Like many of you, I have read many raving reviews for Eyes Like Stars, and all I can say is that they are all absolutely true. I could probably go fangirl on you all in this review, but I will strive to maintain control over myself as I type. I loved this book; adored it, even. It is easily one of my top books, and perhaps even my TOP book for 2009, so far.
To me, Eyes Like Stars is so good because it is so unlike other books that are out there right now. It's a young adult fantasy without the typical paranormal element that is saturating the markets, except, of course, that is has every character from every play ever written. The premise and plot are so fresh and original that I found myself hooked from page one, despite the fact that I really don't have any theater background or knowledge. Thankfully, that's not at all necessary to enjoy the story Mantchev has written. If you don't love the characters, I would truly be surprised. Bertie (and all of her chaotic missteps) is just so wholly likable and her fairy sidekicks are an absolute riot. I found myself laughing at their antics and dialogues often. Not to mention, Mantchev has given a humanity to so many of the Shakespearean (and other) characters that you can almost find yourself believing they were real people. Naturally, Bertie has fallen for one of the characters: Nate, a pirate from The Little Mermaid.
Honestly, every time I sat down to read this book I think I had a smile on my face. It is simply a fun read that will call to you if you have to put it down. Will Bertie be able to overcome her tendency towards causing chaos and make a valuable contribution to the theater that will save her from being thrown out on the street? What will happen when yet another disaster occurs while she is trying to save her home and the only life she's known? Eyes Like Stars is the first in a series, and while it will certainly leave you wanting more, Mantchev gives you just enough to leave you satisfied by the end of the book. Yes, I am dying to know the fate of one of the characters (no spoilers, I promise) but at the same time I am completely satisfied knowing as much as I do so far.