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Eyes Like Stars (Théâtre Illuminata #1)

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,075 Ratings  ·  1,274 Reviews
Welcome to the Theatre Illuminata, where the actors 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. Lisa Mantchev has writt ...more
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Published February 1st 2010 by Full Cast Audio (first published July 7th 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Emily May

For a magical fantasy book about fairies, Shakespearian characters and a heroine with blue hair, this is quite a dull lacklustre novel.

It could have been great.

Eyes Like Stars is about a theatre where characters from all the plays are trapped by a mystical "Book of the Stage", doomed to repeatedly perform their roles on a continuous loop forever... unless Bertie - aided by the fairies from A Midsummer Night's Dream - can discover the secrets of the Theatre Illuminata and what traps them there a
I feel like the village idiot, because half of the time I had no idea what the hell was going on. So much stuff happened at the same time and for some reason I kept getting confused because of all the scene changes. Am I really getting that old?

I liked Bertie a lot (her hair is awesome) and the 4 faeries are hilarious. I even laughed out loud a few times. I don't really understand her fixation on Ariel (I kept getting distracted by an image of the Ariel the mermaid) though, there really isn't mu
Jan 25, 2010 Alexa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can imagine it as an animated film. Hayao Miyazaki comes to mind.
Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
While reading Eyes Like Stars, here are some words that kept coming to mind:"Creative!" "Fun!" "Original!" "Whimsical!" "Hysterical!" but most importantly: "CLEVER." The world of the Theatre that Mantchev has created is utterly and deliciously clever. Everything about the book was enjoyable for me. I was a little skeptical of the book's premise that all theater characters - not just the Shakespearean ones - live in the same magical theater, but Mantchev handled it really well and kept the story ...more
Tamora Pierce
Feb 11, 2009 Tamora Pierce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most unique books I've ever read, with a strong girl hero, a fascinating setting in the ultimate theater, and real fairies--on wires! What's not to like?!
Morgan F
I have to get something off my chest. *takes deep breath* I bought this book for it's cover. I didn't even read the description first.

This book takes place entirely in an enchanted theater ran by The Book. The Book is what bounds the Players to the roles they were born to play, and it domineers over the magical scene changes. 17 yr old Bertie is not a Player nor a crew member, but has called the Theater her home for the past 10 years, not knowing where she came from. Bertie and her companions, t
Sunil Sebastian
Mar 16, 2009 Sunil Sebastian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of good writing and strong characters.
Eyes Like Stars, front coverDisclosure: Lisa Mantchev is a friend and I've been reading drafts of this book since before she found it's name. Also, I freelance as her sidekick and occasional ninja. Yes, I am bragging. She's worth bragging about.

In Eyes Like Stars, Lisa Mantchev tells a simple story, about a found orphan struggling to save her home.

Except that Bertie's home is a theater. And not just a theater, but *the* theatre, where all the characters of all the works of all humanity make their home. She's grown up amid
Jul 02, 2009 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
In honor of seeing the book in the wild!
Oct 28, 2009 Angie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Awhile back I won an ARC of Lisa Matchev's EYES LIKE STARS. I was even more excited to read it when the book arrived and I saw the tagline: Theatre Illuminata, Act I. Loved it. Love the whole title, the lush, edgy cover, and the main character's incredibly apt name--Beatrice Shakespeare Smith--known to the inhabitants of the Theatre Illuminata as Bertie. So I was happy to see EYES LIKE STARS nominated for a Cybils award in the YA Scifi/Fantasy category so that I could kick my panelist reading of ...more
Eyes Like MEH.

I think the only things I enjoyed was Ariel and the idea of resetting Hamlet (which, once again, was another plot that hyped the reader!). It also didn’t help that Bertie acted like an idiot at times, and she was so RUDE to everyone! There were so many times when she told people off when they were honestly trying to help her. Then she pitted people against one another for her own gain. She never took responsibility for her actions, and to top it all off, I never got the chemistry b
Deva Fagan
Jan 19, 2009 Deva Fagan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-read
This is the sort of book that I love to dive into and just revel in. It's got a brilliant, unusual, magical, enchanting setting and a strong, funny, active heroine. Bertie is a vivid character (and not just because of her Cobalt Flame hair). I love that she lives with such passion, that she has both strengths and flaws, and that she goes out there an makes things happen (though they may not always go the way she plans). And perhaps more than anything, I loved the Theatre Illuminata itself as a c ...more
Feb 22, 2015 Sanaa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-read
[4 Stars] First off I want to say, this was exactly the kind of book I wanted to read right now. Secondly, I would like to say this book is not for everyone. It reads like a play, a rather strange play with delightful characters and comedic lines and crazy things happening without you expecting it and a sense of play and silliness and joy about the entire thing.

