Friday, July 31, 2009

Blue is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz

"I Know Your Secret..."
Stacey's junior year at boarding school isn't easy. She's not the most popular girl at school, or the smartest, or the prettiest. She's got a crush on her best friend's boyfriend, and an even darker secret that threatens to ruin her friendships for good.
And now she's having nightmares again. Not just any nightmares--these dreams are too real to ignore, like she did three years ago. The last time she ignored them, a little girl died. This time they're about Drea, her best friend who's become the target of one seriously psycho stalker.
It started with weird e-mails and freaky phone calls. Now someone's leaving white lilies--the same death lilies that have been showing up in Stacey's dreams. Everybody thinks it's just a twisted game...until another girl at school is brutally murdered.
There are no witnesses. Worst of all, no one has a perfect alibi. 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 the killer make her darkest nightmares come true?

Review:

It begins with the nightmares. Trying to decipher what they mean, besides the obvious. That her best friend is going to be killed. Marking off the days with lilies. 4, 3, 2, 1....What eggs Stacey on is her determination and the fact that this has happened once before, three years ago; and she won't let it happen again.
It starts with the mysterious, possessive prank phone calls, made by the stalker himself, only to justify his relationship with Drea, the one only he thinks he has. Being her roommate at their boarding school, Stacey knows from the very beginning that something's amiss in their relationship--Drea and the cryptic caller, and she doesn't need her nightmares or her damp sheets to verify that. This midnight caller does that all himself when the girls--Stacey and Amber--listen in on one of their phone conversations and the starting of the countdown for the big surprise event he's got planned. Stacey, with her grandmother's and past generation's scrapbook of spells, is firmly determined to find out who the mystery stalker is. Before it's too late.
When another girl at school is murdered on school grounds, after allegedly claiming of being stalked then not wanting to help, it is all the confirmation Stacey need to trust her instincts and find Drea before she's next. Without anyone to trust or help, Stacey knows she's on her own and not even the police will come this time....Will Stacey be able to find out who is after Drea, once and for all? Will magic, herbs, candles be enough to lead her in the right direction? All Stacey knows for sure is one thing, she will not let what happened in her past happen again; not if she can help it.
My favorite character is definitely the MC, she can hold her own, and dish out with the truth at the same time. Even with all the witchcraft, going to a prep-bitch school, and the bed-wetting, she can find a little romance but at the same time be there for...people in general, I guess I should say. But, after what happened three years ago, Stacey is in no hurry to open up old wounds left to heal. In this suspenseful novel, Drea, the beautiful at-times-sincere, can-be-bitchy-too best friend, with four initials to her name is the main victim and is being stalked by an oppressive--more aggressive, in the end--lover.
Usually I like some cat fights between enemies, but when those enemies become victims or when you're fighting against your best friend over a guy in the middle of everything else that's going on, things tend to get a little out of focus. With a flirt as a best friend and the main victim, suspects are a bit difficult to differentiate.
I, personally, love witchcraft; mostly the herbs, home remedies, candles. So when Stacey cuts the arch of her foot on a piece of glass and decides to use half of some "Idaho Gold"--yes a potato--to clot the bleeding, a dash of lemon juice and a bandage to wrap, because that's the way her family still does it sometime; all I thought was, hello!
Anyway, in a sense the characters are all connected in Blue is for Nightmares, you have your typical prep school. Typical high school. Throw in a stalker to mix and all you get is more gossip, no spilled beans here, no looking back. I have to say that some characters seemed a bit too vague and nondescript for me (Amber, PJ) because they have no up-bringing and seem to pop out in the plot of the novel. Could have been leaning to more of a thriller instead of a suspenseful romance, with just a bit more details. As for the ending, liked it. *Minor spoiler warning for the next sentence!* Can't say I loved it because I think that the stalker/killer should have gotten way more jail time than was given as verdict, lol. No doubt recommended if you like reading some fantasy mystery mixed up with real high school dilemmas, especially with a heroine that does not get distracted from her main goal--most of the time, anyway.

Grade: B-

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