Tuesday, May 18, 2010


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!

Teaser Tuesday: BRIGHTLY WOVEN

As always, Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB @ Should be Reading.Here's how it works: Grab the current book you're reading- Open up to a random page- share a little "teaser" from somewhere on that page.***Make sure your section is spoiler free!!

I just started Brightly Woven last night and am slowly making progress through it. So without further ado, here is my teaser:

"You interrupt my business?" he sputtered. "Do you know what this wench just accused me of being?"
"A filthy pig," North said good-naturedly. "But there's only one filthy pig allowed in her life, and the position's been filled."
Brightly Woven, pg 44
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