Literacy Lunacy: Laurie Faria Stolarz’s Blue is for Nightmares

Blue is for Nightmares came across my path in middle school, possibly at the school’s library. It was about witches, which I shared before is rare of the paranormal/supernatural teen genre. The cover was interesting and the summary on the back was a bit scandalous to my pre-teen mind, so it was a novel I was willing to try. As I read on, I learned the book isn’t necessarily what I thought it was going to be.

Stacey’s second year of boarding school isn’t going well. To make matters worse, she’s got a crush on her best friend’s boyfriend and an even darker secret that could ruin her friendships for good. That doesn’t include the nightmares she’s having.

These night terrors are too real to ignore, like she did three years ago. The last time she did, someone died. This time they’re about her best friend, Drea; the target of a psycho stalker. What started off as strange emails and phone calls, turns into leaving Drea white lilies – the same death flower appearing in Stacey’s dreams.

Everybody assumes it’s a joke . . . until someone else at school is brutally murdered. With everyone as a potential suspect, Stacey turns to the one secret weapon she can trust – the folk magic taught to her by her grandmother. Will Stacey’s magic be strong enough to expose the true killer or will her darkest nightmares come true?

This isn’t as magical as I assumed it was going to be. Not in the fantasy sense, that is. The theme is more psychic/neo-pagan. If you’re looking for something like Harry Potter, Beautiful Creatures, or Witches of East End, you won’t find it here.

None of the characters were too impressive, especially Stacey’s “friends.” They couldn’t be trusted with anything. It was also weird how they jumped on the band wagon when they learned she was a practicing Wiccan having premonitions about Drea’s impending doom. I’m not saying they should have rejected her, but some resistance would be more realistic. Teenagers are known for rebellion after all. I’m also not a fan of Stacey being a bed wetter. That was a serious turnoff. It was weird and made me uncomfortable every time it came up. She’s a teenager at a boarding school. How did she make it this far without people noticing how often she was washing her sheets?

I know the bed wetting thing is more of a symptom from her nightmares, but it was strange. Other than that, I like how the book was fast paced and easy to understand. Though there isn’t magic magic, the psychic (or folk) magic performed in the novel kept me engaged. Stolarz lives in Salem, MA. so I take it she’s fairly knowledgeable on the subject. The mystery of who the stalker is kept me going , too. I was certain it was one of the few guys in the cast of characters.  The suspense keeps you on your toes, as a proper mystery should.

To be honest, I have mixed feelings about Blue is for Nightmares. I did read the rest of the series and I remember enjoying and thinking it gets better. It’s a rough first novel that is interesting, but annoying in the same go. If it weren’t for the magic and murder mystery, I may have not finished it at all. For this reason, I rated it 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. If you’ve read this or any of Stolarz work, drop a comment so we can talk about it!

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