Eyes Like Stars: Theatre Illuminata, Act I

Eyes Like Stars - Lisa Mantchev "Eyes Like Stars" by Lisa Mantchev is a whimsical coming-of-age story about a young woman named Bertie who lives within a theater company. Known as being a mischevious 17-year old young woman whose actions are reckless, she tries to direct a play in order to stay at her place of residence (which she wants to reunite with her mother at some point). The story blends elements of fantasy with Shakespearean references and theater terms, but while the imagination is there, the execution leaves much to be desired. The environment and characters are intriguing to watch in and of themselves in spurts, but plot holes and a meandering focus sometimes can divert attention from the better elements of the story.I liked Bertie's spunkiness, and she's generally a fun character to follow, if a bit reckless and immature in spurts. Ariel makes an interesting foil to her and I liked their bit interactions - though it made me wish their characters were more fleshed out. The fairies are probably the most hilarious part of the book, and to be honest, I found myself reading through just to see what they said and did in certain situations with Bertie. In the end, there's a large thread left hanging for an obvious continuation, but provided that you can hold onto the style in this, it's hard to know whether you may feel compelled to follow the second book. I did honestly find this book hard to read in spurts, with the prose streaming beautifully in some parts, while in others it didn't quite have the momentum or pull to keep it moving.Overall, I'm teetering on the edge of following the second book in this series. It was worth reading, but it didn't make a strong impression on me, and I can only hope that some of the sluggish momentum is removed from the second book as opposed to this one.Overall score: 2.5/5