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19 May 2009


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I believe Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev is about faeries and the theater. Out in July, I think.

Thanks for the review. I bought this book a long time ago solely because I read in a few places Sonny is a dream. But many reviews I've read of the book as a whole have been mediocre, so I haven't made time to read it.

Kelly Fineman

I liked this book a lot, too. M (14) only hung in about 3/4 through - although she's an avid reader, she didn't know her Arthurian legends and Shakespeare well enough to follow what was going on, or so she said.

And Lisa Mantchev's EYES LIKE STARS definitely has a Shakespeare/faerie thing going.

There was THE JULIET CLUB, which had Shakespeare and some staging going on (but not enough). The world needs more theatre books, though.


Oooh, it sounds fab, despite the Victorian novel language barrier. And the cover is really pretty. I love theater - I sometimes wish I had taken my ability to clown around in high school with it a bit more seriously, but alas -- all that drama and 'tude is hard to maintain.


I enjoyed this book, and would read the sequel, though I was a little bothered by some of the flaws you mentioned. But it was a lot of fun.
For theater books, you've read Dramarama by E. Lockhart, yes? And I like the theater parts of Suite Scarlett (Maureen Johnson). Would definitely like to read more theater books, though. Do you only want YA, or are adult nonfiction books acceptable? Because Betty Comden's autobiography was great fun to read, as are Kristen Chenoweth's and Moss Hart's (there's a variety for you).


Oh, and for YA novels that give a good impression of the classics, Marilyn Sachs's First Impressions is fun (not great, but fun) and is largely about Pride and Prejudice.

Maureen E

King of Shadows by Susan Cooper! It's a little younger but one of my very favorite comfort books.


Good Moon Rising (Nancy Garden) is a great YA theater book.

If you want to get a little retro, the sequels to The Keeping Days, by Norma Johnston, also have nice theater subplots to them. I am blanking on the precise names, but I think one is Glory in the Flower and the other is A Mustard Seed of Magic.


I second the motion on King of Shadows, but I also highly recommend taking a gander at Susan L. Thomson's The Secret of the Rose. It features the familiar idea of a girl-disguised-as-a-boy in Elizabethan England -- BUT -- she spends her time hanging out with Christopher Marlowe in the Rose Theater instead of Shakespeare in the Globe. Oh, and she has to hide the fact that she's a Catholic, as well. And is Kit Marlowe a SPY? Good stuff.

Oh oh oh -- and if you haven't picked up Julia Golding's The Diamond of Drury Lane, do so right now. Now. Can't stress the awesomeness of that book enough. Any book set in the late 1700s with a character named "Captain Sparkle" is bound to be good reading.


I agree with whoever metioned Dramarama by E. Lockhart and Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson!


I was a little disappointed by this book, honestly...I felt that there were a few too many parts of the world glossed over and poorly explained, the pacing kind of off, and I REALLY was thrown by some of the dialogue--one moment the Janus guards are speaking in over-flowery Olde English-ish style language, and the next they are throwing around modern slang (and I get that they are from various points in time but have interacted with the modern world and all, but it still just didn't ring true for me)...but the thing that really kind of killed if for me was ***Semi-Spoiler*** the "Darth Vader" moment...and the fact that the author didn't give a pop-culture nod. I mean, what 21st century girl can hear those words and not have a Star Wars flashback? I understand that Kelly was rather stressed at the time, but I think, in her position, I would have broken into tense, slightly hysterical giggles.


I can't remember the author's name, but I remember it was the same for both--Enter Three Witches and Jason and the Bard.


Naomi: Cooney wrote those, I think. I've been meaning to read Witches, and I'll look up Jason as well.

Str4y: In regards to the dialogue, OH MY GOD, YES. There just didn't seem to be any consistacy to the individual characters' speech patterns. And they're called speech patterns for a reason. The pacing didn't bother me so much, or the world-building. I loved the scene where Sonny met Kelley's roomate -- that made me laugh. There were moments, though, like the one I mentioned above, where Sonny makes his WOW I CAN'T BELIEVE HE DID THAT EVEN THOUGH HE WAS RAISED BY FAIRIES AND TOTALLY SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER elementary mistake, where I felt that characters did things that just didn't make sense, and the only reason I could find for their actions was that it furthered the storyline. And I never fell in love with either of the main characters (or really believed in/cared about their lurrrve, for that matter), though I do hope that Kelley's roomie reappears in Book Two. I dunno. I certainly didn't hate the book, and I think there'll be lots of people who like it, but I had hoped for something stronger.

Thanks, guys, for all of the recommendations! I've read Suite Scarlett and Dramarama and loved 'em both, especially the latter -- I've been wanting to read Eyes Like Stars for ages, if only because I love the cover art -- I read The Juliet Club, which was fun -- and LOVED King of Shadows -- I'll def. look for the Nancy Garden and the Norma Johnston, and The Secret of the Rose sounds AWESOME -- and I've been meaning to read Diamond of Drury Lane for a long time, so I'll get on that.

Is Captain Sparkle the offspring of Captain Oats and Princess Sparkle? Because, YAY!

Kay @ InfiniteShelf

Good review!

I saw the book in a bookstore and I was wondering about it. It seems interesting; I love YA books about "unseen magic in familiar places", like you said. Plus, the cover is stunning!

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