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"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


Eyes Like Stars (Review)

Title: Eyes Like Stars
Edition: Paperback, 384 pages
Author(s): Lisa Mantchev
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication Date: April 13, 2010
Source: NCTE
Buy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

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

     Mantchev brings the reader into the theatre immediately; she does this in several ways: setting the book up as a play, including legendary characters from the stage, and by simply naming her protagonist after one of the greatest playwrights in history.

     The overall concept is interesting, a young girl living in a theatre.  And that theatre is alive with the very characters from the plays it performs.  Bertie is both your typical teenager and your extraordinary heroine.  The supporting cast is also great.  The four fairies provided the much needed comedy relief, but at the same time are Bertie's true champions through her whole ordeal.  Nate is the epitome of swashbuckler with some upstanding sailor thrown in, and Ariel is everyone's bad boy dream.

     However, I did have a few problems with the story.  The action starts out slow, but without clearly establishing anything.  It isn't until almost 2/3 of the way into the book that we, as readers, start getting some substantial plot.  Also the character of Bertie itself can be overly entitled.  She doesn't feel responsibility towards anything, and it gets slightly annoying during the reading.  She does end up redeeming herself, which helps to make up for the beginning.

Overall, it is a good start to the series.  I liked the overall plot, when I got into it, and I feel the supporting cast creates a great backdrop for Bertie's development.  It deserves a read through, especially if you're a fan of the theatre!  The next book, Perchance to Dream, is already in stores, so make sure to grab that too.
Book Cover: 5/5
Book Title: 5/5
Plot: 7/10
Characters: 7/10
Writing: 7/10
Ending: 8/10 
Overall: 32/50  

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