Beatrice lives in a Theatre where all the players come alive and on stage. She is a strong female character with spunk and tendency to b
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Well.. This book was a bit of a mess, wasn't it? I read this alongside Millie and we both agreed that it would have been better if it had been just straight up middle grade and not this weird pseudo-sexy wannabe YA novel. Also, Bertie was a lil ho. Like, damn.
Jul 14, 2010 Bry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, 2010, fantasy

****** STORY ******

This is a story about Bertie (Beatrice) Shakespeare Smith (and, yes that is her really name the poor child) who lives in the Theater Illuminata, the home to every play every written and performed - although she is not an actress. After a slightly fiery incident involving a canon, some play set's and the roof of the theater (which now sports a new hole) Bertie is being evicted from the only place she has ever called home - unless she can prove herself a valu
Feb 03, 2009 Christy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story is amazing and will completely wrap you in it's spell. You can't help but fall in love with it's characters and really wish you had a ticket to the Theatre!
Alicia O'Carrick

Bertie reached out one shaking hand and touched a fingertip to The Book, fully expecting red-lit alarms and perhaps guards armed with spears to descend from the rafters. But nothing happened to stop her, so she lifted The Book and hugged it against her chest, feeling very scared indeed.

DNF 61%

This…is a bit of a shock, considering that for most of the beginning, I was enjoying the living hell out of this.

Eyes Like Stars is very, very complicated. It’s about a girl named Beatrice, who was orph
Snarky Hatter
Jul 22, 2012 Snarky Hatter rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This will always be one of those books that even with all of my reasoning I'll wonder why I couldn't enjoy it, because on paper it is the kind of book I like: Fantasy, Young Adult, inspired by other famous works, etc. So why didn't I like it?

I hated the fairies. They were annoying and I wanted to swat them until they were dead or unable to speak. They don't add anything to the plot and are just there to cause trouble. I assume they are there to be funny too, but they didn't make me laugh once. T
Beatrice "Bertie" Shakespeare Smith has lived in the Théâtre for as long as she can remember. She loves the crazy cast of characters who populate her life and she loves getting up to crazy antics with them. She loves the stories and the Stage and everything about it. (Well, maybe she doesn't love the Stage Manager...) But when Bertie's antics go too far, the Theater Manager asks her to prove herself to be a valuable member of the Théâtre -- or leave. Desperate not to be exiled from her favorite ...more
Mar 04, 2009 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An utterly enchanting book with a premise so unique, you couldn't guess it if I gave you a hundred hints...

And I'm not going to! Because so much of the magic in this book lies in discovering the pieces yourself through Mantchev's thorough characterization and uncanny ability to set even an unusual scene with so much detail that you will feel as if you are right there watching the whole thing unfold.

This is a magical book - a perfect blending of contemporary dialogue and situations against a fai
Feb 07, 2009 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ARC Copy received today!

I finished this book last night and I have to say people who read this are in for a treat. Lisa creates a magical world that draws you and doesn't let go even on the last page. I want MORE! Luckily there are (I believe) three books in this series.

I understand the launch date for this book is July 7, 2009, but hopefully this will be one that they release early!

A great read, great characters, plot twists that will keep you guessing.

Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

Book 1 of the Great Culling of the Summer of 2014.

DNF at page 48. Skimmed the rest.

Mary Sue is Speshul and Unique and Rebellious and googoo eyed for two boys - do we really need a plot beyond that?

The coolest part was how the plays came to life, but beyond that BEEN THERE DONE THAT DIDNT LIKE IT.

All right, guys. I'm going to be honest with you. I hadn't the slightest idea what was going on for 75% of this book. It took me a few weeks to actually finish this. My eyes would glaze over sporadically and it turns out I had skimmed over several paragraphs, but none of it was absorbed. The ending is what redeemed this book, in my eyes.

What I do know is that I really enjoyed Bertie as a heroine. She owned sarcasm. I love heroines like that.

