Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Book Review: Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

 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.

I read a lot of books but rarely do I come across something completely new and original. Eyes Like Stars is like nothing I have ever read before, it was so different, so fresh and so bizarre and to be completely honest it blew me away.

I just don’t really know how to describe this book. Its style was odd and very different most of it was written normally but some was written like a play, both styles were interesting and full of Manchev’s unique and bizarre prose. It is a story full of wonder, full of magic and it completely captured my imagination. Reading it was like visiting a different world full of bright characters we all know and love from other works and seeing them in a way we never had before.

The big personalities in this book is what made it work so well, and there was not one person I didn’t like or held no personality of appeal. Bertie is a lovable lead whose innocent naivety and fiery nature was impossible to dislike. The two boys she found herself between were equally likable. Nate is a handsome and rugged pirate, who could shiver me timbers any day of the week. He was lovable and loyal and I guess represents the good boy. Ariel is the bad boy (although not really) I think my heart lies with him, there was just something about him I loved.

But by far the best character were Cobweb, Moth, Mustard Seed and Peaseblosom, the mischievous fairies. They were sweet, silly and made me laugh until I cried. All the other characters were brilliant like the broody, tortured artist Hamlet who also made me giggle.

Despite how much I loved and adored Eyes Like Stars I cannot give it 5 stars. There are times were Mantchev gets a little carried away and the writing become frantic and hard to follow. I had to re-read several pages in order to understand what was going on and even then I wasn’t 100% sure.

Apart from that I thought this book was perfection. I loved the idea, it was bold and creative. I loved the characters, it made me laugh, It touched me and it transported me to a place full of mystery and magic. I adored this and I highly recommend it.

4 stars

Published July 7th 2009 by Feiwel & Friends.  A free copy was provided for review. Image courtesy of Goodreads

Review by Kate Phillips


  1. I'm always on the hunt for something new/different/refreshing. I've been keeping an eye on this book because of the gorgeous cover, but I think I need to pick it up soon! :)

    Great review.

  2. I appreciated the originality but definitely found myself confused in a few parts, which limited my ability to bond with the characters and really enjoy the book.


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