Ello ello ello! Guys! This book rocks! Lets wind it back :)
Eyes Like Stars is the first in the Theatre Illuminata series by Lisa Mantchev. Beatrice (Bertie) Shakespeare Smith lives in the Theatre Illuminata, a magical place where the characters from every single play every written are alive in the Theatre. From Nate, a close friend who might be something more, to Ariel, a wind spirit who Bertie can't stop thinking about, to her fairy sidekicks Mustardseed, Moth, Peablossom and Cobweb. When the Theater Manager threatens to kick Bertie out of the Theatre, Bertie goes on a journey that will change the course of her life, and that of the Theatre's forever.
I liked this book a lot. Nearly loved it. I am a huge theater geek, so this book appealed to that side of me, as well as just being a good solid story. I will admit that the beginning was a bit slow and bland, but once it got going I was hooked. I loved the concept of a magical theater where the characters are real, and they interacted and had their own real personalities. The moods were palpable, the action (when there was, and it was little which is fine) was heart pounding. The romance(s) were beautiful, and that ending just blew me away. All in all a pretty dang wonderful book.
Bertie was amazing. I loved her wit and humor, her determination, her vulnerability, basically she felt real. All of the characters did, which is amazing since this is a fantastical book. Bertie had her immature moments, but she developed and grew into a fabulous character that I feel like could be my sister in real life. Nate was amazing as well. He was so sweet and protective and funny. Boy, if he were not fictional (in both senses) I'd definitely go for him. The only thing that bothered me about him was his accent. He had that pirate accent which was written down. It honestly just bothered the hell out of me. I could barely understood anything he said at certain points. But other than that, Nate was wonderful. Ariel on the other hand, I had a mixed relationship with. He was that typical d-bag with a devious/malicious agenda that had a softer side to him. That softer side is supposed to appeal to Bertie and the audience, and it did. I love and hate him at the same time, I just don't know which side will win out, hopefully I'll see in the next book. The fairies, Bertie's other friends, were probably my favorites. They were hilarious, making me literally laugh out loud almost every time they were in the book. But they also deeply cared for Bertie, loyal to her til the end. The other characters like the Theater Manager were well developed and intriguing.
I adore Lisa Mantchev's style. It had a very theatrical way about it (literally). I loved the moments that were written like a play. Mantchev has such a lyrical style to her, her talent is amazing. She built the world of the Theatre beautifully, and there were no continuity errors. I will definitely be reading the next book.
So was this worth the hype? Most definitely!
I'll next be reviewing Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay.
Until next time, viva la literature!