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, MUSTARD SEED, and PEASEBLOSSOM. Four tiny and incredibly annoying fairies. BERTIE’S sidekicks.
ARIEL. Seductive air spirit and Bertie’s weakness. The symbol of impending doom.
BERTIE. Our heroine.
Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book—an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family—and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.
Lisa Mantchev has written a debut novel that is dramatic, romantic, and witty, with an irresistible and irreverent cast of characters who are sure to enchant the audience.
Lyn: So, Pixie, what made you decide this pick for this month?
Pixie: Eyes Like Stars had been on my shelf for a couple of years, kind of taunting me, and I thought it really sounded interesting. Especially since it was supposed to have some kind of Shakespeare and other theater influences.
Lyn: I have owned this for a while, because the covers for the series are so outstanding! The second book – wow – the cover had me drooling!
Pixie: I adore the covers! They’re really eye-catching. Unfortunately, I can’t say I adored the inside. 🙁
Lyn: Yeah….I like to start off positive. That story, just…..meh. I mean, it was a really interesting idea, and I did almost like it at times, but then I couldn’t ignore the things that kept nagging on me. I had a bit of hope for it, but I wasn’t expecting a derailed trainwreck.
Pixie: I almost DNF. It wasn’t good. I liked the concept, but then it was too much… confusing, fast… a bit… bland. That’s about the best way I can really sum up my feelings entirely. To be honest, I was so tired, I practically skimmed the last sixty pages or so. LOL.
Lyn: This book felt like a first draft. The story was inconsistent, and I never really gave a damn about the main character. There was too much MIA plot lines. I think what really got to me was how the abduction of one of the main characters was handled. I mean, it occurs, then another huge event happens, and it was like Bertie forgot all about the missing character while she…deux ex machina-ed the entire resolution.
Pixie: I completely agree. Also, the only characters I did sort of like (and only enjoyed reading at any time) were the three fairies. They at least gave me some laugh-out-loud moments. I would read a story with just them.
Lyn: Those fairies annoyed the crap out of me. They had the best intentions as side kicks but I got sick of their meddling and their language. That right there was another huge issue. It seemed that the language didn’t really fit the time period. Dressed up dukes and titled people coming to the Theatre, but then the characters use “buttload” and other modern slang words? That very much rubbed me the wrong way. Nothing fit together. The setting was all over the place.
Pixie: Oh yes, I certainly see your point and agree with you on that. I thought the language in places was odd among the characters also.
The ending wrapped up rather predictably as well. Which was annoying as a reader for me. I’m used to predicting endings and such a lot with many of my reads, but for me that was just way too easy.
Lyn: So did you correctly predict Bertie’s mother’s identity? I have to admit, I did not, but I also thought that resolution was so flimsy and quite frankly, idiotic. It didn’t work for me.
Pixie: No, that was probably the only surprising thing of the book for me, but like you did, I thought it was flimsy. It didn’t work for me either. Blegh.
Lyn: 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 between her and her two points on the love triangle. She treated everyone, especially her so called “crushes” like crap, and at the end, I wanted her booted out on her ass.
This one barely scraped by on two stars.
Pixie: Well, I believe you said exactly what was on my mind the moment I finished reading it. Lol.
I gave it two stars, myself. And mostly I was being generous.
Lyn: This is what kills me: I have the entire set, because I bought them strictly for the covers. But I want to keep reading the series, because I really did love Ariel. I’m kicking myself. I’m not sure how much more I can stomach Blue Haired Bitch, but I want to see what happens to Butterfly Boy.
Pixie: Well, it’s the first book. I’ve seen cases where the series gets MUCH better from there so maybe it gets better if you decided to continue! They really are pretty covers. And there are a few good characters at least. Like Butterfly Boy.
Lyn: LOL. It is hard to give up on a series with covers like that. If I scratch out my own eyes, then it is my own fault.
Sorry my first pick wasn’t that great. But enjoyed the discussion at least. 🙂 What’s up for May?
Lyn: It is Starstruck by Rachel Shukert, Kara’s pick.