[Book Review] Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige

Time to die Dorothy.

Or not.

Yellow Brick War (Dorothy Must Die, #3)

Title: Yellow Brick War
Author: Danielle Paige
Publication Date: March 15th 2016 by HarperCollins
Edition: Paperback
Language: English
Pages: 270
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Retelling
Series: Third Book


Once upon a time, there was a girl from Kansas named Dorothy.

You might know her as the Girl Who Rode the Cyclone. She ended up in Oz, where she became friends with the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion. But the temptation of magic was too much for her.
She let it change her. Her friends became twisted versions of their former selves.

The magical land of Oz is now a dark and menacing place.

My name is Amy Gumm. Tornadoes must have a thing about girls from Kansas, because I got swept away on one too. I also landed in Oz, where Good is Wicked, Wicked is Good, and the Wicked Witches clued me in to my true calling:

Assassin.

The only way to stop Dorothy from destroying Oz—and Kansas—is to kill her. And I’m the only one who can do it.

But I failed. Others died for my mistakes. Because of me, the portal between the worlds has been opened and Kansas and Oz are both in danger. And if I don’t find a way to close it?

Dorothy will make sure I never get to go home again

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THOUGHTS:

This was  better than book 2. But to be honest, with the first book’s original plot, the story could have ended here.

Oh well.

The story picks up immediately where it left off, it’s actually one of the things I like about this series. The first page of the 2nd book would definitely pass as the next page for the ending of the first book, you know?
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
I think the characters were one of the major flaws in this series. There were so many characters, yet, most of them felt flat for me. Even the villains.
Sheesh, only the monkey stood out for me tbh.

“Never a dull moment in Oz.”

When you make a checklist, it’s kind of true that a lot of action has happened/is still happening in Oz. But the writing style isn’t as strong as it used to be. It was fast-paced, yes, but the plot after the first book was just…meh. I didn’t really feel the intensity of the moments. And the plot twists didn’t surprise me either.

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This series has been up and down for me.

I loved book one.

I was utterly disappointed with book two.

And book three was better than book two, but it still can’t follow the wonderful writing that was the first book.

I just hope the last book turns out to be as great as the first one. But with where the story is going, it’s kind of a long shot. I’m still hoping though.

I really like the series’ concept. That’s why I keep reading them despite the flaws I see. If I wasn’t fascinated with the first book’s promise, I would not have continued this series, because it seems that it continues to go downhill, at least for me. I get it, not all books can be perfect. But seeing some great character developments would be fantastic. That, and a stronger plot.

RATING: 3

 

EXCERPT:

It took me a minute to find my own locker-because I didn’t recognize it. It had practically been turned into a shrine. Ribbons looped around the bare metal. Dried flowers were stuck through the vents. Cards and notes were taped to every inch of its surface-“Missing You,” “Come Home Soon,” a heart cut out of construction paper with MISS U AMIE written on it in loopy cursive that looked like a kindergartner’s. Someone had even taped a picture of me with sequins glued in the shape of a heart around my face. Where the photo had come from, I had no idea. Pre-Oz Amy glared balefully out at me in her dirty thrift-store jeans, ready for a fight.

The whole thing made me sick. I wanted to pull the cards and flowers off my locker and throw them to the ground, trample them into scraps. None of these people had given a shit about me until they thought I was dead. Until I’d given them an excuse to feel sad, important, useful. Until I’d finally done something interesting by getting myself killed. My stomach turned over and I flipped my lock through its old combination, the numbers coming to me effortlessly. The more things change, the more they stay the same, I thought bitterly.

“Do you like it? I’m the one who organized the decorating committee.”

No matter how much time I spent in Oz, I’d never forget that voice. I turned slowly. “Hi, Madison,” I said. I mean, what else was I supposed to say?

My mouth dropped open when I saw her. Pregnant Madison was now new-mom Madison, and she beamed with pride at me over the wrinkly faced infant strapped to her chest in one of those weird baby slings that always look like they’re designed to suffocate the kid. Baby or no baby, she was still Madison. She was wearing a hot-pink sequin-covered crop top that bared a surprisingly toned post-baby belly, pink velour track pants with a huge, glittery pink heart over her ass, and pink platform sneakers. She also smelled intensely of strawberry body spray and her lips were slicked with a thick coat of pink gloss.

“If it isn’t Amy Gumm, back from the dead,” she said. “We all thought you were a goner, you know.” She giggled. “Of course, once you weren’t around for a while-you know, I almost missed you. Almost. This is Dustin Jr., by the way.” She patted the baby, who made a burbling noise. Madison’s baby was downright ugly. Then again, I guess most new babies are. He looked like a little old man who couldn’t find his dentures. His cheeks were too fat and his face was squashed-looking, as if someone had stepped on his head. Plus, he was bald as an egg. But I felt bad for him. It wasn’t his fault that his mom was the biggest bitch in Kansas-well, second biggest, now that I was back.

Anyway, I’d long since learned I could tackle bitches way bigger than Madison Pendleton of Flat Hill. Although come to think of it, Madison was as fond of sparkly pink crap as Glinda. Maybe when you signed up for Super Evil Archenemy status somebody sent you a gallon of glitter body spray. Or maybe everybody evil just had the same tacky taste. Either way, I was apparently going to be cursed with a glittery pink nemesis everywhere I went.

“He’s, uh, really cute,” I said. This lying thing was getting easier and easier, wasn’t it? I’d slayed monsters in Oz-she’d just given birth to one.

She smiled, and weirdly, it wasn’t her usual cat-about-to-chomp-down-on-the-canary grin. It was a real smile-almost tender. She looked down at Dustin Jr. and stroked the top of his bald head gently with one finger. “I know,” she said blissfully. “It’s kind of crazy how much stuff can change in a month.”

“Tell me about it,” I muttered. I looked back at my locker. “Thanks for, uh, all this,” I said. For some reason, Madison was not moving.

She shrugged. “I mean, it was the least I could do, you know? I know we didn’t always get along, but I didn’t want for you to, like, die. Honestly . . .” She trailed off, chewing at one pink-manicured nail. I raised an eyebrow. “Honestly, I guess I was kind of a bitch to you sometimes,” she said in a rush. “I mean, you made it easy, you know? You were pretty shitty to me, too. And you kept going after my boyfriend.”

“I did not!” I protested.

She rolled her eyes. “Please,” she said. Her voice took on a high-pitched note. “‘Oh, Dustin, of course I’ll do your algebra. Oh, Dustin, let me tutor you.’ You weren’t even trying to be subtle.”

“He kept asking,” I said.

“Dustin’s not very smart,” Madison said. “But he knows a sucker when he sees one.”

I stared at her, not sure whether to laugh or hit her. Was Madison-in her own weird, mean, Madison way-trying to be friends with me? By making fun of her jock boyfriend? I’d always had a soft spot for Dustin-she was right about that. But she was also right that he wasn’t exactly the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

“Look,” she said, shrugging again. “When you disappeared like that I realized that you’re, like, one of the only interesting people around here. It was boring without you, Sal-Amy.” She popped her finger back in her mouth again, chewing away at her nail and grinning at me. “Gonna be late for homeroom. See you around,” she said, and sauntered away as Dustin Jr. trailed spit down her shoulder.

So that was pretty weird. But it was nowhere close to the weirdest thing that would happen to me that day.

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