can you see the stars in my eyes?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 |

One of the most engaging and fun novels I’ve read this year was Lisa Matchev’s Eyes Like Stars. It’s made quite a splash in the blogging community, and I can honestly say I wish this novel all the best. Because it’s hilarious without verging on camp, it’s outright fun without a lack of depth, and it has a rollicking plot that keeps (or will keep) all of its readers glued to the page.

The star of the show is Bertie, heroine and mischief-maker extraordinaire. But if she were going to be upstaged, it would be by her motley entourage of sprites or the elusive, dangerous Ariel. Even Shakespeare’s character Ophelia shows surprising emotional depth in this tale.

And that’s what this frolic is at its heart: a tale, a play on words, a play on plays, a grand playground of the imagination. Of course there are a few miniscule flaws – after all, the author is human (or is she?) – but the overall performance is strong, and Mantchev delivers creative, wondrous prose. At the risk of sounding like Mantchev’s publicist, this woman completely ROCKS, and her story does too. Only moreso. Thus, if you haven’t already, you should get yourself in on the dramatic adventure (pun intended) that is Eyes Like Stars.

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 place 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

Recommended for: EVERYONE, but especially anyone with an inexplicable attraction to bright colors. Also, fairy and theater fans, and those who can appreciate well-written coming-of-age fiction.


MissA said...

Oooo I really want to read this book. I love Shakespeare and the whole theater scene. Great review :)

Bianca said...

I've been dying to get my hands on this book. I am a HUGE theatre fan and this books sounds wicked!

I'm really glad you liked it. Great review!

Anonymous said...

I really wanna read this one now! darn you!

-Aimee :)

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

This sounds like an entertaining book. I think I may have to get it. I was on the wall with this one, just not sure. But this review sounds pretty good.

I have to say the cover is beautiful as well.


Tia said...

I hadn't heard of this and was really interested in your review. I love the idea of Shakespeare being worked into a YA novel. It's nice to see a more direct connection (i.e. more than just stories of "star-crossed lovers" a la "Romeo and Juliet") to his works. Is this a novel that's better if you're familiar with Shakespeare, or would students who haven't begun studying him yet be interested (and/or "get it")?

Diana Dang said...

I love this book :)

Cecelia said...

There are definitely bits that are more understandable if you've read The Tempest and Hamlet, but I think you can enjoy it without, too. It's got it's own original cast of characters - they don't need too much background. Fun for everyone!

Ryan said...

I had seen this book around but I wasn't sure I would want to read it. Your review has me leaning in the read column now. Thanks for the heads up.

Kim said...

Well--and Wow. You have me hooked. Great review!

Unknown said...

Hello Ce.lia – I hope you don’t mind me dropping by. I wondered if your blog was free on the 1st of March next year? I’m a British author and a fellow Bookblogs member and my next novel, Thaw, will be published online next year after its physical publication. I wanted to invite you (and your readers) to participate in my Blogsplash - there’s more information at Thanks for listening!

She said...

You've convinced me!

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

This looks like a fun one. ~another book I'm going to have to add to my list!

INCiDeNT (Kayleigh) said...

Love the sound of this book! Hooked & adding to my TBR list!

Anonymous said...

This one's on my list already. Sounds like one I'll love.

Andrea said...

I've started it but got sidetracked by a challenge I need to finish by the end of the year, but I will be going back to it as soon as I can.

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