Saturday, 1 October 2011

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

Eyes Like Stars
by Lisa Mantchev

Summary: All her world’s a stage.
Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater. 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.
Enter Stage Right
NATE. Dashing pirate. Will do anything to protect Bertie.
COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARDSEED, and PEASEBLOSSOM. Four tiny and incredibly annoying fairies. BERTIE’S sidekicks.
ARIEL. Seductive air spirit and Bertie’s weakness. The symbol of impending doom.
BERTIE. Our heroine.
Welcome to the Théâtre 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 Théâtre 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.
Lisa Mantchev has written a debut novel that is dramatic, romantic, and witty, with an irresistible and irreverent cast of characters who are sure to enchant the audience.
Open Curtain.
I don't have too much to say about this book, except that it was really awesome and original (seriously - haven't read a book like it) and I loved it.

Honestly, it was just a really fun, cute book (so don't read it if you're in the mood for something amazingly deep and meaningful or anything). It managed to make me laugh a lot, I put little bits of paper in the bits that made me laugh and by the end the book was filled with them. Some examples:

"What colour is pandemonium? It sounds yellow."

"No," Bertie said, "something tragic. The most famous of all the Shakespearean tragedies-"
Mustardseed jumped up and down. "Your hair!"
"Shakespearean tragedy, Mustardseed."

"Are you insane?" Cobweb demanded as they headed for the Scenic Department.
"For requesting asps?"
"For burning the toast!"
"Do you have any idea how much commitment it takes to pull off an earthquake? Or commandeer a pirate ship? Or teach the starfish to dance the fox-trot?"
"How do you feel? Any more free than usual?"
He paused to reflect. "Yeah, but only because I'm not wearing underwear today."

...I'll stop now. But yeah, the fairies bring the funny and Bertie had her moments too.

The characters were great, especially the fairies from A Midsummer Nights Dream (I adore them so much and I wish they were real and in my life) and Beatrice was such a fun narrator and the romance in the was really subtle, it really was a subplot but it was enough. The setting was brilliant, it just felt so magical and it would be so much fun growing up in the theatre - at least, one like that where the characters from plays come to life and the theatre is practically a character itself.

My only complaint is that Lisa is one of those authors that does one of my big writing pet peeves: accents written phonetically. She does this with Nate and I hated that part so much - I loved his character but I hated whenever he would talk because it butchered the English language. Readers aren't stupid, you can just say a character has an accent and maybe throw in a few slang terms to show it without writing their accent out like this: "Yer definition o' perfect an' mine must be diff'rent. An' 'tisn't going' to be easy t' convince ev'ryone. Change isn't in th' Players' nature." - I just...hate it when authors do that, the same way I am way less likely to reply to a text if someone uses text talk.

Well, also, I can't stand Bertie's name and at times it was a little confusing trying to figure out what was going on because of the way Lisa writes, but that didn't bother me too much.

Anyway, the book is great and I can't wait to get my hands on the sequels - although I may save them for days when I'm feeling down because I'm betting they'll be able to cheer me up and make me laugh when I don't even feel like smiling.

Has to be mentioned: the cover is absolutely gorgeous and it's one of those rare times when the gorgeous cover is actually perfect for the book and suits the plot, right down to the blue hair.

...So much for not having much to say. Oops.



  1. I agree with you...this book was definitely creative and had me laughing out loud quite a few times. Glad you (mostly) enjoyed it! I think I actually ended up enjoying Perchance to Dream even more, so I'm curious to see what you'll think of it!

  2. Interesting and important information. It is really beneficial for us. Thanks

  3. The word that kept coming back to me as I read it was effortless. The humor works perfectly, and the dialogue rivals Gilmore Girls--only it's a lot more genuine. The cast--and it is a large cast, since, you know, every character from every play lives in the Theater--was handled deftly, and even the minor characters shine.



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