Damsel in distress? Nah.
Absence of backbone? Hardly.
Nov 10, 2010 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Welll. . . . I really wanted to like this book. I mean, the cover rocks, and now I want to dye my hair, but I just couldn’t give it more then 2. The reason I gave it 2 in the first place is because I thought the plot was a good idea. Real fairies and everything. . . cool. But I was really confused through most of it. I had to re-read a lot of paragraphs. The characters changed so many times, from good, to bad, and then maybe good again. Some of the characters are straight, then all the sudden. . ...more
How can I put this into words? This book is officially on my worthless books list! It did not worth a second of my life to even browse it let alone try to make a sense out of it! The dear author throws you in the middle of a junk, as if the story was going on for ages and you just happened to stumble in between at your own fault! Conversations are going as if there is no need of slightest hint of introduction of the characters or the reason behind the talks! And all that was going on through the ...more
I am finally done with this! This took my forever to finish! I don't know why. I enjoyed it, though! It's weird. Berry, berry weird.

Now this is how you write a wondrous debut! Eyes Like Stars is a remarkable story about Bertie Shakespeare, who tries to make herself worthy at the Theatre Illuminata, which has been her home since she was a child. I enjoyed every bit of this story because it was entertaining, humorous, adorable, witty, and bursting with beauty. I was utterly immersed in the world M
Steph Su
Jun 10, 2009 Steph Su rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, debs09, best-of-09
At first I thought, wow, Bertie is really immature for a 17-year-old. Then I thought, her four constant fairy companions are annoying. And then, before I knew what had happened, I was sucked into Bertie’s romantic, enthralling, sexy, and fun world and never wanted to leave. Lisa Mantchev displays enormous range with her writing: she manages to capture the ridiculousness of some characters’ behaviors (such as the fairies’ bickering and childlike desires) as well as paint beautiful, romantic passa ...more
May 24, 2015 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rating 4.5

Guess what, my luck with books of lately seems to be of the bitter-sweet variety. I didn't pick a lousy book in a while, but I have to deal with frecking LOVE-TRIANGLES in every one.

Eyes like stars falls in the category of books I usually expect to DNF.

I'll just let it out ....


... I loved this silly book.

Beatrice "Bertie" Shakespeare Smith is an orphan ( well, technically) that has spend her life (as long she remembers) in the enchanted Théâtre lluminata, where bound by the magic o
Jun 25, 2009 Adele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh how do I love this book...let me count the ways. Lisa Mantchev has combined a brilliant premise, a chaotic mishmash of theatric events, vibrant characters and enveloped them within a huge beating heart.

Very likely to leave your head a-buzz with possibilities, Mantchev has established a reality where one foundling is raised amongst very familiar characters from famous stage plays. Imagine growing up amongst mischievous faeries, drippy (literally) Ophelia, swashbuckling Nate and challenging Ari
Mar 22, 2013 Katie_la_geek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
I read a lot of books but rarely do I come across something completely new and original. Eyes Like Stars is like nothing I have ever read before, it was so different, so fresh and so bizarre and to be completely honest it blew me away.

I just don’t really know how to describe this book. Its style was odd and very different most of it was written normally but some was written like a play, both styles were interesting and full of Manchev’s unique and bizarre prose. It is a story full of wonder, ful
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GeekChat Book Club: Book Discussion: Eyes Like Stars (SPOILERS) 1 1 Oct 29, 2015 02:06PM  
Good Reads #4 1 3 May 07, 2015 06:32PM  
Tʜᴇ Bᴏᴏᴋʟɪɴɢs: Theatre Illuminata 176 33 Aug 24, 2014 04:09PM  
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What's The Name o...: A girl and her father live in a magical theater... [s] 3 36 Feb 04, 2014 01:57PM  
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Lisa Mantchev is a temporally-displaced Capricorn who casts her spells from an ancient tree in the Pacific Northwest. When not scribbling, she is by turns an earth elemental, English professor, actress, artist, and domestic goddess. She shares her abode with her husband, two children, and three hairy miscreant dogs.

She is best known as the author of the young adult fantasy trilogy, The Théâtre Il
More about Lisa Mantchev...

Other Books in the Series

Théâtre Illuminata (3 books)
  • Perchance to Dream (Théâtre Illuminata, #2)
  • So Silver Bright (Théâtre Illuminata, #3)

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