Aug 122014
 
Review: Eyes Like StarsEyes Like Stars (Théâtre Illuminata #1) by Lisa Mantchev
Published by Feiwel & Friends on Jun 7, 2009
Genres: Paranormal, YA
Format: Hardcover from Gift
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

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.

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

This was a wildly creative story. With magic and fairies, and a whole theatre full of living characters, it was easily one of the most imaginative stories I’ve ever read.

Bertie was very likable, and it was easy to understand and feel sorry for her. She grew up as an orphan in the theatre, being cared for by the employees, yet never really having a family. When her wild and unpredictable behaviour cares the Theatre Manager to threaten to kick her out unless she finds a useful role for herself, it’s easy to hope that she finds that role. To lose the only home and family she knows is heartbreaking.

What follows afterward is a highly unpredictable and entertaining adventure as Bertie tries to find a way to leave her mark. Accompanied by troublesome fairies, bickering department heads, and two very different and headstrong men, Bertie’s endeavor is both unique and enjoyable.

This is the start of a series, yet this felt like a stand alone book. It was a complete story, and while there are a few threads left open, I was entirely satisfied when I finished it. As such, I’m undecided if I will continue with the series, or stop on a high note.

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