Saturday, March 21, 2009

Eyes Like Stars

Mantchev, Lisa. 2009. (July Publication) Eyes Like Stars. Feiwel and Friends. 368 pages.

Part of me knows that it's mean to tease you. To taunt you with how very very wonderful a book is...and then reveal that it isn't going to be available until July. But. I can't resist. Why? Because I am head over heels in love with this book. I didn't just love it. I didn't just love, love, love it. I LOVED it. Take my normal enthusiasm of a book that I've gushed about in the past and multiply it a couple of times. Then you'll begin to understand how giddy this book made me.

The fairies flew suspended on wires despite their tendency to get tangled together.

Who are these fairies? None other than Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth, and Mustardseed. (These four are from Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream). Our heroine, Beatrice Shakespeare Smith, counts these four fairies as her closest friends. And they do have a bit in common: they're all mischievous. (In a good way.) Beatrice--as far back as she can remember--has lived in the Theatre. Her bedroom? One of the sets. Her friends? The characters from all the plays ever written. Her love interest? A minor player, a pirate from The Little Mermaid. (He's only ever had one line.) Her forbidden playmate whom she loves-to-hate and hates-to-love? Ariel from The Tempest.

When we first meet Beatrice, she's in trouble and doesn't even know it. The Theatre Manager has decided that it is time--past time really--for Beatrice to go. To leave her home, her friends, the only life she's ever known. His excuse? She's not contributing to the theatre. She--and others along side her--plead with him; he grants her a few more days to prove that she has what it takes, that she belongs there.

Her idea? To be a director! Though their productions generally never require a director--after all the originals know their lines backwards and forwards and then some--but if she were to change it up, change it around...then...maybe just maybe she'd find her place. Thus she seeks to recreate give it an ancient Egyptian setting.

But life is never this easy, right? You know there are bound to be conflicts! I am not going to say much more. I don't want to spoil it. But it is oh-so-magical. It is fun and playful. It is giddy-making.

Here's the blurb--in case I haven't already persuaded you to put this on your wish list:

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 Theatre 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 Theatre 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.
Great premise, great characters, great writing, great cover...this book has it all.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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Kailana 11:30 PM  

I had a funny feeling I was going to want to read this book... Off to make sure I put it on my wish list!

Jena 11:32 PM  

You tease! Fine, I'll go put it on my wishlist...

Anonymous,  1:52 AM  

Like Kailana, I had the feeling I was going to want to read this book. I just didn't know how much and whether I could shove it onto my 'allowed to break no-buying rule for this' list. I can. (I want it and I want it now and I want at least three copies so I can give some of them away as presents to my friends!)

So, even if you're teasing a bit with this review, thank you for doing so!

Louise 6:36 AM  

Great teaser and your enthusiasm makes me want to read this book, although the genre certainly fall out of what I usually read. But then again, I've never been afraid to try some new or seldom read genre.

Anonymous,  7:42 AM  

Oh wow-wow-wow! This looks good. I also need some more fairy themed books for the 999 Reading Challenge. I am so glad you loved it.

Blog question: Did you change the look of the comments? Something looks different?

Sarah Rettger 11:06 AM  

Thanks, Becky - this was the push I needed to grab the ARC off my shelf.

Anonymous,  12:44 PM  

Sounds absolutely wonderful! I'm definitely moving it to my TBR list. :) Thanks for your review!

Charlotte 3:15 PM  

I was already looking forward to this, and now, of course, more so!

Janssen 4:13 PM  

Oh, this looks so so good!

Debi 6:33 PM  

Oh Becky...that was mean, mean, mean! :) This sounds so very, very, very fabulous. July just sounds so incredibly far away... *pout* Oh well, it's not like I don't have a few thousand other books I want to read in the meantime, right?

R.J. Anderson 7:23 PM  

I just read it last week myself and all I can say is that I LOVED THIS BOOK LIKE PIE.

I am so glad I'm not the only one.

marineko 10:45 PM  

I will be pre-ordering this, thanks to your post :) It's exactly the kind of book I'd love!

Erika Powell 11:28 PM  

i LOVED this book too! I couldn't put it down!

samantha.1020 12:55 PM  

I'm completely convinced! This sounds like an amazing read and I will be definitely picking this one up when it comes out. Thanks for the great review!

DesLily 11:53 AM  

"dang you.. dang you.. gunna take a rope and hang you!".. sheesh Becky I just today gave you two points for books now I have to put this one on the wish list!!

di 4:04 PM  

loveLoveLOVE this one!

Maree 12:49 AM  

That sounds really magical. One for the list, for sure.

Shelley 11:59 PM  

Luckily I have plenty to keep me busy until July, but I'll be looking out for this one. It sounds like a good one for the road trip we're planning. Just the right mood!

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