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Eyes Like Stars: Theatre Illuminata, Act I
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Eyes Like Stars: Theatre Illuminata, Act I (Théâtre Illuminata #1)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  9,664 ratings  ·  1,182 reviews
All her world’s a stage.

Bertie 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.

That is, until now.

Enter Stage Right

NATE. Dashing pirate. Will do anything to protect Bertie.

COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARD SEED, and PEASEBLOSSOM. Four tiny and incredibly annoying fairies.
ebook, 368 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by Feiwel & Friends
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Community Reviews

(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
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
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
Tamora Pierce
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?!
Sunil Sebastian
Mar 16, 2009 Sunil Sebastian rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
In honor of seeing the book in the wild!
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
Deva Fagan
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
[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

****** 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
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!
Snarky Hatter
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
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
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.

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
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.
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
Steph Su
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
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
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
SECOND READ: July 2011
Listening to the Full Cast Audiobook. I forgot how much I loved this story! Bertie is great, Nate is even swoonier, Ariel is quietly scary, and the fairies are upstaging them all!!

LOVED the story the second time around! Can't wait to dive into the next books! Those fairies are just fantastic! So many great one-liners that have me cracking up!

FIRST READ: March 2009
This is more like 4 1/2 stars ...

When Bertie is told she must leave the theare, she makes a deal with the Theat
Okay, this is more like 3.5 stars.

Bertie Shakespeare Smith grew up in a theater almost all her life and loves every bit of it and everyone loves her except Mr. Stage Manager and Theater Manager. She is threatened of being kicked out unless she is able to be an invaluable asset to the Théâtre Illuminata. But then the Book holding the theater together becomes threatened and Bertie says, "Looks like it's up to ME!"

There were a few things that I loved for their originality:

1. Bertie's beginning flas
Christi Forster
Theatre Illuminata: an enchanted theater where every character ever written comes to life and play their respective parts. A magical place where sceneries ever imagined change with a simple command from a headset. This is where Beatrice Shakespeare Smith lives since she was a child. Known as trouble-seeking, rebellious, and mischief ridden, Bertie finds herself being kicked out of the theatre unless she proves herself useful by directing a revised play, selling out tickets, and managing to scor ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Beatrice Shakespeare Smith is a foundling brought up in the magical Théâtre Illuminata, where the cast of all the plays ever written live and act out their roles. Bertie's bedroom is the stage, and her best friends are the four fairies from A Midsummer Night's Dream: Cobweb, Moth, Peaseblossom and Mustardseed. She's doing her best to stay away from the enigmatic and handsome Ariel, the sprite from The Tempest; while a minor character from The Little Mermaid, a pirate called Nate, occupies all he ...more
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Tʜᴇ Bᴏᴏᴋʟɪɴɢs: Theatre Illuminata 176 29 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 35 Feb 04, 2014 01:57PM  
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When not scribbling, Lisa Mantchev can be found on the beach, up a tree, making jam,or repairing things with her trusty glue gun. Her short fiction has appeared in venues like Clarkesworld, Weird Tales, Fantasy Magazine and Strange Horizons. Her YA fantasy trilogy, The Théâtre Illuminata, was published by Feiwel & Friends and includes the Mythopoeic and Andre Norton Award-nominated EYES LIKE S ...more
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)
Perchance to Dream (Théâtre Illuminata, #2) So Silver Bright (Théâtre Illuminata, #3) Ticker Spécial Anne McCaffrey (Faeries #23 ) Sugar Skull

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