Bertie Shakespeare Smith lives in the Theatre Illuminata. She is not a player like the others, who are bound by The Book to stay. Instead, she was left at the theater when she was young. The Theater Manager allowed her to stay, until now that is. Bertie’s antics have finally become too much. Now, Bertie only has one chance to stay. She must find a way to be helpful around the theater and soon. Even with the help of her fairy friends, how will she manage to do this? Things are complicated when Bertie learns there is more to lose than just her home…
Lisa Mantchev creates a stunning and original world in Eyes Like Stars. Aside from the Harry Potter series, I don’t think I’ve read a book with such a vivid world. Theatre Illuminata is simply a magical place. Mantchev basically shoves readers into this world, which can make the book confusing for the first few chapters, but after that, readers will find themselves enjoying the book vs. confused by it. Mantchev was also able to take characters she did not create and make them her own. This helped create for a pleasant read. Bertie and her fairy friends were a fun bunch. The fairies are from the play A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Other characters were from plays such as The Tempest, The Little Mermaid, and Hamlet.
Despite the magical setting, I did not enjoy Eyes Like Stars as much as I would have liked. I was expecting this book to captivate me, but it did not. The weird thing is, I have no clue why it did not. I mean, I liked the characters, the setting, and the plot, so what could be missing? The theater lingo did not really bother me either. Maybe I just set my expectations too high.
Anyone who is a fan of Shakespeare or theater will definitely want to read this book! If you’re looking for some fantasy without the paranormal, then I also recommend this.