Monday, June 1, 2015

Dorothy Must Die + The Wicked Will Rise: Review :)

"There's a new girl in town. And she has a mission."

(Spoilers ahead! Proceed with caution!)
*I suggest reading the books first because spoilers*
Thanks a lot for lending @WalkinLibrary !

I've been wanting to start this series since like- forever. But I don't really know why this series got stuck at the bottom of my TBR pile. Probably it was lack of time or maybe it's because there are other books which I prioritized.

One day, however, a new friend of mine (Hi Apollo! *waves*) offered to lend me his copies of the series after I've mentioned wanting to read them. And I'm glad he gave this little push to get me started!

I'm so excited to share my thoughts because feeeeeeeels! Brace yourselves, it's going to be one loooooong post! And yes, probably my longest post ever. (forgive the overuse of .gifs. It's the only way I could convey my emotions with this loss for words feeling)

*I repeat, this review is peppered with spoilers. I highly recommend NOT reading it if you do not want to be spoiled :) 

TITLE: Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die#1)
AUTHOR/s: Danielle Paige
PUBLICATION DATE: 1st of April, 2014
GENRE: YA Fantasy, Retelling
AVAILABLE AT: Amazon | The Book Depository

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 bluebirds. 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 yellow brick road - 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.

First, that cover is gorgeous! I mean, it gets the theme of the story. And it's gorgeous (that needs to be stressed out.) I've always been a fan of retellings...and The Wizard of Oz...and Wicked (you know the book and the one with "Defying Gravityyyyyyyy!!" yes, that one.) 

So when I heard about this, I was like...

Anyway, post-reading assessment, Dorothy Must Die exceeded my expectations (because it has received some sort of mixed reviews) Danielle Paige's world building was soooo on point! That little cutesy, glittery, magical Oz you once knew as a kid? Nope. Poof. Gone.

Oz was a whole level of creepy itself but the addition of whip-like vines, mutilated monkeys, and *gasps* PERMA-SMILE will definitely make you wish for a cyclone to get you out of that place.
Yep, it's that nightmare-ish. 

But what happened? 

More like, who happened? 

Well, basically, Dorothy happened and the magic was sucked out of Oz. (quite literally)


While we're at it, ahhh Dorothy. Innocent, sweet, little Dorothy. NOT. In this version of Oz, everything and everyone's twisted. Think you know Dorothy? The Tin Woodsman? The Scarecrow? Glinda? Not a chance. They're every synonym of bad and psycho all rolled into one, I tell you.

This scared the Oz out of me. 
But let's focus on the new girl herself: Amy Gumm. She's one of the most amazeballs character I've read so far (and that's saying a LOT, mind you) She felt actually real and...normal. She feels scared, acknowledges her weaknesses, babbles when nervous, gets crushes (more to that later), and is just plain relatable. Amy did/said what most of us would probably do/say in her shoes that's why you'll really be rooting for her. Plus, through the help of the Order, we actually see her acquire her skills through tea parties (yes.), hard work, sweat, and blood. Lots and lots of blood.

There were certain scenes that made me squirm because GORE (the book isn't all UBER gore but every time there is one, I can say that it's effective. Very.) The mouse incident and the one with Jellia at the party were just really *shudders* Aside from the gore (which, by the way, weren't put there simply to be gory but it enhances the characterization), prepare for the incoming deaths. Lots of them.

On another note, some little romance here and there were thrown in but not really developed (WHY?!) Initially I was torn between the two "love interests" but the end... well it's revealing. I had to double take on one part because the LI that I was actually rooting for was..uhh..whatever. (I'm reserving the big guns [AKA real spoilers] for the second part of the review.)

Overall, the first book in this installment is definitely amazing. Humor, gore, fantasy, adventure, romance, it's all you could ask for. And as a fan of reading something that pulls the rag from under me, I can say that the plot twists here are really really REALLY PLOT TWIST-Y. I want to say more but the english dictionary has yet to come up with an adjective to describe my feelings for this book.


5/5 rating! :)


TITLEThe Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die#2)
AUTHOR/s: Danielle Paige
PUBLICATION DATE: 30th of March, 2015
GENRE: YA Fantasy, Retelling
AVAILABLE AT: Amazon | The Book Depository

In this sequel to the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die, who is good—and who is actually Wicked?

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.

After a tornado swept through my trailer park, I ended up in Oz.

But it wasn't like the Oz I knew from books and movies. Dorothy had returned, but she was now a ruthless dictator. Glinda could no longer be called the Good Witch. And the Wicked Witches who were left? They'd joined forces as the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, and they wanted to recruit me.

My mission?

Kill Dorothy.

Except my job as assassin didn't work out as planned. Dorothy is still alive. The Order has vanished. And the home I couldn't wait to leave behind might be in danger.

Somehow, across a twisted and divided land, I have to find the Order, protect the true ruler of Oz, take Dorothy and her henchmen down—and try to figure out what I'm really doing here.

Just a quick .gif flood to summarize what I felt throughout the book:

Yep. Lots and lots and lots of feeeeeeels! Both the "asdfghjkl my fangirl heart squeals" kind of feels and the "hold me I'm dying why must I go through this emotional wreckage" kind of feels (We'll get to that later, though)

ANYWAY! Moving on.

If you think that Danielle Paige's version of Oz could not get any darker, then you're mistaken. Horribly mistaken. (Just look at that beautiful-as-always cover and tell me you don't think it's getting darker.)

In The Wicked Will Rise, we journeyed throughout the other more beautiful and more terrifying parts of Oz with our not-so-little-anymore heroine, Amy Gumm. Here, things for her started to get...darker (literally) as she struggled with the evilness and darkness that she's surprisingly enjoying to use. It's actually scary realizing how you're turning into the monster (again, quite literally) that almost everyone's afraid you'll be; that no matter how hard you deny it, you know that deep down you have that wickedness inside you.

