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Dorothy Must Die Hardcover – April 1, 2014

507 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Dorothy Must Die Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

Danielle Paige, author of Dorothy Must Die, shares her favorite Oz versions.

It was a thrill for me to write Dorothy Must Die. As a fan of the books, Oz felt like sacred ground. But stepping onto The Yellow Brick Road I saw a million other possibilities stretching out in front of me, some darker and twistier than the Oz we are used to, and I couldn’t resist. Here are some other trips down the Yellow Brick Road that I love.

The Wizard of Oz (1939, movie)
I was smitten from the very first notes of “Over the Rainbow.” The movie is just perfection. I have seen it so many times it’s almost embarrassing. It’s epic and timeless. And I still literally stop whatever I’m doing and watch when I see it on screen, because it’s just that good.

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of The West (1995, book)
Love! I bow to Gregory Maguire! Recasting the Wicked Witch of the West as truly misunderstood, instead of evil, was just a stroke of genius. And the musical is just as satisfying. (I was lucky enough to see it on Broadway with Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth. Just a fabulous production.)

Return to Oz (1985, movie)
It borrows so many deliciously creepy and quirky details from the Baum Books and makes up some new ones of its own. Seeing Mombi and her closet of interchangeable heads floored me.

Tin Man (2007, tv miniseries)
The adorable Zooey Deschanel as DG, a descendant of Dorothy, drawn into the SyFy miniseries version of Oz complete with androids and a shape-shifting Toto! One complaint: not a stitch of gingham on Zooey!

The Wiz (1978, movie)
Just total 70’s fun! Oz looks a lot like New York City. It’s star studded and unapologetic with a young Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow, Diana Ross as Dorothy, and Sidney Lumet directing. And try to get the songs out of your head. “Ease on Down the Road” is so catchy. And “Home” is just one of my all time favorites. (When Kristin Chenoweth sang it on Glee a few years ago, I was so happy!)

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013, movie)
I love a prequel, and this one's visually stunning as well. The character of the Wizard has always fascinated me. He is a study of reinvention—figuring out what makes him tick and how he navigates the world of Oz with a slippery moral compass is inspiring.

From 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

Product Details

  • Series: Dorothy Must Die (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062280678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062280671
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (507 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Danielle Paige is the New York Times bestselling author of Dorothy Must Die, its upcoming sequel The Wicked Will Rise, and the upcoming Stealing Snow series (Bloomsbury, 2016). In addition to writing young adult books, she works in the television industry, where she's received a Writers Guild of America Award and was nominated for several Daytime Emmys. She is a graduate of Columbia University and currently lives in New York City. You can find her on

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#91 in Books > Teens
#91 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Jamie E. on September 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I want to start off by saying that when I started this book I what I would think if it. My twisted sense of curiosity is what got the best of me on this one and I am glad it did. Lots of twisted and backwards adventure to be found here!

Amy Gunn is your average girl who has been dealt a bad hadn at life. She has no friends (thanks to nasty Ms. Madison), her father left when she was young and her mom is is a druggie. She wants nothing more than to get away from her crappy trailer life. Well she gets her wish; just no how she expected it.

Welcome to Oz. But not how we know it. Yes the happy movies and the book is based on what had taken place but the story didn't end there...Dorothy came back and apparently became power and magic hungry. Glinda is a horrible slave driven, the munchkins are back to living in fear worse than with the witches. The beloved Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion are mutated and twisted into something atrocious! And many other twists await!

Let me give warning: DO NOT get attached to characters. There is a fair share of death in this book. And the first one I read has me very distrustful of bubbles right now and was gross! so unpleasant death at that! You have been warned...

Then we get the fun job of attempting to figure out who to trust. Everyone tells Amy to trust no one. So that sends a firm message that has me wondering through the entire book. Many characters seem to have ulterior motives and secrets. So Amy has to train and learn to fight, control magic all while wondering what is going on and why.

Danielle Paige has done a great job with character creation. Nox, Glamora, and other fantastic new characters are in this book. Amy I felt could have been a bit better.
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71 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Leeanna Chetsko VINE VOICE on May 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I like fairytale retellings a lot; I’ve read dozens and dozens. But DOROTHY MUST DIE is my first retelling of THE WIZARD OF OZ. Well, my first book retelling. I really liked Tinman, Syfy’s redo. So I was hoping for something along that line.

I should have *loved* DOROTHY MUST DIE. Instead of the colorful, happy, Munchkin-filled, joyous land we remember from the movie, Oz has turned into a desolate wasteland. Glinda uses Munchkins as slave labor, mining magic from Oz so Dorothy can have it. Oh yeah -- Dorothy returned to Oz because Kansas just wasn’t good enough after her adventures. Instead of a wholesome farm girl, Dorothy’s a powermad princess, and has remade Oz in her vision. That? All good. I love that sort of stuff.

But I didn’t love DOROTHY MUST DIE. It’s a book with great ideas but poor execution. It’s basically 469 pages of setup for the rest of the series. The title should be “Dorothy Almost Dies” or a “A Primer of Oz History Under Dorothy.” The beginning of the book caught my attention, the middle put me to sleep, and the end left me saying, “that’s it?”

Amy, our sarcastic, unwilling hero is brought to Oz in a tornado. Even in its current condition, Oz is a step up from home, where she lives in a trailer park with her addict mother and is bullied by the popular girls at school. Amy’s an unlikely hero. When she’s rescued by a group of Wicked witches, she doesn’t take their word for it that she’s the only one who can kill Dorothy. Amy’s an okay character. She did some stupid things, which I always dislike, but I thought she also reacted realistically to the situations she got herself in.

My biggest problem with DOROTHY MUST DIE is that not a lot happens. For a book of its length, there should be a *lot* more going on.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful By ChibiNeko VINE VOICE on April 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I'd first heard about this book, I'd been ready to dismiss it. Why? Because it's the latest in a long line of novels released through James Frey's fiction factory, Full Fathom Five. I hadn't really kept up with everything he'd released, as there were quite a few books and I'd never been truly impressed with his initial offering, I Am Number Four. It squeezed in far too many elements that are overused in the YA genre of the time period. Now don't get me wrong: I know that FFF-esque production companies have been around forever and are more common than you'd think. I'm not dismissing it because of that, just that in my experience most of the books released through companies of this type are so laden with cliches and tired tropes that they aren't really that memorable later on down the line... at least not for anything overly positive.

So when I picked up a free sample of this via a local bookstore, I was actually fairly surprised at how much I actually enjoyed it. So much so, that when I got the chance to pick up an ARC I actually jumped at it.

Don't get me wrong: you can easily see where elements of this are clearly calculated to appeal to the current YA market. All of the hallmarks of the average book are here. Love interest in the first book? Heroine with a tragic past? Yup and yup. Using the tried and true "Bad Is Good And Good Is Bad" and "What is Evil?" tropes? Yep, that's here too. Readers won't find much here that isn't already used fairly heavily in similar and similar-ish themed books. It also doesn't help that you can also see where this was planned out with the intent to turn it into a big blockbuster film or TV series ala IAK4, as there are several scenes that are fairly lavish in their description.
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