Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Review - EYES LIKE STARS

Eyes Like Stars - Lisa Mantchev (Theatre Iluminata, #1)
Genre: YA "Speculative" Fiction (maybe fantasy?)
# of pages: 352 (hb)
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends, Macmillan
Amelia's Age Level Recommendation: 13/4+ (8th grade and up, I'd say - perfect for the high school and above crowd)
Quick Take: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 superbly.

In regards to the MC, Bertie, I was pleasantly surprised to discover how much I liked her, from page 1 until the very end of the story. She has an excellent, wry sense of humor that I found very refreshing. She was a little on the bossy side, but her good humor and her spirit of determination proved stronger traits. Bertie's four fairy friends - Cobweb, Moth, Mustardseed, and Peaseblossom - were adorable all throughout the story, and I loved them all! I wish I had little fairy sidekicks! And this is almost unprecedented, but as to the two "leading men" characters, Ariel from The Tempest and Nate, a pirate from The Little Mermaid, I love both of them. Equally. Well, maybe I like Ariel just a little more. That's so weird. I am notoriously grouchy when it comes to love-triangles, but in ELS, it totally worked. Maybe it's because Lisa Mantchev doesn't beat you over the head with over-the-top drama and forced feelings, and also she doesn't put a lot of focus on this aspect of the story. It just came together very nicely.

One more thing: I really want to mention Lisa Mantchev's writing style a little bit, because in all honesty I think this is a part of storytelling that doesn't get as much recognition as it should. Her writing style is absolutely 100% G/T clever. A lot of times authors can get by on just entertainment alone, and so you have books (and sorry to say, I think this happens in YA way more than adult fiction) that are entertaining and present an interesting/engaging story, but the writing isn't exactly memorable. The narrative voice, the VOCABULARY, the tone...everything was just beautiful and superb. If you haven't read Eyes Like Stars yet, but plan on it in the future, I really want you to pay attention to the quality of Mantchev's writing. You'll be hard-pressed to find anything more exemplary.

Final Rating:Highest rating, highest regards!

14 shout-outs!:

elizabeth said...

Great review!

Milli said...

I did like the book! But, it got really confusing in the ending parts, and the ending parts were the most epic...Nice review:D

Amelia said...

Thanks, Milli! Yeah the ending kind of confused me, too!

Audrey; (AyC) said...

great review :) I really wand to read this one, it looks really unique :D

Erika said...

great review! this looks really good. and the title is adorable!

Christina T said...

Wow, you've convinced me and I really want to read this! Fantastic review!

P.S.-Have you read The Iron King or Wondrous Strange? Both feature faeries from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great review :)

Violet said...

Wonderful review! I loved Eyes Like Stars too! :)

Ky said...

LOVE this book. Perchance to Dream is awesome as well! Lisa is just as witty as her characters. :P Great review! I totally love the story because not only is it unique and colorful but it is just plain laugh out loud hilarious. ^.^

Shy said...

I'm so glad that you really enjoyed this one as well! One of the best I've read this year and yes, I'm overly fond of those faeries, lol. Cannot wait for Perchance to Dream =)

KIKA said...

I've seen this one around, I need to get around to reading it! nice review :)

Paper Cut Reviewer said...

Hi Amelia! Your review is awesome:) Now I must go out and get this book. You make it sound fantastic;) I do agree with you on how Some books *coughs* like YA do have entertaining stories but are lacking in the writing department. I can say the same though for some book that have amazing writing but aren't very etertaining *sigh*. Glad this book has it all:)

Thanks!
Steph

Lady Q said...

Hi Amelia! I saw this book on another blog last week and thought the cover was gorgeous. Great review! I'm adding this one to my ever-growing TBR list. Thanks for hopping by Let Them Read Books today! I'm now a follower and I'll probably drop in from time to time on your writing blog, too!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Thank you for this great review. I have wanted this book, but just wasn't sure about it. I don't know why though. Thank you! I will have to keep an eye out for this one. :)

 
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