the process of becoming

a blog for twenty-somethings trying to navigate the world and follow your dreams

thoughts on Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

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So many book reviews! I have been on a reading role. 

It’s like, because I’m doing so much processing and thinking, I really need to time to just escape into another world and take a break from my life — a world that I can put down at a moment’s notice. I’ve found that it’s very relaxing and good for me, as long as I don’t make it a manic habit.

I’ll try not to make this primarily a book blog, but bear with me! But also I think reading is therapeutic for the recent college grad – finally something you can choose to do on your own time. However, I am thinking of condensing reviews/thoughts on books into one post per, say, three books. If that would be preferable, let me know!

WickedsmallWe all know Dorothy’s story in the classic tale The Wizard of Oz, but what about the other side of the story? Meet Elphaba, the little green girl who grows up to be the Wicked Witch of the West and discover a gripping tale set in Maguire’s fantastical world of Oz. 

Now, this book is kind of old news, though it’s the popular Broadway musical starring Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth that made this book the rage a few years ago. However, I made the mistake of – ahem – never having seen The Wizard of Oz OR (you heard me) Wicked, the Musical before reading this book. And I say mistake because maybe I would have loved it more or understood it more had I already been introduced to Oz.

I found myself steeped in description and confusing language all explaining a land I have very little connection to. I know the Musical’s songs, yes, but I was banned from the movie as a child and have never made the effort to see it since (something my husband has decided to change). I read it because I was very curious about the story, and the book had been recommended to me.

I found the theme of “what is the true nature of evil?” question from the book’s description to be very intriguing, especially when, as I read on, I found I kind of liked Elphaba. But on a different note, I wasn’t able to like her completely because sometimes Maguire painted her so flat. I felt so many characters lacking and their motivations fuzzy. Much of the book was very confusing. I think overall that Maguire is actually a genius in the background story he came up with for the Witch, but some of it flew right over my head, and his writing style is definitely not for me. I had to read other reviews and answered questions to understand some of the elements it was unclear if he explained (I wasn’t about to go back through the book to figure them all out). A few things did not seem plausible or believable to me, but hey – it’s a magical land called Oz. I’m sure that gives him the right to fuzzy a few things. I’m sure if I read it again I would probably understand.

Lastly, as a disclaimer for those who want, two things: cussing and sexual elements.

Thus, it didn’t make for a kid’s story but was an overall pleasant read for the background of the Wicked Witch of the West. The short-version lesson I learned was that things are not always as they seem, and even the most broken stories can be beautiful.


Author: Wallsah

I'm a not-your-average 20-something creative, writer, editor, and thankful wife. I drink books as much as coffee and bask in the sound of rain.

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