Red is for Remembrance by Laurie Faria Stolarz © 2005

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    Red is for Remembrance    by    Laurie Faria Stolarz    ©  2005  Llewellyn        ISBN 0-7387-0760-0   paperback   320 pages  Novel  Young Adult   $?.95 (U.S.)  $11.95 (Canada)

    Stacey is not a happy college student.  She is going to college for the first time and has one roommate who is so perky and fluffy you almost want to gag as soon as you meet her,  On to-p of that  Stacey’s “unusual” abilities have been causing her problems for years.  Add to that the fact that her boyfriend disappeared into the ocean during summer vacation, and you get the feeling that this might not be a good year for her.

    This is the fourth book in  a series by Laurie Faria Stolarz (see my reviews of Blue is for Nightmares, White is for Magic, and Silver is for Secrets).  It looks like this series may continue for a while, and I am happy to see that.

    Stacey is not your typical heroine.  She is cranky, ill-tempered, and self-centered.  In other words, she is a typical teenage trying to adjust to life in the “real world” of college, with other distractions thrown into the mix.  Her grades are mediocre, to be generous, and the only reason she made into this prestigious college is because the President of Beacon College graduated from her old prep school and knew about her psychic abilities.  He needs her help and he is willing to help her (with a full scholarship) in return.

    Ms. Stolarz has a feeling for teenage angst, as well as a crisp writing style that draws you along.

    If you have read the preceding books you probably already  have a feel for Stacey and her friends Amber( who is still one of her roommates), P.J., Chad, and Drea.  If not, you will soon develop such a feel.

    Stacey considers herself Wiccan, although many would consider her use of, and reliance on, folk magic to lodge her firmly in the “Witch” camp.  She learned from her family and relies on a family scrapbook full of accumulated wisdom, recipes, and thoughts.

    At the opening of this story Stacey is still obsessed with her missing, and presumed drowned, boyfriend (Jacob).  She has not accepted the fact that he is dead, and she may be right.  She is having nightmares again, as she has had in the past, but this time without the physical consequences (she has had bouts of bed-wetting, projectile vomiting and nosebleeds connected with her nightmares in the past).

    She wants to dream of Jacob, so she can reconnect, but he refuses to appear in her dreams.  Instead she see a woman who demands that she help her daughter with her nightmares.  Since this dovetails nicely with what the president of the college wants, she does so in hopes of furthering her chances of connecting with Jacob.

    There are twists enough to keep you guessing, although some things are telegraphed, if you are looking in the right places.

    Like the previous books, this one is a real pleasure to read.  It doesn’t go into a lot of depth as far as the folk magic goes, but there is information there for the harvesting, if that is what you are looking for.  If all you want is an enjoyable book to read, with a Pagan-friendly slant, this one will fit that niche nicely as well.


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