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Eyes Like Stars ~ Lisa Mantchev

November 7, 2009



Genre: Young Adult

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

352 pages

ISBN: 9780312380960

“The weight of words is far heavier than water,” Ophelia said. “They would drag me to the bottom and hold me captive there.”

As though to prove her wrong, Macbeth backstroked through the vellum waves. “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?”

Moth considered the proffered appendage. “Nope, you still have jam on you.”

p. 240

I trust that many of you have either read or watched the grand old plays and their myriad spin-offs. Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Man of La Mancha, The Little Mermaid, Westside, well, you get the point.

Readers and Actors are camps that generally flow into one another as both sets are inherently enamored with words. I, for one, had my feet firmly planted in both, early on.

I grew up either on the stage or behind it in one capacity or another, as did my sister, my husband, most of my friends and a sizable chunk of my family. As we grew older most of us dropped the habit for other pursuits but my little sister didn’t. While I still belt out Newsies more than once a week in the middle of Atlanta traffic (usually with my car windows closed), she can still be found running off to rehearsal or read-throughs on any given night.  My running image of her looks about like Beatrice, the title character, on the cover of Eyes Like Stars.

I picked this book up for her, initially. It’s essentially about a girl who grew up in an enchanted theater. An enchanted theater that happens to house every player who has ever been written in script history. Each player is called to his or her scene depending on which play is being produced at the time.

Sounds great, right?

Well, of course, there’s a bit of a catch. The characters are doomed to confinement in said magical place, by order of The Book of scripts. Needless to say, like most seemingly perfect situations, this doesn’t sit well with all and there are forces brewing to bring down the house and I don’t mean by applause.

Mantchev is fantastic in her story weaving. She grabs hold of the root of Hamlet, Ophelia, Macbeth, Peter Pan, the lot, and expertly intertwines the players through each other’s plot lines. The only downside is that it may make you go running for your stack of scripts, leaving you doomed to read through the classics for several weeks. I, myself, have just ordered half of Dear William’s plays from the library as I haven’t read them in some time.

That being the only drawback, I highly recommend this to the theatrical bibliophiles. For anyone who knows the thrill of a raised curtain or the dim of house lights, Eyes Like Stars will bring you to your feet.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. SaraKate permalink
    November 10, 2009 6:58 pm

    This sounds really good. I’ll have to add it to my list (which really just keeps getting longer instead of shorter)!

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