Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

This post contains a review and a bookish manicure

Published June 1, 2014 by Harper Collins AU
Source: the publisher
Rating: 4 stars
From the blurb: 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.

Dorothy Must Die is the debut novel by Danielle Paige. Amy Gumm is a teenager living in Flat Hill, Kansas, along with her mother, who spends her time either heavily medicated or out drinking. Amy is biding her time until she can leave Kansas and find a new and better place to live. Then a tornado sweeps her, their trailer, and her mum’s pet rat, Star, to Oz. But it’s not the Oz we know from the film or book. This Oz is clearly in trouble, the landscape has faded, magic is being mined, the flying monkeys are choosing to cut off their wings. What is the cause of all the trouble? Dorothy, and her need for more and more magic.

I liked Amy from the beginning, she’s determined, loyal, and kind. She hasn’t had the best life, she’s been neglected and she’s quite lonely, but she doesn’t complain. What she does is save her money and think of the future. But that will only get you so far, especially when your mum steals your savings and abandons you right before a tornado. Amy’s reaction to winding up in Oz was so believable, she wonders if she’s dreaming, or if it’s an Oz-themed amusement park. Her magical training was also as realistic as magical training can be, it didn’t just come to her, she had to work at it.

This was such an imaginative version of Oz. I liked that there were so many well-known aspects (the Yellow Brick Road, the Emerald City), but it was also unpredictable and edgy, often violent and cruel. I liked that the harsher aspects weren't tamed for the YA audience, there are some really horrible scenes, but they’re still appropriate for YA. The former good guys, Dorothy, Glinda, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and Lion are now the baddies, and it’s up to Amy, and the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, to fix things.

The only thing that lost me was the ending, with a title like Dorothy Must Die, I had expectations as to how the story would end, and I was not aware this was going to be a series, but after that ending it’s obvious this was just the beginning. It’s not a cliffhanger, but there is lots left to wonder about until the sequel. Also, bonus points for no love-triangle - I thought we might have been heading in that direction, but there was a pleasant twist at the end that proved me wrong!

Dorothy Must Die is a captivating re-telling of a childhood favourite. It’s creative, surprising, and sure to leave you wanting to visit Oz again.

Thank you to Harper Collins my review copy.

I first heard of Dorothy Must Die late last year and loved the cover immediately. In February the author, Danielle, commented on another bookish manicure of mine and said she'd love to see nails for her book. So, I waited patiently for the book to be released here, and six months later, I have nails to match!

I began with 2 coats of Ulta3 Black Satin on all nails.

I added red tips to my nails using acrylic paint.

For Dorothy’s dress, shoes, and bow I used acrylic paint and a fine brush.


  1. The nails are awesome! Love the dress and heels.

  2. Love the nails! I've heard mixed things about this but I still want to check it out. I love the concept.

  3. Glad you really liked this one! it sounds interesting. And adorable nails; that's so cute Danielle wanted nails for her book. I'd want them too, if I was an author. :)

    Oh, and I mentioned you in a post on my's not the newest one, but right before that!

  4. awesome design, stylish and delicate :)

  5. Brilliant nails and great review.... I was initially excited about Dorothy Must Die when I first heard about it and have to say that reading all the reviews of it have put me off more than a bit but you're review has given me back a little hope that I might still enjoy it so thank you xx

    Thea @ Gizzimomo's Book Shelf

  6. Gosh another amazing manicure! You girl are really amazing!!
    But I'm so happy you enjoyed this one!! I have heard really amazing things about it and I haven't read any Oz retelling so I really want to! I like the sound of Amy and I think we'll connect. Great review, Mands :)

  7. Thanks for sharing this honest review with us!
    I'd love to read this book one day! ;)
    The manicure looks also amazing <3

  8. Those tiny heels are adorable! You're an incredible talent Mands <3

    I read this one recently too and absolutely loved it. Growing up, every few weeks I'd pop in the old Wizard of Oz video (because back then for you littlies, there weren't DVD's) and it was magical. I must admit, this book if written by someone else probably wouldn't have worked and might have ended up a bit tacky, but I loved that it was gritty and didn't sugar coat or dull it down either.

    Awesome review Mands <3

  9. I have been wanting to read this one since it came out so I finally booked the author for Wicked. It will be coming up soon. Love the nails.

  10. I feel like readers either wind up enjoying this or...not. I sampled a bit and wasn't into it but perhaps I should give this another shot soon. LOVE the nails, though. The French manicure-esque red is fantastic and the dress is just spot-on. Amazing job, Mandee!

  11. Oh my, those nails are stellar. *awes* I'm really glad that you enjoyed this one! It's a definite favourite book of the year for me. I've never read a Wizard of Oz retelling before, and Danielle Paige just blew all of my expectations away with her realistic gorgeous storyline. I think that many, many more people will come to adore this book as well in the coming future! I just wish that the sequel would be released sooner! Beautiful review and nails, Mandee!

  12. This sounds like an interesting concept, and I do have a soft spot for the Wizard of Oz and tales about it. The nails really work, very effective! Fabulous review and snazzy nails.

