Thursday, November 12, 2009
Eyes Like Stars: Theater Illuminata, Act 1
by Lisa Mantchev
Pub: July 2009
Giveaway ALERT! If you've already entered the contest, a comment on this post (within 5 days of post date) gets you 2 extra entries in our MegaBook Giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, go to the contest post (or click on the contest link on the upper right sidebar) to learn about the giveaway and enter! Good luck!
"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."
Eyes Like Stars did not captivate at the start, but it was either read it 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, so much 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 from the theater... 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.
The Cover: Love it! The colors are amazing, the fairies seem ready to fly off the page and, come on, who doesn't want that hair!
We have an arc of Eyes Like Stars (so fair warning that it doesn't have the cool cover) offered in the MegaBook Giveaway that will have 23 winners so far. Go to the contest post if you'd like to enter. Good Luck!