Eyes Like Stars - Lisa Mantchev
So I read this the other day and was pleased with the funny, engaging story. So we've got Beatrice Shakespeare Smith, called Bertie, a seventeen year old girl who lives in the Theatre Illuminata, right? Yeah, in this theatre, the characters from the play are alive, able to hang out and interact with Bertie, and her best friends include four mischievous fairies and Nate, a pirate character. It's a pretty fun life, but Bertie is always getting into trouble because of her antics. Then one day it's the last straw, and the Theater Manager says that she'll have to leave unless she can find a way to make herself invaluable to the theatre. Bertie manages to figure out a plan, but the hard part comes in the execution, and that doesn't even take into account the sabotage and secrets that she comes up against.
So, yeah, it's a book about the theatre. So y'all know I like it, 'cause I totally dig the theatre. Plenty of references to theatre (and I swear I saw a reference to getting eaten by a grue, what) which made for some very nice moments of recognition when I picked them up. That's always fun. And the inclusion of familiar Shakespearean characters and seeing the interpretations of them gave another dimension to the book. Hm, well, we never actually leave the theatre in this story, and the Theatre Illuminata is such a magical place, I could never place the time period, which I thought was great because it just added to the magic and mystery of the story. And I quite liked Bertie herself. She's a familiar character type, the spunky girl who causes chaos but who has a good heart. She's smart, offbeat, somewhat girly instead of overwhelmingly tomboyish, and very creative. So when she decides on her plan on how to remain at the theatre, we buy that she's able to pull it off. Also nice is that her actions do have consequences, and even though things are mostly okay at the end, there's still a big burden of guilt regarding her one slip-up that she'll need to fix in the next book. Oh, and I do like that the story was mostly self-contained even while setting up for a sequel. I don't like reading one story stretched over multiple books. Give me story arcs that are as self-contained as possible but which contribute to a larger whole.
Anyway, Eyes Like Stars was a very enjoyable read. It's fairly substantial, but if you're like me, you'll blaze through it because it keeps your interest the whole way through.
Oh, and since I forgot to mention this in the last post, thanks to everyone who commented on the discussion post from earlier in the month. We came up with some great thoughts. ^_^