Review: Blue Is for Nightmares and White Is for Magic, Laurie faria Stolarz

Well. This is not what I expected. Amanda reviewed this series, of which Blue Is for Nightmares and White Is for Magic are the first two, earlier this year, and they are boarding school books and the series is a bunch of books that are matching and color-coded. Y’all know I had to get some of that. How, you inquire, did I manage to resist for eight months? By my home library always having them checked out, that’s how! But I got the first two at Mid-Manhattan when I came into the city last weekend to see the statues at the Onassis Cultural Center. Sadly, they didn’t quite do it for me.

Blue Is for Nightmares is about a psychic girl called Stacey who has been having terrifying nightmares that always culminate with her wetting the bed. She is mortally embarrassed as well as terrified: the last time she had nightmares like these, she ignored them, and they presaged the death of her baby-sitting charge, Maura. This time, as her dreams warn her that her roommate Drea is in peril, Stacey is determined to save her. In White Is for Magic — well, it’s basically the same thing, except this time she’s in peril and there’s a mysterious guy following her around.

I didn’t love these books the way I was hoping to. There is this thing in YA books where the kids don’t tell the adults what’s going on because a) adults are annoying; or b) adults won’t believe them. Although I recognize this is crucial because otherwise the kid protagonists won’t be able to handle their own problems, it can come across as forced, and it does in this case. I just can’t think of a reason not to bring the creepy happenings to the attention of the adults. Drea gets creepy roses and creepy notes, and so does her on-again, off-again boyfriend. You can bring these to boarding school teachers without bringing up Stacey’s psychic dreams! These are creepy happenings! But no, instead of doing that, they burn all the evidence. Really well-played, kids. In the second book they carry on hand-waving the possibility of involving the police. It didn’t work for me.

The first and second book had plots that were a lot alike, which is another thing that bothered me. They were so substantially similar I started worrying I’d picked up two copies of the same book. First it’s Drea in danger, and Stacey has dreams that will make it possible to save her. Then it’s her who’s in danger, and she struggles to figure out what her dreams are telling her that will make it possible to save herself. In both books she’s involved in a slightly complicated romantic situation. Meh. I’d have minded less when I was younger, maybe.

Sorry to end December on such a grumpy note, but you can’t choose what you read! Or, well, yes you can. I just do not always choose well. For those of you who celebrate Christmas, I hope you have an amazing, stress-free holiday! For those who don’t, I hope you have an amazing, stress-free few days when all the shops are closed and everyone sings Christmas carols around you. I will be seeing you after I get back from holidays with my family!

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30 thoughts on “Review: Blue Is for Nightmares and White Is for Magic, Laurie faria Stolarz

  1. Sorry to hear these didn’t work for you! The Don’t Tell The Grown ups thing can indeed feel forced sometimes. Have a great time with your family! And give the puppy lots of hugs (not that you need to be reminded to, I’m sure :P)

    • I am giving the puppy so many hugs. She doesn’t even know what to do with so many hugs. (No, that’s a lie. She knows what to do. She tries to chew on my ears.)

    • I know! They have a good premise but are just a bit too hokey for me.

      Oo, puppy pictures. Okay, I will get on that straight away. I’ve been taking them all with my phone and sending them to my friends, but taking very few with my camera.

  2. I can’t stand it when a series follows the same exact plot in all the books. Always a deal breaker. Enjoy the holidays with the family and puppy!

  3. Ah well, sorry you didn’t like them, Jenny! To some degree all the books are similar – as a mystery series, same way the Alan Bradley books are – but they do get somewhat different on the third. But with the same idea, the dreams and all. I just got a kick out of them, purely for fun. I think I read them as just the right moment.

    • That is my problem with mystery series! I theoretically love series of mysteries, but I get fed up with the similarities between the books in a series. The Amelia Peabody ones are practically the only ones I carry on enjoying (I think it’s all the H. Rider Haggard references).

  4. Oh, I am sorry to hear that these were not such good reads for you, and I think that I also would have been angry that the two books were so similar. On a different note, I hope that you have a really amazing holiday season and that you get to have an amazing time with you family and your fur-babies. Merry Christmas, Jenny!!

    • I am having an amazing time! 🙂 The snow prevented me from getting back when I was supposed to, but it also gave me an extra holiday (my office had a snow day), so I got four extra days with the family and the puppy. I hope you had/are having a wonderful holiday too!

    • Hahaha, I don’t think it’s teenagers, I think that’s just people. Besides, I confess there are certain types of repetitive plots that don’t bother me at all. Guilty pleasures…

  5. I read these in high school, and I can’t remember a thing about them– even after your summaries! I’m guessing that I felt much the same as you.

    • Oh, I thought they had just been published, like last year or maybe the year before at the earliest. I didn’t realize they’d been around for a little while.

  6. I read the graphic novel version of one of these books which I loved! But that’s okay because I didn’t read any of the other books. 🙂 I hope you’re having a great holiday weekend!

  7. I’m not such a big fan of the whole Don’t Tell the Grown-Ups thing either. Not all grown-ups are idiots. Really. Sometimes, they can help.

    I hope you’re having an awesome time with the family and the puppy!

    • Especially they can help with stalking and broken windows and doors that don’t latch properly. I’d have known to take that to the grown-ups when I was this age.

      I am! The puppy! She is so adorable! She has her little nose resting on my leg right now. 🙂

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