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Eyes Like Stars

(Théâtre Illuminata #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  12,547 ratings  ·  1,392 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, MUSTARDSEED, and PEASEBLOSSOM. Four tiny and incredibly annoying f

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by Feiwel & Friends
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Popular Answered Questions
The Grimm Reader Yes -- there is a love triangle between Bertie, Nate, and Ariel that does not get resolved until the 3rd (final) book. There is nothing explicit -- ki…moreYes -- there is a love triangle between Bertie, Nate, and Ariel that does not get resolved until the 3rd (final) book. There is nothing explicit -- kissing is the extend of it, no sexual content. (less)
Christina It's amazing! It is part of my favorite trilogy and I have read it many times.…moreIt's amazing! It is part of my favorite trilogy and I have read it many times.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  12,547 ratings  ·  1,392 reviews

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Emily May
Dec 08, 2011 rated it it was ok

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 ther
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
shady boots
I loved it then, I love it now.
Jan 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Can imagine it as an animated film. Hayao Miyazaki comes to mind.
Tamora Pierce
Feb 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
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?! ...more
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
What a magical story!! From the way its written in context of a play, to the magical way the Theatre works, to the many different actors and actresses that are actually fairies and mermaids and kings and queens who have come to be a part of this magical Theatre. And among them all is Bertie, or Beatrice Shakespeare Smith. She is a wild child who has grown up in the Theatre with no recollection of how she got there or who her parents are. But none the less she has grown up into a beautiful and cr ...more
Amelia, free market Puritan
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
Sunil Sebastian
Mar 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
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
Oct 28, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most inventive, most mystically strange YA fantasies I've ever read. Its premise is audacious (its heroine is a foundling raised in a magical theater populated largely by the archetypal performers of every play ever written), its execution assured, the results INCREDIBLY DELIGHTFUL. It's both a captivating story with an irresistible, bottomlessly rich setting (theater people HOLD ONTO YOUR HATS) and a high-wire act of author...ship? ism?

Anyway. This is a reread because I remem
This was one hot mess.

I could never have finished it without the stellar (as always) work of the Full Cast Audio team. (view spoiler) Mainly, fundamentally, I don't think I've ever hated a character as much as I hated Bertie. She's rude, sulky, selfish, disrespectful, and sim
ash |
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
ℓуηη, ℓσкιѕℓутнєя¢ℓαω
🌟 MakeYourMythTaker readathon 🌟
Faerie path prompt: a book with featuring fey

Finally finished! ✔💫

This wee little book sadly took me too long to get through 😣 That's reading slump for ya, sigh. It also sadly sapped some of my enjoyment from the book, so it'll be reflected in the rating of 3.25 🌟 I expect the rating will go up with a re-read in the future, cause this was definitely a me issue and not a book 🙅 Thought I should preface this review with that disclaimer

This is a cute fun romp throug
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.

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. ...more
Deva Fagan
Aug 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
[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
Snarky Hatter
Nov 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
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 favo ...more
Apr 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, young-adult, 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 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.

Feb 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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! ...more
Jul 14, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: american-lit, fantasy, ya
The first book I remember actively disliking was one called The Chocolate Touch. I was in first or second grade when I read it, and I remember being shocked that a book could be bad—and so very, very bad: illogical, amateurish, convoluted, unrealistic. Bad. Reading Eyes Like Stars brought that experience back in full Technicolor glory.

This book is bad in a way I can't quite wrap my mind around. The protagonist—I can get as far as identifying the protagonist—is a girl named Beatrice Shakespeare S
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.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-favrouites
This was unique and fun and entertaining! The romance was so good and the aspect of theatre was so cool.
I think this book could have used a few less plot elements and a lot more world building.

Why does the Theatre exist? What's its purpose? Is it simply to entertain its patrons? Is there some magical connection between the plays and characters that exist within its walls and the plays as we know them in the outside world?

What would happen if a player did manage to escape? Could another character act his lines, akin to an understudy? Or does something happen to the play itself? If Hamlet, took off
Steph Su
May 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-09, debs09, own
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
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Into the Forest: Eyes Like Stars - SPOILERS 10 18 Jun 26, 2017 06:43PM  
Into the Forest: Eyes Like Stars - NO Spoilers 4 15 May 25, 2017 01:08PM  
Good Reads #4 1 4 May 07, 2015 06:32PM  
. 2 10 Feb 26, 2014 11:25AM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. A girl and her father live in a magical theater... [s] 3 39 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

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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