Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev


All her world's a stage.

Beatrice 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.

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.

My thoughts: I was totally pumped to receive this ARC, and I was even more pumped to read it! I was physically unable to put it down (I think my copy was enchanted), and it took all of my willpower to not toss Lisa a message every time there was a plot twist or a character revelation or a funny line. Which was every few pages. Seriously.

When we did talk, I told her I wasn't looking forward to writing this review, because it would be hard to tamp down my enthusiasm.

This was exactly the book I wanted to read.

Here are some of the other things I told her, at the risk of enlarging her amazing head:

The word that kept coming back to me as I read it was effortless. The humor works perfectly, and the dialogue rivals Gilmore Girls--only it's a lot more genuine. The cast--and it is a large cast, since, you know, every character from every play lives in the Theater--was handled deftly, and even the minor characters shine.

I was worried when I started, afraid that worldbuilding could have weighted the manuscript down. That's the problem with coming up with something so unique, so fresh--most writers don't know how to make it work. I'm always terribly interested in the workings of the world in which characters I like live, but oftentimes it gets in the way of plot. Again, the word effortless pops up. Mantchev tells the reader just what they need to know to make the story viable--no more--and leaves the rest up to the imagination...or perhaps the next books in the series.

And the voice?

Oh wow, the voice rocks my socks. Glib but tinted with mystery, new but old, curious and straightforward, the contradictions only add depth and flavor to an already solid plot.

As for the characters, I fear saying much beause their stories are so tightly woven that I might give spoilers. Trust me, you don't want spoilers. You just want to experience the magic that is this book.

And I think that's what's been missing from a lot of fantasy stories: real magic. But Eyes Like Stars has magic and so much more. Can't wait for the next installment to get here!

This book isn't out until June, but you can pre-order on Amazon. And you should. Fo' real.


Shelli said...

thx for coming to my blog elisa and for the thoughful comments. I may take you up on the chocolates :)Congrads on your process and let me know what happens.

Beth Fehlbaum, Author said...

Cool review!
Beth Fehlbaum, author
Courage in Patience, a story of HOPE..
Ch. 1 is online!