Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

Title: Eyes Like Stars
Author: Lisa Mantchev
Narrator: Full Cast
Series: Théâtre Illuminata #1
Publisher: Full Cast Audio
Release Date: 2/1/2010
Length: 8 hours, 30 minutes
Format: Audio CD
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Source: Library
Purchase: Audio CD | Digital Audiobook
Rating: 4/5

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.
Open Curtain

Eyes Like Stars tells the story of Beatrice Shakespeare Smith, Bertie for short. This whimsical girl lives a common childhood dream, to live in a theater. Her home the Theatre Illuminata is a magical place. She spend all her time inside the Théâtre, but she has no limit to the amounts of places she can visit by call for a scene change. The theatre is full of actors from every play ever written. Some are ghostlike echoes of their acted characters, but others like Bertie’s closest companions are very spirited players who live beyond the confines of their written parts. She can go anywhere and anytime as long as it has been captured in a play. She lives a dream live inside the theater, but it isn’t free from trouble.

Bertie loves mischief, and lately this has gotten a bit out of hand. Faced with possibly having to leave the theater, the only home she’s ever known, Bertie must prove that she has something invaluable to bring to the theater.

Eyes like Stars is performed by Full Cast Audio. Every character in the story has a voice actor, helping to bring to life Bertie’s world. The part of Bertie is read by Lydia Shahan, but there are a couple dozen performers who lend their voice to this project. At the end of the recording, there is long list of credits including some who only had one line.

I love Full Cast Audio productions, but this is one of the best I’ve heard. The cast is excellent, and makes you fell like you are eavesdropping into Bertie’s world. Listening to the story was more like being one of the extras on stage experiencing the story instead of just hearing a retelling of the events.

I would recommend this book to Teens and adults. It has many familiar characters who live in a new skin. I would also recommend this book to anyone that loves Theatre and performances.

-Jami

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