FICTION

Dorothy Must Die

464p. HarperCollins. Apr. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062280671; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780062280695.
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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
A tornado deposits misfit teen Amy Gumm's Kansas trailer home in Oz, but this is not the storybook Oz. Dorothy has become a power-hungry, magic-stealing evil princess, and, according to the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, only Amy can stop her. Amy's believable character development and the inventive spin on Baum's famous world propel this entertaining first series installment.

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