blo Teens Read and Write: Eyes Like Stars

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Eyes Like Stars

Eyes Like Stars: Theater Illuminata, Act 1
by Lisa Mantchev
Pub: July 2009
368 pages

"All her world's a stage.
Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theatre.
She's not an orphan, but she has no parents.
She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own.
That is, until now...

Welcome to Theatre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Theatre by The Book - an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family - and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known."

When I started this book, I was not captivated, but it was either read Eyes Like Stars or stare out the window for the three hour drive. I chose wisely.

The book gets off to a slow and confusing start - and admittedly, straight fantasy is not my thing, so maybe to others it won't be confusing at all. Anyway, we begin with Bertie in her room, which is a stage set and shortly thereafter we learn she's getting the boot... conflict right from the start.

I honestly can't tell you where the turning point was, but one minute I'm slugging along and the next I'm tripping over my dogs because I can't tear my eyes from the pages long enough to ensure safe passage from the car to the front door.

My favorite part of the book - other than the one-of-a-kind world Lisa Mantchev created - is the characters we get to meet in a new light. Ophelia and Hamlet from...well,Hamlet, the wonderfully obnoxious fairies from a Midsummer Night's Dream, MacBeth, pirates from the Little Mermaid...the list goes on and on. And don't worry, you don't have to be familiar with the plays to get all the jokes.

I've read reviews saying Bertie comes off younger than seventeen, I say many seventeen-year-olds are like Bertie, some are just better at hiding it. Bertie is wildly entertaining, a Queen of Improvisation, and caught in a love triangle right from the start. That's always fun!

I'd peg this a must read. At one point the story felt a little Inkheart-ish, but it was fleeting, leaving Eyes Like Stars a unique and entertaining read. And don't you just love the cover? Who wants her hair?

Have you ever had a book start out so slow that you almost put it down, but you keep going and BAM! it turns out to be fantastic?


Tales of Whimsy said...

I'm sort of worried it will be too theatrical for me.

Alyssa Kirk said...

I'm not sure what you mean but I would say you shouldn't worry.

It's a magical theater so some things just happen...well, magically, so there isn't a lot of stage talk or stuff that goes on off stage.

If you would give me more specifics about what you mean I can be more specific with my answer.

Sarbear said...

Sometimes this happens -- where it's slow reading and then you suddenly can't put it down. I'm glad you ended up liking it cuz I've gotta read it!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting about Homer :) Your blog looks great!

RayRay said...

That cover is amazing! I love the idea behind the book, very unique. I'll have to pick this one up.

Eleni said...

Great review! I have this book but haven't read it yet, now I'm gonna read it soon :)


Alyssa Kirk said...

Sara - It's always fun when this happens. Much better than when you keep hoping for it to get better and it never does!

Diane - Love your blog. We were happy to stop by and look forward to more great reviews!

RayRay - The interesting thing about the cover is that I have an ARC and it just has a bunch of writing on it. Nothing special and then the final cover is a knock out!

Eleni - hope you love it as much as I did!

Jennay and Luke the Pup said...

I love love love the cover of this book and I totally want to read it. I can't wait to get it now!!!

Alyssa Kirk said...

Hope you enjoy it!

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