If you haven't seen Amy's character development in book 1 (which is quite obvious), then you'll surely see it here. But the thing is, as she developed into something more, Amy also looks back on what she really was. Who she really is, in the first place. That's a good thing, especially when she's all confused whether she really is a Good or a Wicked witch.

Amy would also want the answer to that, thank you very much.

New characters were introduced and old ones make some reappearance  *squeee* I particularly enjoyed the sassiness of Queen Lulu (she's a monkey btw) but I was also touched by her motherly love for our Royalty, Ozma. It was just so...awwwww <3 

Aside from Lulu, we meet a rainbow fairy (and her "unicorn"), Polychrome. Here's the thing. I see most readers adored her though I really don't. Okay, maybe a bit but only during the part where she played scientist/doctor. It's sooo cool! But aside from that (and aside from the fact that she didn't kill Amy for her idiocy.), I saw her as just a plain supporting character that helped the story moved forward. In fact, I enjoyed reading more of her consort, Bright.

There would be rainbows...and unicorns...

If there's one character I didn't actually "feel", it's probably *wait for it* Ozma. I know right? "How can you not like Ozma, like omg!" There's nothing wrong with her character, really. It's just that I felt..bored reading about her. Sure, I understand how vital she is in all of these (though we don't really know exactly why) but I just really don't get into her. What I liked about "Ozma" is her other part, though (more to that in a bit)

Now we come to a part where I am most excited and at the same time worried about because this is the part where my inner black sheep reveals itself: The Romance.

*Here's where the big-gun spoilers are coming. Hide if you must!*

First is a character we saw a bunch during the first book: Nox. Oh the brooding love interest, Nox. I like him a lot, okay? As a character has said: "Who can resist an angry, tortured rebel type? Especially when he's - you know...extremely attractive." 

I know I couldn't. (Well, I couldn't stand some who go over the top but those who has it in the right amount? Count me in!)

Most reviews I've seen don't really like Amy-Nox pairing even in the first book (and most of them hated its inclusion in the second one) but I did enjoy it quite a lot. They were awkward and funny and IT WAS EXPLORED enough in the second book without taking the spotlight off the fact that they were in a WAR. Sure, there weren't too much chemistry between the two but what would you expect between two 'soldiers' who were trained to be heartless? Besides, despite her crush, Amy didn't let it hold her back from speaking her mind against him.

But I'm saving the best for last. This character has been my favorite ever since book 1 and he's the one I've been shipping with Amy so hard! (Though sometimes Nox swayed me to his side especially that scene where he got all jealous over Bright or when he was all sweet and adorable or basically when he showed his softer side *squeee*) Enough of that. It isn't about Nox. It's about the mysterious pop-in-pop-out gardener. Yep, right. Pete

He's one of the characters that I considered complex in the story. Though there were only little exposure of him in the first book, The Wicked Will Rise made up for it. Big time. He was all mysterious and full of secrets and cryptic lines. Pete was definitely DEFINITELY full of surprises throughout the whole two books. Danielle Paige kept blowing holes in my ship with all her plot twists revolving Pete's character. But what burned my ship to the ground was THE revelation. 

During that scene, when Amy and Pete you know.. kissed? Well my fangirl heart died. It's like "MY SHIP'S SAILING!!!" 

However, after a few minutes of hyperventilating (I actually took a break 'cause I need some air), everything shattered when Pete pulled away. Why? *wait for it.....*

Because he's GAY. 

Okay. Okay, really. I don't have anything against gays (I love them!  Not one of them but I do support LGBT) but really Danielle Paige? You give us the scene where Amy and Pete bonded over the beautiful "swimming pools" and all that hand holding, touching, and built us everything else just to say that they can't be a possibility because Pete thinks that Nox is "extremely attractive"? (Please don't tell me he likes Nox. Just no.) I would've appreciated Pete's reason that he wanted to do it the "right way" and not when Nox is still in Amy's head but saying that he's gay? *cries in a corner*

Basically, I LOVE Pete. His backstory was awesomesauce (and witty, I may say) and he's adorable *whines* What I couldn't handle was his betrayal. I won't get into that. It's too painful. WHY DAINIELLE PAIGE WHY? 

Oh well. Case as it is, I guess it's time for Nox to have my undivided support now. Fingers crossed that the third book won't make me regret my decision of shipping Nox/Amy. (Of course I still love Pete. Just saying.)

Overall, even though I wouldn't want to admit it, the rollercoaster emotional ride was amazing! It drew out genuine emotions out of me (which is becoming hard to do these days) and that's a good thing. An amazing thing even.
5/5 rating! :)

Whew. That review was tiring. (NO REGRETS THOUGH!)

I won't make this any more longer than it already is. But I couldn't wait to get started on the complimentary stories! 

Just read these two and join me in waiting for 2017 (which is the supposed release of the third book in the trilogy. I don't know if I could wait.)


  1. oops, I nearly read the whole thing until I saw the "prepped with spoiler..." sign! mini heart attack there! I saw the label, 5 stars! and now I added it into my TBR! :) woot! stoked to read this! is this a Trilogy? :)

    -JM @

    1. Hi there JM!

      I could say that the first part of the review (the Dorothy Must Die one) is a bit safe haha :) Maybe you could check it out just to get the curiosity burning? ;)

      Anyway, yes I believe this one's a trilogy (if Goodreads is telling the truth). I think the series isn't exactly for everyone. Depends on the reader. But I really really highly recommend it! It's awesomesauce! Hope you get the chance to start on these soon! :)

      Thanks for dropping by! :D



Thoughts? :)