  13. I've been meaning to read this one for forever, but let the release date pass me by. I'm happy to hear you enjoyed it. I've read a few middling reviews that made me hesitant to pick it up. I love that it is a bit darker, but I'll probably wait until the series is out.

    Those nails are ADORABLE!

  14. I've wanted to read this for ages, but just haven't gotten to it! I LOVE the sound of it and am excited to hear it doesn't shy away from the darker stuff. :) And yay for liking Amy!

    I loove your nails! The red tips are such a cool touch! :D

  15. Lovely mani as usually Mands! As for the book itself, I'Ve heard a lot of mixed things about this one but the fact that you enjoyed it makes me think it's worth a shot! The darker twist on things sounds brilliant and YAY no love-triangle :D Thanks for the lovely review ^^

  16. Nice to hear you enjoyed this original take on Wizard of Oz. Bummer you weren't expecting a series. Love the manicure too, Mandee! The dress and little shoes and the red stripe at the bottom. Great review and manicure! :)

  17. I absolutely loved this one too Mands! :D I agree that it is SUCH an original adaptation to the original Oz story, and that Paige really puts her own twists on things and makes it that much more wonderful. :) And I too really admired Amy as a protagonist. She was such a good friend and so loyal. Definitely looking forward to seeing how it continues!

    AND OMG! Your nails are FABULOUS! I am so in awe of your artistic talent and your ability to replicate the cover so flawlessly. Thanks for sharing and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

  18. I have been wanting to read this one for a while now. When I first saw this one I thought it was going to be a stand alone also. Oh well.. guess books never are anymore. I think this books sounds really clever and neat. Plus of course the nails are great.

  19. The cover is definitely striking for this book- it's not exactly a loud cover, but it's eye catching and unique and a really neat way that Dorothy's dress we know has been bought in.
    I'm glad that, apart from not realising it was part of a series (which I think quite a few people didn't realise- that always makes an ending really confusing as you wait for the major thing to happen, in this case presumably for Dorothy to die, and then there's just one page left and it doesn't. It can be frustrating, thrilling, awkward.), this was an enjoyable read for you! That it made you relive a bit of the magic of the original is so wonderful! A retelling that does that is really fantastic!
    I don't think I'll be checking it out at the moment, though I'll keep an eye out for reviews of the next books and perhaps they'll change my mind (and I can't wait to see what the next covers look like!).

  20. Ever since I was a child I've LOVED The Wizard of Oz, so I love the concept of this. It sounds so promising so I really hope it delivers. I'm interested to see how it's different from the original OZ. Great Review!

  21. I'm glad that you enjoyed this one, Mands! I am very curious about this book, and the cover is simplistic but gorgeous. And I adore your mani!

    Lovely review <33

  22. Love the nails! I am so curious about this book, keep wanting to pick it up and then never do. I think all the negative things I hear about Fathom Five just puts me off, I didn't want to buy the book and support that. But... IT SOUNDS SO GOOD!!!! I am torn >.<

  23. I have been really curious about this book so I'm pleased you enjoyed it. I love your nails!

    A great review/mani Mandee :-)

  24. I'm really looking forward to see this twisted, darker version of Oz :D

  25. I'm kind of curious about this book but gah SERIES! It does sound like an inventive version of Oz though. Your nails are amazing, ofc. Love the red tips!! X

  26. gorgeous ! amazing dress and manicure !

  27. I really loved this book and the darker twisted version of Oz and Dorothy, it was really creative and imaginative! i was disappointed to get to the end and discover it was only the beginning though. Lovely nails and review as usual!

  28. Absolutely fantastic review, I'm glad you loved it - the twisted version of Oz is soo col! Also, such beautiful nails.

  29. I love the red tips, Mands, and the dress/shoes matches perfectly!

  30. Sounds interesting! Who doesn't love oz?
    Cute tiny heels!

  31. Gorgeous nails/cover combo as usual Mands! I am continually in awe of the detail you can cram onto a nail! So glad to hear you enjoyed this and that a love triangle was averted. I didn't know this was going to be a series either, but I think going into reading it with that knowledge will help me to be less disappointed with the ending. Lovely review!

  32. I loved the beginning and the concept of Dorothy Must Die but I ended up not liking it very much. It kind of ran out of steam for me and I disliked how it ended.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  33. Lovely nails! Love the title and the cover of this book - I have to read it soon:)

  34. The nails are beautiful as always, Mandee! It seems like my comments here always starts with your nails haha - I'm still stunned by the beauty. <3 You really should be a manicure artist - wait, you're already one I guess. ;) Anyways, I'm glad you like this book very much! I'm not very familiar with Wizard of Oz story, but this one sounds like a very good retelling. I might pick it up when I have time. :)

    Fabulous review, dear! :)

  35. I love retellings and an Oz retelling sounds like something I'd love to read. As always, the bookish manicure is FABULOUS! Wow :)

  36. Absolutely LOVE this manicure :)

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  38. Well this is definitely going on my TBR pile. I know you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover but it's so pretty and eye catching, it would make me pick it up in a store if I hadn't heard about it before. And your review has just cemented my desire to read it. Love the nails, as always, great job!
    - Annette


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