dorothy down. Paige has clearly had the time of her life with this reboot, taking a dystopian-romance template and laying it over Oz. Readers of Baum's books will take special delight in seeing new twists on the old characters, and they will greet the surprise climactic turnabout with the smugness of insiders. In the end, it's just another violent dystopian series opener for all its yellow-brick veneer, but it's a whole lot more fun than many of its ilk. (Dystopian fantasy. 14 & up)

Product Details

Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date:
Dorothy Must Die Series , #1
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Danielle Paige is a Graduate of Columbia University and the author of the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die series. Before turning to young adult literature, she worked in the television industry, where she received a Writers Guild of America award and was nominated for several daytime emmys.  She currently lives in New York City.

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Dorothy Must Die 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 138 reviews.
CNUcrazy09 More than 1 year ago
Thank you to the publisher for this ARC! This book is a wickedly good twist on a classic tale we all love and thought we knew! When I began reading Dorothy Must Die I was hooked from page 1! The story grabbed me and quickly began unfolding. Having seen the original movie numerous times I was very familiar with the story. It was intriguing to watch this wicked twist on the classic tale unfold.  The premise here is that a young lady, Amy Gumm, from Kansas is transported to Oz where everything we thought we knew about Oz is backwards. What is good is bad and what is bad is good. According to the history of Oz, Dorothy returned years later and is now wreaking havoc on the land. Amy Gumm is enlisted by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked to help take down Dorothy and bring peace to their land once again. It is interesting to see the story unfold as Amy Gumm as not your average hero. She is the odd ball out in school, is bullied, and picked on while having a mother who cares more about alcohol than her own daughter anymore. I love seeing her character develop throughout the story. There are numerous parts where you can definitely relate to her and are rooting for her to succeed.  I love the author's writing style as well. It is simply fantastic! Each scene is described in great as Danielle Paige carefully weaves the intricacy of the scene into the novel without bogging down the reader with unneeded wordiness. The characters are described in much the same way allowing the reader to form a fantasy picture in their mind and play out the story like a movie. I loved how the characters were introduced as well. It was very much like you, the reader, were meeting them yourself. As we were introduced to some of the characters suspense abounded. Dorothy definitely took me by surprise as Paige describes her as a dark character that you have to read about to believe.  Page after page in this novel took me by surprise as I simultaneously thought about the classic tale. I loved how the story unfolded and the suspense that kept coming with each chapter. The ending arrived and it left me screaming for book 2! The last 20 pages were so fast paced I had no idea what was going on and then..boom! the story made an abrupt turn. Absolutely stellar! Danielle Paige created a wickedly good twist on tale we all know and love. Can't wait to read more by her! Keep them coming! 4/5 stars.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found a lot of negativity surrounding this book but I really enjoyed it.  I like stories that take a familiar backdrop and create a new adventure.  I would recommend this to read.  It was entertaining!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is truly splendid
joyT More than 1 year ago
This book had  a lot of potential, until the author got greedy.  Nothing is ever mentioned about this being part of a series, until you get to the end and it cuts off like a car crash.  There are some interesting parts in the book, but the horribly stunted ending is rushed and unsatisfying, and turns the entire book into a sub-par read.  Sneaky authors beware:  it isn't nice to take a book and just chop it in half so you can make us buy 2 books instead of 1.  This Is the first book in my life, out of hundreds that I've bought in the past decades,  that I have ever considered returning.  Or burning.  Ms. Paige, next time please consider doing things the right way, not the fast one.
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
So, if you know me then you know how much I’m a big fan a classics. In fact, when I was a little girl, I adored The Wizard Of Oz. I remember ABC even doing a special on it and how excited I was to watch it. Now, when this little pretty fell into my hands, I knew I was in for an adventure. Plot: This plot is simple. This is based on The Wizard Of Oz. So if you know they classic, then this book will be easy to follow. I really enjoyed how the story had similar situations just like the classic did but with a twist. The plot twist in this book gives the story it uniqueness. Once I got a feel for the main character and the plot, it was so easy to fall into and enjoy. Dorothy/Amy: One thing I love about this story is how well-rounded Amy is. Amy is not your typical gal either. She comes from this rough life of property and missing parents. To see her become herself with the story, to overcome many of her fears is amazing. The author does a great job in creating this weak…yet strong voice for Amy. She has a growth in the story that just pushes the reader to see more. Ending: With all that is happening in the story, Amy has a lot to accomplish. I like that not every part of the story is given away at once. The reader is given pieces of it to revel in, yet it also makes the reader more intune with the characters. Make sense? The ending comes together beautifully and I can not wait to see what the next book has to offer. Like many other re-tales, Dorothy Must Die begins with a bang. Lots of action and drama, Dorothy Must Die is an rousing adventure that is pleasing to the readers. Powered with a freshly written perspective, Dorothy Must Die is awesome!