Thursday, April 9, 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 Hamlet...to 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.
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