Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Two-fer Review: Eyes Like Stars & Perchance to Dream

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

publisher: Feiwel & Friends

release date: July 7th, 2009

edition: Hardcover, 368 pages
intended audience: Young adult


description from amazon.com:
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.

Review: The first book in the Théâtre Illuminata series is fantastic! In this magical theater, all of the characters from every play ever written exist to be called into action on cue. They magically appear for their curtain calls. Enter Beatrice Shakespeare Smith, a girl with a tendency to anger the stage manager and dye her hair wild colors...and she is the only one in the theater that doesn't either come from a play or have a real purpose there, and no one really knows how she got there. I absolutely loved how imaginative this whole premise was. It's definitely one the most creative stories I've ever read. I loved Bertie's spunk and her constant companions, the fairies from Midsummer Nights Dream, were hilarious. When she is called out by the stage manager to either prove her worth to the theater or leave forever, the adventure begins and doesn't stop until the very end and beyond!


Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev
publisher: Feiwel & Friends

release date: May 25th, 2010

edition: ARC, 333 pages

intended audience: Young adult


Description from
We are such stuff as dreams are made on.
Act Two, Scene One
Growing up in the enchanted Thèâtre Illuminata, Beatrice Shakespeare Smith learned everything about every play ever written. She knew the Players and their parts, but she didn’t know that she, too, had magic. Now, she is the Mistress of Revels, the Teller of Tales, and determined to follow her stars. She is ready for the outside world.
But the outside world soon proves more topsy-turvy than any stage production. Bertie can make things happen by writing them, but outside the protective walls of the Thèâtre, nothing goes as planned. And her magic cannot help her make a decision between—
Nate: Her suave and swashbuckling pirate, now in mortal peril.
Ariel: A brooding, yet seductive, air spirit whose true motives remain unclear.
When Nate is kidnapped and taken prisoner by the Sea Goddess, only Bertie can free him. She and her fairy sidekicks embark on a journey aboard the Thèâtre’s caravan, using Bertie’s word magic to guide them. Along the way, they collect a sneak-thief, who has in his possession something most valuable, and meet The Mysterious Stranger, Bertie’s father—and the creator of the scrimshaw medallion. Bertie’s dreams are haunted by Nate, whose love for Bertie is keeping him alive, but in the daytime, it’s Ariel who is tantalizingly close, and the one she is falling for. Who does Bertie love the most? And will her magic be powerful enough to save her once she enters the Sea Goddess’s lair?
Review: In the second installment of this series, we find Bertie and company traveling the countryside to save her pirate boyfriend Nate from Sedna, the Sea Goddess, who has taken him prisoner. Like the first book, this is a wonderful face-paced adventure, absolutely overflowing with creativity. Lisa Mantchev's writing springs to mind visual candy like no other. New characters are intoduced and the complex love story really gets into full swing. Bertie is just as strong and gutsy as ever. I did find, in this one, that at times, things were happening so quickly and the adventure rolling along so fast-paced that I would get a little lost and have to flip back a few pages and reread. Still, a wonderful story and great continuation of the series!

Excited to see what the third installment will bring!


  1. Great review. I only read the review for the first book, because I do want to read this series. I love the sound of the main character and that she dye her hair in wild colors, reminds me of someone I know! :) Appearantly Pink is very in at the moment. LOL! I cant wait to buy this book and start reading it.

  2. I haven't even hit page 100 yet of Eyes Like Stars, everything is so... confusing. So much detail, so much of everyone running around... ahhh! But I guess all books like these are confusing in the beginning. Haven't decided if I'll grab the second one yet...

  3. Oh oh! I have the ARC for "Perchance to Dream" sitting on my shelf right now and I am stoked to read it. Love your review!