Eyes Like Stars (Théâtre Illuminata #1)

 
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4.6 (16)
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Eyes Like Stars (Théâtre Illuminata #1)
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
July 07, 2009
ISBN
0312380968
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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 Theatre 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 Theatre 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

Editor reviews

2 reviews

The Théâtre Illuminata Thanks You For Your Patronage
Overall rating 
 
1.0
Plot 
 
1.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, the Théâtre Illuminata thanks you for your patronage and bids you welcome. Please put your hands together for their debut performance, EYES LIKE STARS!

All her world's a stage. She 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 has no lines of her own. Until now.

Meet Beatrice Shakespeare Smith. Her disastrous reputation precedes her throughout the Théâtre Illuminata, a magical place where the characters from every play ever written can come alive. Bertie has lived in the Théâtre for as long as she can remember and couldn't possibly imagine living anywhere else, but soon she may not have a choice. Bertie must prove her worth in the theater or be kicked out forever, at the very moment it needs her most.

This beautifully written work of art has come from the talented, charming, and slightly eccentric upcoming author Lisa Mantchev. EYES LIKE STARS captured my interest at first sight. I know that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but I was enchanted. The picture of blue-haired girl with fairies zooming around her appealed to my punk, fantasy-loving nature. Finally having my own copy, my fingers were itching with anticipation as I lifted the cover. With the very first sentence, EYES LIKE STARS stole my heart. The mental image of tiny fairies with wings zooming around on wires was the icing on the cupcake for me; it casts Mustardseed, Cobweb, Moth, and Peaseblossom from A Midsummer Night's Dream in a whole new light.

This novel is witty and entertaining in its colorful pirate-and-fairy language, obsession with sweets, a heart-pounding tango scene that left me speechless, and a plot that will have you riveted in your seat until you have finished. Not only will you love the charismatic dialogue, but also the enchanting cast of characters. From our leading lady and her merry band of psychotic fairies, to the sexy Ariel (an elemental from The Tempest), and the handsome Nate (a swash-buckling pirate from The Little Mermaid), who compete for Bertie's affection.

With its many twists and turns, EYES LIKE STARS is sure to give its audience a performance they will never forget.
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Read it...NOW!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0

All her worlds a stage.

Beatrice Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.

Shes not an orphan, but she has no parents.

She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own.

Until now.

 

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev is full to bursting with masterful world building, quirky characters, and tempting hints of mystery. Added bonuses are a handsome pirate who tastes of salt and chocolate and a water spirit with a fair complexion and silver hair who smells of something darkly tempting. Those are just a few of the reasons youll want to read until your eyelids need to be propped open with toothpicks.

 

For an irresistible mix, throw in four snarky fairies with a penchant for trouble, tasty cupcakes from the Green Room, and the ability to cue a scene change from The Little Mermaid to clean up your bedroom after you dye your hair Cobalt Flame blue.

 

Oh. And I mustnt forget the jazz hands.

 

Dont delay. Read it. NOW. Knock people down to get it if you must, and then block out a day or two to sink into the Theatre Illuminata, where all the characters from every play ever written are bound by a magical, ancient book.

 

You might not want to resurface.

 

The word on the street (or Twitter at least) is that not since Hogwarts has there been such an enchanting story world as the one built by Lisa Mantchev in Eyes Like Stars. The blue-haired Bertie will capture your heart and tickle your funny bone. You'll laugh. You'll cry. Youll wish for your very own set of fairy enforcers.


And you might even develop a sudden desire to read Shakespeare.

 

HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION.  

 




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User reviews

16 reviews

 
(10)
 
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3 stars
 
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2 stars
 
(0)
 
(1)
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Plot 
 
4.4  (16)
Characters 
 
4.8  (4)
Writing Style 
 
4.5  (4)
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Delightfully Different
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Lisa Mantchev takes the warm familiarity of Shakespeare and other classic plays and presents them in a fresh, fantastical way through Théâtre Illuminata. She presents her tale with a quirky irreverence—one that I believe holds the potential to restore the interest of many a high school student who've been, regrettably, force-fed a curricular version of Shakespeare. Those with a theater background are likely to find this book all the more entertaining. For those less accustomed, bare with it. The structure may take a little getting used to.