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Where do I even begin? I was so happy to finally have a chance to read this book, being a huge fan of anything Oz. Now, don't get my wrong, I didn't expect the same cookie cutter story we have all heard before, but I must say I truly expected something MUCH better than this trash. Perhaps the most annoying attribute of this story was the lack of consistency and focus to details the author tried to pull from the original stories. In the beginning of the book, she states Amy saw the movie with her Mom and they always loved it. Yet, the book focuses on details that were never in the movie, but in the actual book series. So tell me, if Amy only saw the movie and never read the Oz series, how the heck did she know so much about what was going on in Oz when so much was left OUT of the movie? A few examples: 1) when Amy first gets to Oz, she sees a statue a Dorothy with silver shoes (which she had in the books) but when she meets Dorothy, she has ruby slippers like in the movie. 2) She refers to the man of tin as The Tin Woodsman, than later continues to call him the Tin Woodman (lacking the s). However, we was only called this in the books, NOT the movie. 3) Amy seems to know all the different areas of Oz. Again, these are mentioned in the original books, NOT the movie. The second high ranking annoying issue I found with this story was the use of foul language. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not against using strong language in literature AT ALL. However, when an author just uses it for the sake of looking "edgy" or "cool" to her reads, it reflects her as immature. Examples: 1) The mouthy gothic munchkin who liked to drop f-bombs 2) Sassy Amy and Dorothy throwing around the "female dog word. There was really not necessity for this language in the text, and if anything, it distracted me from what I was supposed to be focusing on. Instead of keeping my mind to the details, I was trying to figure out why she used foul language when it wasn't needed. Overall, I felt this story had a complete lack of direction; events occurring in random order, characters coming and going to no real purpose, and conversations between characters rendering completely pointless. I found none of the characters likable, and I was never able to truly visualize any of the characters or settings appearances. Overall, I will not be recommending this book to any of my fellow readers. Furthermore, I highly doubt I will ever read any further installments in this series.
MNG More than 1 year ago
The concept of the book is what drew me in, and I liked the first 90% of the book; however, anyone who says this is fantastic clearly hasn't read the book from cover to cover. The book builds this hero in Amy and in the end it just STOPS. I was so disappointed in that! Not sure if there is a sequel to it, but it seems like there could have easily been much more to the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so awesome. I love how the author is not afraid to totally change the dorothy we know. It is such a great book. Everyone should read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I decided to read the book because it was the serial reads through B&N Readouts and it was different from what I normally read....I'm so glad I did....This book had none stop action and lots of twists and turns...I literally couldn't wait til the next day for them to release the next chapter so I bought it and finished it the same night....I can't wait to start on the next book.... J.M.M
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This Dorothy must die book is to die for i love it. it has that twist that makes it grasp. i cant wait to read 2 and 3 and the prequel novellas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I absolutely recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book deserves 5 stars! Out of all the amazing series I've read - Hush, Hush, Fallen, Twilight, Shiver - this is by far the best I have read! For Wizard of Oz fans, author Danielle Paige does an exceptional job of incorporating the Oz we know with an amazing twist. Phenomenal characters, great twists! You'll be flipping the pages like there's no tomorrow!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Serial. Another nook rook book. Sorry to say wont read the end or others cheated and read last chapter while i dont care for the dark side it was well written and seems she had read more than one oz book such as ozma of oz but i dont read serials because it cheats the reader. You can have a series but serials belong to soaps and magazines
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book, the main character was interesting and totally different from all others because of her attitude and situation, etc.
Anonymous 23 days ago
Nice take on this story. Looking forward to reading all the other books.
Anonymous 7 months ago
We thought we knew the story. The classic story of Oz, but maybe just maybe it happened differently. This was a really different way of telling that Oz story. Dorothy really deserves to die, the depth of how the author took a classic story that we all knew and Made it unexpectedly dark and yet so on the edge of your seat. Evil has a new face and she isn't trying to click her heels and go home. I really can't wait to get my hands on book 2in the series.
18876111 10 months ago
I loved the world building, the concept and how creative this book is. However, I thought that some of the characters could have been more interesting, especially Amy. This book is a unique and different twist on The Wizard of Oz. I will continue with the series as I'm curious to see how it ends.
Anonymous 12 months ago
Such a great twist on the old stories of Oz! I couldn't put the book down! Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When my son bought this book for me, I looked at the title and wondered what he was thinking. I started reading out of obligation, and then couldn't put it down. I liked it so much I purchased book 2....which was equally captivating. I'm starting book 3 and can't wait to get to the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely thrilling read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down until the end. Just wished it would of ended differently. It ends with you hanging on for the rest of the story to be told. If your not into blood shed books then I wouldn't recommend this book to you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this serial read until the end when you find out it's part of a series. I would think a serial read would be a complete book not part of a series. The other books in the series aren't that inexpensive either so I won't be buying them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this read! Kept me flipping pages the entire time till it was over. Definitely be purchasing this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to admit. I like the new twist on the story. Please do not get me wrong , I enjoyed the orginal version of the story, but seized Wing and adult twist on it has made it that much better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the coolest version of the wizard of oz that I've ever read and I hope there will be alot more books in the series in the future. Thanks I absolutely loved it!