I'd come across this book before (which geeze, if I remember correctly was at a Borders so that must have been years ago) and even read the first few pages but it just didn't grab me. Honestly I don't remember why I did pick it up from the library this summer, especially given how many other books I already had to read but in retrospect it wasn't a bad decision at all.
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
Summary: At the Theatre Illuminate the stage really is the world for all it's players who come from every play imaginable, except for the human Bertie who is neither part of the cast or crew of this theater yet has lived there all her life anyway. She's on the verge of being thrown out while trying to discover her own past but it appears that neither of those things will be easy to do.
The Good: While it did take a little while to hook me this is an enjoyable group and a nice entry in the growing sub-genre of "stories about characters from other stories, name up for discussion". I think what took me a little while to get into the story was Bertie's personality but either I got used to her or she simply wasn't as grating a little way in and she was certainly clever enough to deal with everything thrown her way and I like a smart main character. This volume also neatly covered what it set out to do, have Bertie choose if she wants to remain at the theater or not and learn some about her past but left plenty of things for the future books and I would like to read them to see where else this story goes.
The Bad: I had to suspend my disbeilf for the whole idea of a magical book that contains every play in what seems to be otherwise a non-magical world but one thing that continues to bug is well, how the book didn't seem to have every play in the world in there but rather only the ones it's average young adult reader would know. All the book needs is either a few cameos from plays that aren't from a European writer or even a mention that it only has plays that were originally written in English to satisfy me, something I suspect won't come up in the future volumes but still bugs me none the less.
Not a perfect book, it also felt messy in a few places, but a good one overall and I would like to read the other two books, just not any time soon since I already have too many books to read before the end of the year.