Bertie makes for a saucy upstart of a heroine, as loyal to her friends as she is prone to haphazard experimentation (of the theatrical variety, of course). Despite her surreal surroundings, she is, at her heart, a strong-willed and relatable young woman. Though she doesn't know who she is or where she came from. Bertie spends much of her time torn between bravely striking out to find herself and clinging to the familiar--and to those she regards as her surrogate family.

The writing is sound, and the style and imagery are charming. Once I picked up the rules and immersed myself in the whimsical drama of the world, it became a most enjoyable ride. I look forward to the sequels!
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Perfection
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Wonderful book! I loved how the author made all the characters interesting and understandable, even the ones who were bad. In the beginning of the book I hated Ariel, but even when I hated him I think I subconciously liked him, and as the book continued I grew to like him more and more. And now for the first time I am really truly conflicted in an almost bad way with who I want Bertie to end up with. Yes, I have debated with myself over who other characters should end up with, but never has it been as hard a decision as this. I love both characters in different ways and it is clear(at least now) that they both love her. I can't wait to read the next installment to see what happens.

Also I loved Cobweb, Peaseblossom, Moth, and Mustardseed. They were so funny and a great comic relief throughout the story. I wish I had four little fairy friends :P
Good Points
Characters
Humor
Setting/Atmosphere
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It made my heart happy.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Okay, I might be getting way ahead of myself and over-generalizing here but: authors with a background in theater are AWESOME.

I've been seeing Eyes Like Stars around for like the past two years, but for some reason I kept putting off getting my hands on a copy - mostly because high school had me studying like a bear eating its body weight before spending the winter napping. I totally regret that now, because that was definitely a time I needed a perky pick-me-up like WHOA.

First of all...please tell me how I can end up living at the Theatre Illuminata - minus becoming a foundling child the way Bertie was. It seemed like every other page I was going green with envy, thinking, "Why do places like these only exist in books?!" I mean, Bertie's room is part of the set. How unique can you get?

Also, the writing. A major point I've always given to authors with a background in the performing arts is the way the story just seems to flow. When you read Eyes Like Stars - at least to me - it unfolds around you like the perfect movie script. (Speaking of which, this needs to be a movie. Now.)

None of the characters are cardboard cut-outs, or take over the stage from anyone else. The only person I really couldn't warm up to was Ariel - mainly because in spite of his NOT being The Little Mermaid, his character was pretty similar. He wanted to be part of that world at all costs...but he went a little far in doing so. Even if it all ended well (and no, I don't count that as a spoiler, thank you very much), I still kept him at arm's length.

Nate on the other hand...

Oh, and one last push in the right direction: if you don't want to read it for anything I described up there, read it for the fairies - you know, Peaseblossom, Mustardseed...those little cuties from A Midsummer Night's Dream? I always thought that if they had more screen time, they'd really ham it up, and in Eyes Like Stars, they really do.

Example: the "Diva" vs. "Divo" scene on page 45. Not only was this cute, it was also funny because my sister and I have had that exact same debate - ie. is Joe Jonas categorized as a diva or a divo? (Don't ask.)
Good Points
Amazing characters. Quirky writing and humor right when you need it.
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A Rare Treasure
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
This book is stunning. So unique! The setting is truly another character, (And how awesome is it that there's a theater where all the characters from every play ever written hang out when they aren't on stage?), the heroine is eccentric, lonely, brave, and interesting, and the other characters all contribute something special to this fabulous debut. I don't think a review can truly do this book justice. It's intelligent, sophisticated, funny, and thoroughly plotted. Don't miss it!
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A Must-Read!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by LunaMoth

