Creative A's Reviews > Eyes Like Stars

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
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Oct 09, 09

bookshelves: didn-t-finish, books-read-in-2009
Read in August, 2009

I'm sorry to say that I did not actually finish this book. I wanted to, but in the end, didn't have the motivation. I got about halfway through and gave up.

This is a story about Bertie, and The Theatre. the Theatre is literally a theatre, except a special book allows you to summon the living characters from every play ever written. They all know their lines, and are happy to act out the play for the directors. Bertie is an orphan who was left on the theatre steps, and has slowly been shifting the balance of the theatre--the characters come out even when they aren't summoned, and some have grown restless, wishing for escape. But Bertie herself is in trouble--all her wild antics have finally and absolutely caught up with her. If she can't prove her worth as part of the theatre, she will be banished for good. This could be her opportunity to go in search of her mother, but Bertie can't really imagine leaving the theatre. So Bertie sets out to direct a remake of Hamlet--set in Egypt--in less than a month. Impossible? Maybe, but she has to try.

I think there were two things that frustrated me to the point of giving up on this book: 1, Bertie's inability and refusal to change, and 2, the conflicting plotlines. For example, one of Bertie's main enemies is a genie-type spirit named Ariel. He's supposedly dangerous and conniving, always threatening her and trying to win her over romantically. Bertie oscillates between hating Ariel with all her guts and having romantic escapades with him. Another example is Bertie's attempts to stay at the theatre vs her supposed obsession with finding her mother. She's dreamed about leaving and searching for her mother all her life. But when she gets the chance, she suddenly is terrified of the idea--and we are not given a solid motivation. Also, there are a lot of times when Bertie chooses to act up, for no real reason, even though it's sure to get her kicked out of the theatre.

This book is highly imaginative. The premise sounds fantastic. Also, it's a debut, so I can excuse some of the choppy flow and scatty motivations. But it got to the point for me where I simply couldn't follow what was going on--it was like a wild, hectic party that never ends. Too many characters. Too many plotlines. Perhaps it starts to clear up toward the end, as many books do, but I personally don't care enough to hang around and see. The good news is that I think Lisa Mantchev has what it takes to write an amazing story. Hopefully, her future books will have a better flow and stronger motivations. Perhaps the sequel will improve the storyline over all.

Theatre Illuminata, Act 1: 2.5 stars.
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Reading Progress

08/03/2009 page 181
51.42% "Still love the premise, not sure if I love the book. It's too confusing methinks - a bit to hectic. I can't feel worried about the conflicts"
08/24/2009 page 181
51.42% "Am not so interested in getting back to this. Maybe it's Ariel? Hmm, will see."

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