Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West - Gregory Maguire Wicked wasn't what I was expecting (it's like the opposite of a fairy tale), but once I got over that initial surprise it was really good. I had only seen the Wizard of Oz movie so I guess I was expecting a bright happy Technicolor world like that. It has adult themes and language which was kind of a shock (again, I was expecting kind of a kids book, not “dragon-snaking” and the kinky Philosophy Club), but I guess that helps make it grittier and more "Elphaba's world." Maguire’s descriptions are graphic and realistic rather than the romantic and dreamy feeling one gets after watching the Wizard of Oz movie. Even though she’s harsh and thorny, Elphaba becomes quite endearing in her own weird way. She’s definitely the most relatable character, which is startling because pretty much everyone thinks she’s an evil witch. Even though I’ve always loved Dorothy from the movie, I couldn’t help but root for Elphaba.

I didn't really like how it jumped forward through huge spans of time each section/chapter (one
minute Elphaba's playing with a bunch of kids and the next she's in college; then later Fiyero walks
into Elphaba's room only to disappear in the next chapter). I just think he could've done a smoother
transition somehow in those parts. I just would’ve liked a bit more of Elphaba’s childhood and some
better explanations. It also really bothered me that Elphaba kept guzzling tea (which is made with water, unless they do things quite differently in the land of Oz) and for some reason her esophagus didn’t start smoldering. Why can she drink tea and not just plain water? And what was up with her maybe-son Liir? I just didn’t understand how she could not know whether or not he was her kid. Oh, and it would’ve been helpful if there was some kind of chart at the beginning with the map that explained all the political and religious views, because those kind of went over my head. Other than those few things, I really enjoyed this book and plan on reading more from Gregory Maguire. Now I'm just looking forward to seeing the Wicked musical this week!!