Sunday, July 25, 2010

Review by Alex- Perchance to Dream

Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev
The stuff that dreams are made on.

Act Two, Scene One

Growing up in the enchanted Thèâtre Illuminata, Beatrice Shakespeare Smith learned everything about every play ever written. She knew the Players and their parts, but she didn’t know that she, too, had magic. Now, she is the Mistress of Revels, the Teller of Tales, and determined to follow her stars. She is ready for the outside world.


But the outside world soon proves more topsy-turvy than any stage production. Bertie can make things happen by writing them, but outside the protective walls of the Thèâtre, nothing goes as planned. And her magic cannot help her make a decision between—

Nate: Her suave and swashbuckling pirate, now in mortal peril.
Ariel: A brooding, yet seductive, air spirit whose true motives remain unclear.
When Nate is kidnapped and taken prisoner by the Sea Goddess, only Bertie can free him. She and her fairy sidekicks embark on a journey aboard the Thèâtre’s caravan, using Bertie’s word magic to guide them. Along the way, they collect a sneak-thief, who has in his possession something most valuable, and meet The Mysterious Stranger, Bertie’s father—and the creator of the scrimshaw medallion. Bertie’s dreams are haunted by Nate, whose love for Bertie is keeping him alive, but in the daytime, it’s Ariel who is tantalizingly close, and the one she is falling for. Who does Bertie love the most? And will her magic be powerful enough to save her once she enters the Sea Goddess’s lair?

First Impressions: Having just reread Eyes Like Stars before delving into Perchance to Dream, I thought I was prepped for Bertie's world. A world full of magic and love and craziness.

Unfortunately... maybe I wasn't. I still did really like Perchance to Dream. It has all of Eyes Like Stars' imagination and creativity and full-on fun. This time, the story takes place not inside the theater, but outside as Bertie tries to get Nate back from Sedna and meets a whole new cast of characters. Each character brings something new.

The whole plot is wild and strange- in a good way. But it was nonetheless a way that I couldn't fully understand. It breaks my heart to say it- but maybe I just wasn't imaginative enough to read Perchance to Dream. I was constantly wondering how in the world all of this was happening until I just had to shut my brain off and stop my wondering. (Which is really, really hard.) However, after doing so, Perchance to Dream became a lot more enjoyable. Yeah, it's crazy, but it's a type of crazy one falls in love with, as many bloggers and readers can attest.

I do love the magical elements of the story. That Bertie is the Mistress of Revels and has the power over words is amazing. The idea that one can have power over words is doubly so.

And then of course we have our love triangle. To be honest, for the most part, Bertie's lack of doing anything to decide between her two men for the better part of the novel annoyed me. But then... I'm firmly on Ariel's side and really don't see why there should be a love triangle.

Final Impressions: I wish Perchance to Dream would have been something I could be fully wrapped into, but it took a while for me to realize that unless I stopped thinking of the whats, hows, and whys of the novel, I'd never get anywhere. But I'm sure others will easily devour Perchance to Dream with all of its beauty and wonder.

4.5 shelves.

Oh, and want another point of view? Lauren's review.


  1. I read Perchance of Dreams, and even if it has all the magic and sparkles to please any reader, I can't say it's your fault for not understanding. I found the book a bit crazy and going into too many ways to be comprehensible. It isn't for the reader to shut his mind and stop wondering. I think it's the author's fault for procuring a lack of organization and outline to the world of the book. I felt the same with Eyes like Stars, and I simply think that, albeit the great characters, the fun elements and energetic adventures, the author lacks experience in writing.


  2. I really loved Eyes Like Stars, but I understand your point. The love triangle did seem rather useless. I have yet to read Perchance to Dream. Wonderful critical review.

  3. Love your review! The love triangle is all sorts of silliness, but the world is incredibly dream-like.


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