We’re Reading: Dorothy Must Die

Amanda and Holly read Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige (in three parts). Thank you to Harper360 for the sending copies for us to read together!


Check out the book trailer if you want a quick overview – in short, Dorothy has gone bad, Oz is a mess, and another girl from Kansas takes a trip to Oz via tornado.

First Third, Through Page 155



I think this book is hilariously creative.The Kansas cliches are one of the best parts – totally overdone, but I think that goes along with the irony of this whole story. I mean, we’ve got the trailer park, addict mom, disappeared dad, pregnant teenage bully, not to mention a town called Flat Hill, Kansas. (Note: not a real place.)

I agree, hilariously creative. And brave. I mean you’re messing with Dorothy and Glinda-Oz itself. Judy freaking Garland. This could have really upset people. I love fairy tale retellkngs (Kill Me Softly, Indexing) so this is perfect for me. I do wish I knew more about the Oz books besides Dorothy- maybe I’ll hit Wikipedia before reading the next 1/3…

So, I was listening to an interview with M.T. Anderson talking about how he wrote Feed(TBR pile!) in the future, because one of the hard things about writing contemporary stories, especially YA, is that cultural references become dated so quickly. So, while I loved that Paige threw in details like “one of those blankets with sleeves that Mom had ordered off TV with money we didn’t have,” I wonder how long that Snuggie reference will resonate with readers.

That’s funny.  I did giggle at the Snuggie reference, but you’re right.  Who knows how long we’ll remember those.

Also, um, were YA books always so violent? I honestly can’t remember if there was so much killing and fighting in the genre. Did it start with The Hunger Games? Before that? I mean, it’s downright formulaic:

 1. Hero/ine gets involved in some sort of organized fighting scene

2. Training. There’s always training.

3. Much blood and bruising

4. Someone fights someone to the death.

Examples? The Hunger Games, Divergent, His Fair Assassin. Hmm, I suppose even Harry Potter, because what’s Dumbledore’s Army besides an organized fighting training group. Is that where this started?

Isn’t adolescence in and of itself difficult enough without every story being about someone having to fight someone? Are all teenagers harboring latent violent tendencies these days, or what?

I don’t know that I think the violence is new, I mean you go back as far as Ender’s Game and you get the children being trained up for war.  I think its just HOT right now as a trend thanks to the HG, Divergent -and I could go on and one into dystopians.  I know! What we need is John Green to write a dystopian! That will blow minds.

Anyway, that said I am completely creeped out by the Tin Man and what I hear of the scarecrow.  I can’t wait to get back into Oz.  I’m not sure I want Amy to be an assassin yet.  I know Dorothy sounds like bad news, but to go from poor Kanas girl to killer?  I’m not sold.

Follow along as we continue the next 33.3% tomorrow!

PS-How cool is this cover?  I love it!


  1. The cover is awesome. As is the title, and I even liked the back blurb! I thought the story was good, but not great. Like, I loved the creepy version of the Wizard of Oz. But by the end I kind of felt cheated, like the blurb wasn’t very accurate.

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