Saturday, July 18, 2009

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

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, MUSTARD SEED, 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.

Eyes Like Stars was enchanting, to say the least. This cast of colorful characters were absolutely hilarious. Mantchev managed to bring such an original twist to characters created so, so long ago. The Hamlet we know and love is still sulking but he's late to rehearsals, smokes, and call Ophelia crazy. He's a riot! Ophelia is a misunderstood character we get to know better. And the fairies literally made me laugh out loud!

Plus, there are new characters who are just as brilliant! I loved how rebellious Bertie was, and I love how she was named after Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing because she totally stands her own and could even teach that Beatrice a thing...or twelve. She was the type of heroine you root for 100 percent!

I loved the idea of the Theatre Illuminata! It was so creative an imaginative. I even learned a few things about theater lingo. I can't even express how original this book is! The language was superb, switching from modern sayings to pre-modern sayings with a bunch of pirate talk in between! Mantchev's writing was flawless, I kept wanting to read more (even if I had to, say, sleep!).

This was a fabulous debut that you do NOT want to miss!

Rating: 4.5

Happy Reading!

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