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.


Jessica Kennedy said...

Glad you enjoyed it! I too would love to read part II. I'm really looking forward to the cover art for part II too. How will they out do the current cover?!?!

Happy Friday!

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

Oohh-I'm starting to read this one today! I brought it to work to read on my lunch break. Your review makes me want to go read it now!:)

Bookworm said...

I know! I am so excited to read it. I love how unique and creative the plot sounds. I mean, a magical theater where all the characters come to life? How cool is that!

Ladytink_534 said...

Wow, beautiful cover and it sounds like a really wonderful story too!

Ravenous Reader said...

Great review and it sounds like an amazing book. I cannot wait to read it myself. Another to add to the book pile :)

susan said...

Enjoyed your review Erika and you won the drawing this week for Little Lov'n Monday! Thanks for participating. Send me your book choice and snail address.

H said...

The cover for this is so pretty! And I love Shakespeare.

Amy said...

likewise-except i really want to read how to hook a hottie. I'm trying to get every book by her. :)
cooleo review! i want this one as well!! i actually hate shakespeare(okay strongly dislike) but i like the premise of this.

Anonymous said...

I can not wait to read this novel! It sounds awesome!

Michelle Zink said...

Isn't this an amazing book?! I was just enchanted with it. In a book world where so much feels "done before", this is truly a unique concept beautifully rendered.

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