Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

Eyes Like Stars
(Theatre Illuminata, Act I)
by Lisa Mantchev

Genre: Paranormal Romance / Fantasy / Young Adult

Beatrice Shakespeare Smith, a likable 17-year-old, must find a way to make herself invaluable to the Théâtre Illuminata or she will be forced to leave the only home she has ever known. How she arrived at the theater as a baby is somewhat of a mystery, and through the years she has been allowed to run free and cause mayhem of one kind or another. Beatrice proposes to restage Hamlet set in ancient Egypt and promises it will be the sell-out performance that will restore the Théâtre to its former glory. If that were all, the story line would be fairly straightforward. However, the Théâtre Illuminata is no ordinary theater. Characters from the world's major plays live inside, summoned forth by pinning a note on the Call Board. They are bound to the physical confines of the theater by the pages in The Complete Works of the Stage, an enchanted book. Scene changes happen magically by command, though human Properties and Scenic Managers argue over which pieces belong to whom.

Bertie has only ever known the Théâtre; it's been her playroom, her connection to friends, and her home since infantry. Her room is a set, she pulls all her clothes from wardrobe, and she uses props and stage makeup whenever she likes, but things are beginning to change. Her actions are no longer being over looked and, since she's not a true "character" but a orphan given to the Théâtre, she's (now 17) being treated as someone who has to take full responsibility of her life. Thus, to prove her step into adult hood and that she can truly be apart of "home" - she decides to direct a play. Not just any play, a new version of Hamlet.

This story really sparkled! Honestly, I got the book from the library solely for the cover - which I found amazing. She rocks the blue hair! Yet, the story is so unique and enjoyable that it is hard NOT to dig right in. I loved Bertie's various personalities (vulnerability, curiosity, being sarcastic, etc.) and I believe her character really made her different from most female leads. Plus, the chemistry she develops with Nate, a pirate from THE LITTLE MERMAID, and Ariel, an air spirit from THE TEMPEST kept me coming back for me. It's truly an enchanting tale and I cannot wait for Perchance to Dream.

Likes: Bertie's stubborn interactions with the Théâtre manager are hilarious! Great humor throughout.

Dislikes: I know the fairies from A Midsummer Night's Dream where there to provide comic relief, but they were almost TOO annoying at times.


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