What a book!!
There are not enough words to describe how wonderful and unique this book was. Sure, in the begining you may be a bit confused (I sure was!) parts of the book read like a script and details parts of berties (Beatrices) past or others pasts.
Beatrice is a headstrong, witty and lovable main charactor, you will root for her, cry with her, and laugh with her throughout "Eyes Like Stars." That is not to say the supporting cast isn't as pleasant, I found myself hating Ariel the wind spirit in the begining and middle but by the end I was on his side. Same with Ophelia (have you noticed yet that all these charactors are from other plays?) she was a bit snarky in the begining but wonderful by the end.
Beatrice is supported by her ever faithful, funny and ever present fairy companions: Peaseblossom, Moth, Cobweb and Mustardseed. As well as the pirate Nate whom Beatrice has a sort of crush on.  All of the charactors presented in "Eyes Like Stars" has thier own personalities, some funny, some mean but all enjoyable.
The wording was fluid, though some words I did have to look up in my Kindles dictionary, it is an easy read and it isn't so deep that you end up scratching your head. 
The cover for "Eyes Like Stars" is one of the most beautiful ones i have ever seen (only seconded by the next book in the series "Perchance to Dream") the girl on the front is exactly how i would picture Bertie! though i did think the fairys on the front were moths (sorry guys!)
If you like fantasy, humor, magic, a bit of tradjety and a good clean read then pick up "Eyes Like Stars" you will NOT be dissapointed
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Fresh,fresh, fresh!
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Ruthie

What a fresh new novel! I went into this book expecting something I've read before but this book was great! Although I was confused in the first two chapters, everything smoothed out quickly and I began to love the story. The characters, although most from a past musical or play, were new and they each had their own character to them. I hang around theater people alot and I believe they were portrayed very well. I'm most excited for the next book Perchance to Dream which I believe will be coming out in May. Can't wait!
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A Book You CAN Judge By Its (Beautiful!) Cover
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Super Reader Girl






Wow. What
a unique story! Fans of the theater, of magic, and of mischievous
fairies, will LOVE this book. I loved Bertie (Beatrice Shakespeare
Smith)'s spunky personality - and her Cobalt Blue Flame hair. :) It
took me about 80 pages to be really hooked in the book, but once I was,
I kept reading to the end! Such beautiful imagery and creative
dialogue. SO fun!


It seemed a bit "Night at the Museum" meets "A Midsummer Night's
Dream" and I loved it. I also loved the beautiful cover art! There are
still unanswered questions once "Act 1" comes to a close, and I'm
looking forward to reading "Act 2" (Perchance to Dream) to find out what happens next!


Thank you, Lisa Mantchev for a wonderful book!
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"Eyes Like Stars" Shines
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Libmaven

With Eyes Like Stars Lisa Mantchev opens the door to the Theatre Illuninata where all the characters of literature live, just waiting to act their parts. Amid the dramatis personae lives Beatrice Shakespere Smith, an orphan who has grown up in the theatre. Prone to getting into mischief with the help of Moth, Peaseblossom, and other Midsummer Night's Dream faeries, Beatrice must prove her worth and find her role in the theatre or face being expelled out into the wider real world. I appreciate authors who create a world that is so appealing I hate to disengage my imagination and put the book aside; I am already craving the sequel. (reviewed from the ARC)
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Great Read
Overall rating 
 
1.0
Plot 
 
1.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Megan

I've been waiting to read this for a while. I've heard great things
about this debut novel as well. It was pretty good for the most part.
My biggest issue was that it was a little hard to follow at times.


The characters are strong. Bertie was a very, er, quirky character. I
loved the fairies. They were so funny. I didn't get very attached to
Nathan or Ariel really.

I also wish that the when of the story
was a little more explained. I have no idea what era the story takes
place in or if it was timeless. I just have no clue. Overall it was a
good read and should be checked out.

I'm sorry this review's so short, it's been a while since I've read it.

B

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Spectacular
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Yan

Outstandingthis book will keep its reader on the edge of their seats. Lisa Mantchev has written an awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, back-tingling book that I cannot wait until the sequel is released.

At first I was completely bogged down by the onslaught of names, nicknames (somehow Beatrice and Bertie doesnt equal when I first read it), pandemonium. But a few chapters in I felt much more comfortable, basking in the glow of the theatre.

Each character had a vivid personality that every reader will have in some way or form love. I fell in love with almost character with their unique and distinctive way of coming through the book.

The plotline while slow at first breaks through with a touch of sass, drama, and twists! Oh the plot twist! Im zipping my mouth up about that.

Really I seem to have issues gushing about this book.

Overall: It was spectacular!


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