Saturday Smackdown: DOROTHY MUST DIE by Danielle Paige


Once a week, editor Nicole Brinkley breaks down book trailers and explains whether they’re championship material or worth tossing in the trash. This week, she looks at the book trailer for Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige.

Everybody who reads Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige seems to really love them. I can understand why. Retellings – be they the fairyland world of Oz or an actual fairytale – are so much fun to read about. Or watch. Or heard sung. Really, they’re engaging in any kind of medium.

Which is why the trailer for this particular book series makes me cringe, because it doesn’t add a thing to the story.

In Dorothy Must Die, Amy Gumm is recruited from her home in Kansas to destroy Dorothy’s allies and ultimately kill Dorothy herself, after Dorothy returned to the land and seized power.

That plot summary is explained on the flap of the hardcover and the back of the paperback versions of the book. It’s also explained in the trailer. But while, in its physical form, you get the rest of the book, with the trailer, you get… nothing.

You get the same summary you’d see on the book, and that’s it.

Don’t get me wrong – the visuals are simple and pretty enough, and if somebody is stumbling through YouTube book trailers in an attempt to find something to read, this might enchant them enough to take a peek at the book. But most readers most don’t discover books from book trailers – they discover them from their favorite YouTubers, or reviewers, or from friends sharing their books; if they wanted to see the book trailer for Dorothy Must Die based on a friend’s recommendation, they wouldn’t learn much more than what summary their friend gave them.

And that’s the biggest problem with this trailer. You invested time and money into something that is almost exactly what’s on the back of the book. It doesn’t add to it the vibe of the world. It doesn’t give me an idea of what I might see, or what suspense hangs around the corner, or what the characters look like or act like. It gives me the exact summary I could have read elsewhere and slapped some pretty graphics on it to try and keep my attention.

This particular trailer doesn’t deserve a title shot. It’s nowhere near ready to hold a championship belt.

What do you think of the Dorothy Must Die trailer? Sound off in the comments below!

Join our YA newsletter:

No spam guarantee.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

About Author

Nicole Brinkley

Nicole is the editor of YA Interrobang. She has short hair and loves dragons. The rest changes without notice. Follow her on Twitter at or Tumblr at . Like her work? Leave her a tip.

Comments are closed.