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Review: Blue is for Nightmares

Review: Blue is for Nightmares

Title: Blue is for Nightmares
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Published: 2003
Length: 283 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ¾

[10/15 novels in November]

Teenage witch Stacey Brown suffers from terrible nightmares, dreams that warn of imminent danger for her best friend and roommate, Drea. By the time she warns Drea and they decide to take action, an apparent stalker has begun sending threatening notes and packages to their dorm room. Can magic help Stacey save her friend’s life with time running out?

One of my good friends in high school read this series and loved it, so here I am, finally getting round to it six or seven years later.

I may be a sucker for boarding school stories, but Blue Is For Nightmares did not do it for me. Other than Stacey, the narrator, absolutely none of the characters did anything for me. The book wasn’t particularly well-written. It didn’t have a strong sense of place, unlike other (magical and non-magical) boarding school novels, and the author’s attempt at creating tension felt forced and heavy-handed.

Stacey was sympathetic, though she is—of course—“not like other girls.” Her love interest actually says that. In those words.

The witchcraft was a neat element, if an unoriginal one (or at least it felt that way reading it now; maybe it was more unique in 2003). I liked that Stacey actually had to sit down and do the spells—that they had ingredients and rituals associated with them.

But oh my God, Stacey has awful taste in friends. Her roommate and supposed best friend, Drea, is a flat-out Mean Girl. The other friend, Amber, is enough of a ditz that her bitchiness seems somewhat excusable, but Drea’s was just uncalled for. Veronica was supposed to be the mean girl character, but Drea’s jealous, cruel behavior took the cake. I couldn’t understand—from beginning to end—why Stacey was her friend and felt so protective of her.

In short: a quick, somewhat fun read partially spoiled by the cast of characters, ranging from bland to unbearable.

I may or may not pick up the sequels.
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