In this loose re-imagining of the Wizard of Oz, Kansas teen Gail Dorjee has tried to escape from the pain of her parents' death by retreating into a hard shell of anger and sarcasm.
When her aunt and uncle ship her off to an elite Seattle boarding school, Osland Academy, she spends her first day making enemies, including the school's most powerful clique, the Winged, and their leader, the ruthless Diana.
Social war and the school's uptight teachers are only mild annoyances. Mysterious phone outages, bizarre behavioral blocks, and strange incidents suggest Osland is focused on something much more sinister than education.
Now Gail has to survive at Osland with a pretty pathetic assortment of potential allies: her airhead roommate, a cowardly victim of the Winged, and Diana's cold but handsome boyfriend, Nick.
Genre: YA Fantasy/YA Paranormal
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
An enthralling, modern take on the Wizard of Oz told through the captivating voice of Gail Dorjee. You get the whimsical aspects of the old story that are expertly interlaced with new twists that will have the characters eagerly reading to the end.
I think we all know the characters and plot line of the Wizard of Oz, but just to do a minor recap(without giving anything away): We meet the reminiscent characters, the courageless, the brainless, the heartless along with many other important characters. The group comes across trials and tribulations also reminiscent of the forever loved tale of the Wizard of Oz, but it carries all on it's own with added paranormal twists and a little, barely-there romance that is a great set-up for the adventures to come. A journey of self-discovery along with the battles of good vs. evil. J.A. Beard will keep the readers guessing, never alluding to the ending even though this is a re-imagining of a famous story. He expertly keeps the story fresh and extremely interesting, told from the perspective of a fierce, anger-ridden teen that many readers will fall in love with. J.A. Beards brilliant, vivid imagery will help transport the reader as the story takes place.
I only had on minor issue, it seemed that the author started The Emerald City as a story in the third perspective, but then changed it to first person. There were some 'she's' or 'hers' instead of 'me's' or 'mine's'. This however, did not overtly detract from the story, it was only mildly bothersome.
I recommend The Emerald City to every and all readers regardless of age or gender. This is an epic adventure that you are not going to want to miss out on!