Wednesday, June 23

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

In accordance with the FTC, Quill Café would like to disclose that the reviewer purchased this book. The opinions expressed are hers alone and no monetary compensation was offered to her by the author or publisher. Cover art is copyright of Feiwel & Friends and is used solely as an aide to the review.

Beatrice "Bertie" Shakespeare Smith has grown up in a magic theatre where there are no actors but the Players are the characters themselves, existing only inside the theatre and unable to ever leave...or so it is thought.

Bertie is boisterous and wild and always making trouble with help from her comical fairy friends, Moth, Cobweb, Peaseblossom and Mustardseed. Now a teenager, Bertie has taken her recklessness too far and is asked to leave unless she can make herself invaluable to the theatre.

Bertie is desperate to stay in the only home she has ever known but her unwillingness to leave (when she alone can as she is from the outside world) sparks jealousy in some of the Players.

Soon Bertie discovers that The Book (the compilation of all the plays) which ties the Players to the theatre has been stolen and the pages are being ripped out one by one, allowing the Players to escape.

If the Players leave, the theatre will fall and Bertie will do anything she can to stop that from happening.

I found the concept of this book very interesting. The author has created a world with an abundance of well-known characters - a lot of them Shakespearean - where anything seems possible but all the characters are stifled and trapped in this strange, theatrical wonderland. It is a very unique read as it incorporates a lot of dramatic techniques and for those like myself who love the theatre it makes for a wonderful exploration.

Eyes Like Stars is an easy read with brilliant language. It took me a while to get used to reading Nate's pirate accent but after the first couple of chapters it was fine. The fairies from A Midsummer Night's Dream are my favourite characters in the book. They add such a wonderful comical element to the storytelling.

I understood that Bertie's story goal was to rescue the theatre and find her own place in its wold but I grew impatient. She is such a driven character and I was excited at the idea of her leaving the theatre to see how she and the other characters might thrive there. The intrigue of this prospect sped along my interest at where the story was headed.

My love of the theatre world is probably the main reason that kept me reading this book. It's such a fantastic concept and I liked that I could enter this new and strange world and explore it. It was like a dome with all these thriving characters, creating mayhem.

Eyes Like Stars was an enjoyable read and I felt compelled as soon as I was done with it to go out and purchase its sequel, 'Perchance to Dream.'

If you are a lover of the theatre, of fantasy, of romance, of comedy and of creative re-imaginings of well-known characters, then I suggest you read 'Eyes Like Stars' by Lisa Mantchev.

No comments: