Friday, March 13, 2009
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
Eyes Like Stars: Théâtre Illuminata, Part I by Lisa Mantchev
Synopsis from ARC cover:
Enter Stage Right All her world's a stage. Beatrice Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater. She is not an orphan, but she has no parents. She knows every part, but has no lines of her own. Until now. Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the characters 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. Open Curtain
Lisa Mantchev's debut novel Eyes Like Stars is completely captivating and better be followed by her sophomore effort in a hurry!
Have you ever wondered what happens to a play's characters when the curtain closes? Well Mantchev has concocted a charming novel with the answer to that very question. Beatrice Shakespeare Smith not only has one of the best names ever but is a wild but endearing narrator who carries the reader in to a completely original world.
I must admit I wasn't immediately in love with the book but that was because the setting is so completely unique that it took me a while to orient myself in the Théâtre Illuminata. But once I was comfortable in the setting and had reacquainted myself with some of my favorite Shakespearian characters (Ophelia, Ariel and of course Mustardseed, Moth, Cobweb and Peaseblossom) it was impossible not to fall in love with the book. There are also appearances by characters from plays ranging from Peter Pan to the Little Mermaid.
Beatrice, or Bertie, messes with the magic of the theatre and discovers some of her own as she is determined to make a place for herself in the theatre as a director. She creates a mess that may very well destroy the theatre if she can't fix it, and discover her own past in the process. While a lot is resolved for Bertie in this play, like discovering who her mother is and how she came to the theatre there is much left open ended. I can only hope that the "Part I" at the end of the title means there will be a "Part II."
You don't have to be a Shakespearean expert to enjoy this book but any familiarity with his plays will help you enjoy this book even more.
Eyes Like Stars will be released July 7 but you can preorder it now.
Or if you don't want to wait Mantchev is having a contest at the Théâtre Illuminata website to win one of six ARCs.
Jess from Book Reviews by Jess is also passing on her ARC but hurry her contest ends 11:59 pm, Saturday, March 14th.