So like Dorothy Must Die, this is the second time I've read this book. Last time I enjoyed the book (it's one of my favorites), but I didn't like it as much as DMD. This time, it was the same reaction, although I enjoyed it more this time.
Some of the things that I haven't enjoyed either time around:
-The length. DMD was about 150 pages longer that WWR. I love when books are longer because I feel like things can happen at a more appropriate pace, and nothing feels rushed, which leads me to...
-The ending felt very rushed. The entire book, we're making our way through different places in Oz, fighting a battle here and there, and then all of a sudden, we're back in the Emerald City fighting the biggest battle yet and then we're back in Oz and everything happened so fast, your head is spinning.
-One of my biggest issues is that Amy is suddenly pining for Nox. In DMD, yeah, they had a kiss-just one kiss-but it wasn't anything special, it wasn't true loves kiss. But YA novels have this standard that they are supposed to meet, and one of them is a love interest, but here, it felt like this love came out of nowhere. I liked Amy more when she was an independent badass than when she is wishing she was with Nox.
-Star is murdered by the Lion at the beginning of the book! I hate when the animals die in books, you know, unless they're evil, like the Lion. I don't feel that this death moved the book forward in any way. Amy already had enough motive to do her mission, Star could have lived. This is a bigger issue than Amy suddenly being boy crazy.
Those things aside, it's still a great book. We learn more about the different areas of Oz that make this fairytale land even more real. One of the first places is the Queendom of the Wingless and meet Queen Lulu. I love Lulu. She reminds me of that eccentric aunt who always tells you what she thinks, but always has your back when you're fighting with your mom. And I'm jealous that she can get away with throwing bananas at people. Honestly, I wish the Queendom was a real place. I imagined it sort of like jungle that the lost boys live in in the movie Hook, which is another place I wish was real. I wish we could have spent a little bit of more time there, but Mombi had to come along and tell Amy to move on.
The Island of Lost Things sounds like paradise! Maybe I'd find some things that I'll never find again! And here, we meet Bright, who in Baum's books annoyed the hell out of me, but here, I love him! I have definitely met a few Bright's in my life. Bright leads us to probably the prettiest place in all of the worlds, the Glass Castle on the rainbow and we meet Polychrome and Heathcliff. I feel like we could have spent some more time here with these people before Glinda kills Poly and Heathcliff. This is also when we learn that we seriously can't trust Pete, who I haven't trusted since he ditched Amy by the side of the crater.
The best thing about reading the book this time was not having to wait for Yellow Brick War to come out. I finished this book Friday night and jumped right away into the next. Even though the ending feels rushed, it's an extreme cliffhanger. We're left in Kansas with Glamora holding out a robe saying "It's time," and Dorothy in a heap on the ground, and the Wizard just exploded.
My hopes with YBW is that we will finally learn who we can and can't trust (I have a feeling that we can't trust Nox); that Amy learns to control her magic; and I really want Amy to end up in Kansas, or at least our world, and that she is happy with life.
Pages: 293 (hardback)
Genre(s): Fantasy, Young Adult, Retellings
Books in the Series: 3 primary works; 6 novellas
How Likely Am I to Suggest it to Someone: Extremely, very likely!