Release Date ~ July 7th 2009
Square Fish (Feiwel & Friends) ~ Macmillan
Book purchased personally
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.
I've actually been meaning to read this book for a while. I first saw it around a year ago, where I read the back cover and it intrigued me. I didn't buy it though. Recently I finally bought it. When the chance to finally read it came around, I was so excited! Like Brenna, I am a very big Hunger Games fan, so when I noticed Suzanne Collins praising the book on the cover, I got even more excited. Thankfully, it failed to disappoint me.
- Life on the Stage:
I found that the whole setting of this novel to be very original. I mean, living in a theatre isn't too peculiar, but having the actors in each individual play be alive and real.... That was a really intriguing concept. The way that Mantchev explains the whole theatre is really cool. It made me believe that the theatre was one of the most magical places imaginable. Come on, tell me that Hamlet and Lady Macbeth and the fairies from A Midsummer Night's Dream isn't one of the cooolest ideas that you've ever heard of. You don't even really need to be the type of person that knows all about Shakespeare; I've never read Macbeth or Hamlet and I followed along just fine.
- Bertie's Sassy Personality:
Bertie is a headstrong girl who lives in the theatre, although she doesn't exactly belong there. She has this really indignant attitude towards others when they don't listen to her. I really loved Bertie as a character because she was a person that had a lot of flaws, but she was just so likable and relatable that I didn't even care. Although she is a big apprehensive as first, she can take charge as leader when needed. She's a bit eccentric, but I absolutely LOVED her.
- Cobweb's, Moth's, Mustard Seed's, and Peaseblossom's Mischievous Antics:
The scenes in the book with these four fairies are by far some of the the funniest. This past year in my English class, we read A Midsummer Night's Dream, but my view on these fairies was much different. I pictured them as very calm and serious. When you read this book though, your whole opinion on them will change drastically. They get into the funniest situations, and even just their interactions with each other was enough to get me to laugh outloud, which doesn't happen often with books.
If you are looking for a different sort of book, or are a fan of the theatre in general, I think that you will like this book. This novel isn't even too long once you get into it, either. My one complaint is that I wish the way that the Théâtre Illuminata works would be explained earlier, but other than that, the rest of the novel is really quite good.