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Black Is for Beginnings

by Laurie Faria Stolarz

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1475155,507 (3.23)None
When Stacey, a college student and hereditary witch, again begins to have disturbing dreams about her former boyfriend and a little girl who was murdered years earlier, she knows that the dreams are trying to tell her something important, but she does not know what.
  1. 00
    Blue Is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz (QueenAlyss)
    QueenAlyss: These are the 4 books previous to this graphic novel... it is recommended that these books are read first

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Showing 5 of 5
Not bad. Spooky. ( )
  DestDest | May 14, 2021 |
Summary: Stacey's had prophetic dreams of impending danger - to herself and others - practically all of her life. Her visions have started again, and what she thinks they're telling her is that she needs to go spend some time with Jacob, her ex-boyfriend (or maybe that's just her friends telling her that). Jacob is recovering from a bout of amnesia, and although he also has prophetic dreams, he's struggling to remember Stacey or anything about their life together. Can they find their way back to each other before it's too late?

Review: I didn't know this when I picked it up, but this is apparently a graphic novel continuation/summary of a series of regular novels. That may have worked in my favor, though, since this book does a very nice job of introducing the characters and their relationships, and fleshing out their backstories, so I had no problem getting into the story. The structure of this book threw me a little - about 1/3 of the way in, it switches from Stacey's journal to Jacob's journal at kind of an odd point in Stacey's story. But otherwise, I thought this was really nicely done. The ending felt very "YA Romance"-y, and I am not a big fan of 19-year-olds declaring that they've found their "soulmate" as though their relationship, now that it's gotten through this one tough patch, will never have problems again and they'll stay together forever. The characters maybe were not as thoroughly rounded as I've seen (although neither were they flat), but a lot of their interactions felt believably real (particularly involving Jacob's ex-girlfriend). I also really liked the artwork, it's a nice blend of realistic and cartoon that uses the graphic medium to good effect (I particularly liked the side-bar callouts listing the rules of candle magic or illustrating the instinctual parts of Jacob's brain.) 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: I don't know how this fits in with the novels (although I liked this enough to be willing to read them to find out), so I can't recommend on that front, but this works just fine as a standalone, and should appeal to fans of YA romance with a touch of magic. ( )
  fyrefly98 | Sep 10, 2014 |
The Book "Black is for Beginnings" by Laurie Faria Stolarz is about a high school girl named Stacy and her boyfriend Jacob. Jacob has lost some of his memory from an injury in the last book. Stacy really loves him and she moves to Colorado to be with him.

The problem with that is now Stacy has to explain everything that's happened in his whole life because he doesn't remember much. While doing this Stacy herself relives her own past and sees how much she's accomplished in life and how much she'd helped people.

I thought this book was a little repetitive of the last four and was more of a summary of her life than and adventure Stacy goes through. ( )
  ctmsnocr | Feb 23, 2012 |
This was definitely my least favorite of the series. The back cover says, "It's happening again... Prophetic dreams. Near-brushes with death. Killers pursuing her and her friends. Stacey Brown knows that being a hereditary witch isn't all it's cracked up to be." So naturally, I thought that this book would be like the others, but it wasn't. There was no murder mystery or anything like that. It was just a little epilogue showing Stacey and Jacob's lives. Stacey is back at college while Jacob is at home with his parents, trying to restore his memory. Meanwhile, Stacey feels threatened when she finds out that Jacob's ex-girlfriend is spending so much time with him, so she decides to go visit him. It was a very short read. I finished reading it the day I bought it. I'm sorry to say it was actually a little disappointing. I just expected so much more out of it. I think this book was rather unnecessary and that Red was a better conclusion to the series.

Series order: Blue, White, Silver, Red, Black ( )
  simply00complex | Aug 12, 2011 |
So. As a college student I don't have a ton of time to read what I want to. I generally spend my time writing essays, reading textbooks, or (for my sanity) hanging out with my friends. But because my professor let us out of class an hour early I decided to spend that time reading a book that I didn't need for class *gasp*

My choice in books was not necessarily the best one. I've been a fan of the candles series by Laurie Faria Stolarz for a very long time. I read them when they first came out, or at least around that time, so needless to say I was surprised when I found out there was going to be a 5th in the series - Black is for Beginnings And needless to say it's probably one of the worst books I've read. I was disapointed.

First of all, the book is a graphic novel. I'm not knocking the graphic novel, graphic novels can be great. I've read plenty of them. The problem with this being a graphic novel is the fact that all I really wanted was another book with a great plot, and once there is a series, and then suddenly one of the books is a graphic novel, chances are the great plot won't be there. And surprise, surprise... it wasn't.

The book starts off reintroducing the readers to everything that has taken place in the past four books, so basically if you've read the books recently you can skip the first section of the book, and skip to where Jacob's journal starts, because that's where the real interesting stuff is. It's where the reader gets to see what's happening with him, which is completely new information. Which let me tell you, that's probably the best part of the book. Everything else is just completely flat.

After you find out everything that's been going on, you're taken back to see Stacy, and her conviction to fix things with Jacob (their spring break wasn't that great -rollseyes-) so she hops a plane to see him in Colorado. And basically they fix everything there, and the book ends with them together for real on the ski lift, rather than just in one of her premonitions.

Basically, unless you just want to have the complete collection, don't bother buying this book. It's not necessary... the series could have easily just ended with Red is for Remembrance. And honestly it did. This book did nothing but extend the previous book, but look you have fun pictures of the characters with goofy faces to entertain you along the way.

Now, I do love Laurie faria Stolarz. The previous four books were fantastic, I'm just extremely disappointed with how this one turned out. ( )
  xtastethesky | Dec 14, 2010 |
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When Stacey, a college student and hereditary witch, again begins to have disturbing dreams about her former boyfriend and a little girl who was murdered years earlier, she knows that the dreams are trying to tell her something important, but she does not know what.

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