My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Buddy read with Emma.
'It's not magic that makes you who you are.'
Recently, I've come across a lot of fairy-tale retold in young-adult books. When I was young, I never fancied fairy-tales. I was not the amongst the girls who wanted to be Cinderalla or Snow White. I didn't wish to be a princess because I already was a little princess in my family. Instead I wanted to be a cool spy or a brave police officer. It did not change even when I grew older. I don't particularly dislike fairy-tales, but I never was very fond of them. It never changed, but I seemed to enjoy retells more than the original story itself. Cinder, the first book of the Lunar Chronicles is my favourite. I expected Dorothy Must Die to get the same when I heard that it was a young-adult retell. If not for a buddy read, I'd probably have skimmed past the rest because this book is a disgrace to the original.
Amy is a teenager from Kansas, who is bullied at school and unmotivated mother, living is a dump. Amy, like Dorothy from the well-known Wizard of Oz, stumbles into a whole knew adventure. Guess what? Our protagonist from the Wizard of Oz is characterised as the antagonist. She is ruining the world, and Amy must kill her. Is there anyone else other than me who thinks that this book has the most asinine plot?
'Simple. You're just going to kill her.' She looked right at me and said, 'Dorothy must die.'
Let's start with the plot itself. I recently finished Wizard of Oz, and I fail to see any sort interesting connection between that. There is Amy from Kansas - same as Dorothy, and Dorothy herself - characterised quite the contrary. You can find a handful of things from there which were picked up from the classic and dropped into a prosaic young-adult story. No, when I heard from a fan, I thought it would be at least a little plausible. Wizard of Oz cannot be considered a plausible plot, but for the sake of fantasy, yes. This should have at least the minimum amount of plausibility in the classic. Be more realistic.
'I'm not Nox.'Did Nox just say he remembered everything but his name? He remembers his parents, their voices, *their smell* but he does not remember his name. Dig deeper and you will find that it had been 'washed away with them'. That is not how you personify. Firstly, it is more plausible if he remembers nothing except one from that list. Or he remembers his name and nothing else. It is highly implausible for him to remember everything but his name. He even remembers the back story behind it! Doofenshmirtz is jealous.
'Nox is just the name Mombi gave me. I don't remember my real name. I remember my parents. Their faces. The way they smelled and sounded. I remember the day that they were taken from me. But my name washed away with them. And there's no one alive who remembers it.'
'I want yours to be, Amy.'
Next, why was Dorothy portrayed as the antagonist here again? If you're going to give me the behind every hero is a greater hero trash, then you've got to be kidding me. A hero exists in every person - I do believe in that, but I disagree when you say that one book character can have a person better than him somewhere. The characters, of course, must never be immaculate, but making someone superior to them and suddenly turning them unchivalrous does not earn my admiration. I like it when they are given the same traits, or their entire story is different. Dorothy is a nice person; turning her into the Wicked Witch of the West has earned my chagrin. Moral of the story: Do not turn Dora the Explorer into the Wicked Witch of the West.
'You have to kill Dorothy, Amy.'
Let me continue with the characters. Amy Gumm is one of the most annoying protagonist I had to share a literary journey with. Why you ask? It's because she is just a pretentious and irrational teenager with no amiable qualities whatsoever. She is bullied at school, and ta-daa: her mum abuses drugs. She meets some strangers, has lessons with an eccentric and viola! She is assigned the task to kill Dorothy. You'll die of shock when you heard what made them choose her:
'When I first saw you, Amy Gumm, your hair was the thing that gave me hope for you. For all of us.'Am I the only one who finds it absurd, or has everyone else accepted this? When I read this one, my reaction was pretty much similar to Amy's. Seriously? Honestly, how often do you find people who think that a person with good hair can save the entire world. Maybe you should knock in some sense into you characters. I do agree there are many airheaded and silly characters I've liked and accepted, but don't mix absurdity if you're trying to be serious.
My next problem is lack of detailed description. The writing style did not appease me, but what's worse: no detailed description. I hate to break it to you, but putting a full stop after every two words and breaking the sentences is not very interesting. Also, a couple of things were best if they were elucidated better so that they give a more clear picture, and make better sense.
'What is wrong with that woman?' I asked Nox as if escorted me to dinner on the night of my first lesson with Glamora. He took the books she'd given me and they dematerialized into thin air — I presumed back to my room where I could study them later.So according to this, Nox just took the books from Amy and the books dematerialized into the air. Isn't there a missing link here? Shouldn't there be some sort of magic power that he used or something? If there is nothing, then everything he takes will dematerialize and go to some random place. And.... That wouldn't be very nice, would it? Especially if it's food or a book. I tried to take the literal meaning of that, and the sentence has given a vague and irrational meaning.
He looked at me wryly. 'You got yourself beat up and you're learning how to do magic — but you're mad about reading a couple of books?'
How do I start with the asinine dialogues?
'Salvation Amy's jealous. She wishes this were her baby.'Okay, how exactly did someone else decide what you're thinking? And that Amy is jealous about someone else being pregnant: I don't think so. Let's try to ignore the fact that they are still in school. Tell me this is just a dream. I certainly cannot bear with any more of these jejune dialogues.
'Never underestimate a girl who Kansas.'Quick question: Are people from Kansas patronised? I've heard - 'Never underestimate a skinny girl,' 'Never underestimate the power of a common person,' but 'Never underestimate a girl from Kansas'? Is being from Kansas a good thing or a bad thing? Well, I wouldn't go to California, speak with my posh accent, spell words with a 'u' in it, top the class and say, 'Never underestimate a girl from London.'
How about some random extracts I found absurd?
'Not so talented after all, are you? Just another outlander who thinks she's special.'Say something positive about the book? Well, I have nothing positive to say about this! I'd rather delete my playlists and download all Taylor Swift songs, and listen to it for 16 whole hours.
'What's underneath is everything, Amy. But that doesn't mean you can't enhance it. Beauty has its own kind of magic. And the appearance of something can have power, too.'
Please do not even mention the second book. If it is going to be the same, I'd rather stay at school and listen to my boring principal's tedious speeches for two whole hours.
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