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Book Review – Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

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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.

I loved the sound of this as soon as I saw the cover and the title. The overall effect was a little bit creepy and a lot intriguing! I knew I had to read it. Then the blurb confirmed that not only did I have to read it, but I had to read it STRAIGHT AWAY.

There’s no place like anywhere but here.

I felt like every two sentences I was stopping to highlight a section of the page. Honestly I probably could’ve highlighted the whole book at the rate I was going! Yes it probably was greedy of me but I had to keep as much of the writing as I could to read back on. It was so enchanting, so descriptive so utterly imaginative. I was very quickly obsessed. I haven’t had so many quotes that I’ve loved from one book in a looooong time.

I reached out my hand and let some flakes fall into it. It didn’t melt. It wasn’t snow, I realized. It was ash. I looked up at Nox in surprise. “Your fire burned up the sky,” he explained. For a second, I was disappointed. Show would have been so pure and beautiful. But ash made so much more sense with who I was.

This story follows Amy Gumm, high school student from (yep, you guessed it) Kansas. Trailer park raised by a mother with many issues. Smart-assed, scrappy, angry and lonely. Amy is by no means shiny and perfect that’s for sure, but considering the last seemingly perfect person to land in Oz had turned into its worst nightmare I feel it was fitting that Amy was a little rough around the edges. Sometimes with characters like this, especially in the YA genre I get frustrated with their lack of growth, but by the end of this book she really had developed. She still has a way to go but there was definitely change happening. Thanks to that, not to mention her general kick-butt amazingness I was totally team Amy by the end of the book!

“That girl has more cracks in her than the road of yellow brick”

I loved the liberties the author took with the very well known characters from the very well known tale of Oz. If you’re going to take such well known characters and such an iconic story and absolutely turn it on its head then you really need to commit and go full-throttle. Make an impression and prove to us readers why we should believe in this version of events. Absolutely this happened here. I 100% believed the story that was being told here. The familiar twisted with the dark. Dorothy, The Lion, The Scarecrow, The Tin Man, Glinda – all horrifying now in their own way. It’s safe to say I LOVED what was done with these characters.

“Good. Like that means anything around here. I hate to break it to you, but just because someone has pretty hair and good skin tone and a crown instead of a pointy hat doesn’t mean she’s not the baddest bitch this side of the Emerald City.”

“Down is up, up is down. Good is Wicked, Wicked is Good. The times are changing. This is what Oz has come to.”

I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, I loved following this book through having no idea where it was going, no idea who was good and who was wicked, so I won’t ruin that possibility for you. All I will say is if you want to read something a little bit different, with a bit of an edge and a lot of weird then you should definitely give this a go. I do read the Fantasy type genre, but I can’t say I’m a big YA fan, however in this instance I loved it. There are more books to come in this series and I will absolutely be reading on, I seriously can’t wait to see what’s in-store for Oz next.

Dorothy Must Die

By Danielle Paige

 photo credit: Lori Joan via photopin cc

Book Review – Flat-Out Celeste (Flat-Out Love #2) by Jessica Park

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Flat-Out Celeste is the second book in this series. The series is about a family and each book (so far) has been about a different family member. The first book, Flat-Out Love was Matts (Celeste’s older brother) and Julies story. Because I’m ridiculous, I did not read the first book. I saw Flat-Out Celeste pop up on my Goodreads feed, and people were raving about it. I clicked on it and read the synopsis and was instantly hooked. I saw the words “stand alone” and dove in head first. And I am in LOVE with this story and these characters.

For high-school senior Celeste Watkins, every day is a brutal test of bravery. And Celeste is scared. Alienated because she’s too smart, her speech too affected, her social skills too far outside the norm, she seems to have no choice but to retreat into isolation.

But college could set her free, right? If she can make it through this grueling senior year, then maybe. If she can just find that one person to throw her a lifeline, then maybe, just maybe.

Justin Milano, a college sophomore with his own set of quirks, could be that person to pull her from a world of solitude. To rescue her—that is, if she’ll let him.

Together, they may work. Together, they may save each other. And together they may also save another couple—two people Celeste knows are absolutely, positively flat-out in love.

One of my favorite things in the world is stories that have unique and diverse main characters. There’s actually nothing that thrills me more than jumping into a story and discovering that the characters are incredibly interesting and engaging. No boring clichés, no same-same personalities, no standard hot-guy/good-girl mold. It instantly engulfs me in and gets me emotionally invested.

“We all have something. All of us. Every single person in this world has a quirk.”

I adored Celeste. It was clear that the author had spent a lot of time and energy researching her characters. She didn’t just slap a label on Celeste and run with it. It was all extremely well thought out and portrayed in a thought provoking manner. I actually found myself wondering at times what I would have behaved like if I had come across a “Celeste” at high school. I would hope that I would have spent the time trying to understand her but let’s be honest, most high school kids are pretty wrapped up in their own lives.

The connection between Celeste and Justin made me sigh with happiness. They were so understanding of each other and their individual personalities quirks. If I could clone Justin in real life and keep him for myself I would. He was gorgeous (personality wise, but also physically I’m sure). I relished the slow build of their relationship from friends to romance and I loved the time we got to spend getting to know them. Even though these two put me through a full and varied range of emotions, I was so happy with where their story left us.

“There are battles, some greater than others. But they are worth getting through.”

This book is a must-read. It had me feeling every emotion and the characters are some of my favourite now. Even though I don’t think you NEED to read Flat-Out Love first, I would definitely advise it. I loved Flat-Out Celeste so much that I’m going back to read Flat-Out Love. I’m dying to read about Matt and Julies story from the beginning. I’m not sure if the author has more books planned in this series or if she is moving on to other things but I will definitely be checking out more by Jessica Park. 

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”





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