Cover Image: The Girl With Stars in Her Eyes

The Girl With Stars in Her Eyes

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Member Reviews

This was not bad, but I felt the story was rather convoluted.  While I like long books so that I can enjoy as much as of an engaging plot as possible, this one seemed to drag on and could have been considerably shorter.  I never felt the true connection between main characters Toni and Seb, making this musical romance less of a hit for me. 3 stars ⭐️.
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This was so much fun! I actually did not think this would be dual perspective (the guy love interest has a pov too) and it kind of threw me off balance BUT nonetheless the romance was sweet and good. I especially loved all of the secondary characters as well
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✔ Kick ass guitarist Black female main character
✔ All-female, super-talented band
✔ First love
✔ Amazing soundtrack
✔ Themes of race, class, and finding yourself

Okay, I enjoyed this book SO SO MUCH.  It transported me back to when I was 16 years old.  I was dating the best guy at the time and we formed a band heavily influenced by The Cure.  We were heavily into post-punk/new wave/alternative and the LA rock scene.  It was a time where I finding myself, and thought we'd end up together forever.  Back then, I had dreams of being a writer while my boyfriend and I were supposed to continue with our band.  Then I moved away to college 3,000 miles away and that was that.... years later, he formed a band and was very popular in the Los Angeles music scene.  Meanwhile, I went a totally different direction....

This book is about staying true to your dreams and staying true to your identity.  Toni and Sebastian grew up in a small town where neither really fit in.  Toni's music is her way out and she and Sebastian were supposed to escape together....until the day Seb leaves her behind and breaks her heart.  Years later, Toni has moved on and has made a name for herself as a musician and a session guitarist with dreams of owning her own recording studio.  A once-in-lifetime opportunity leads her to try out as the guitarist for The Lillys, an up and coming band... little does she know, the very guy who crushed her heart and dreams turns out to be their manager.  

Xio Axelrod is dope (her name alone is cool!).  She created this amazing story where we really feel Toni hopes and dreams and live her journey.  I read this story in audiobook format and I COULD NOT STOP reading it.  I just wanted to know more and finished it all in one day.  The scenes were all vivid and I can almost hear the music playing in the background.  And bonus for me, she name drops some on my favorite bands like Interpol, Alice in Chains, and more.  It was just an amazing story that everyone can relate to.  There is really something for everyone -- a bit of coming-of-age, social commentary, romance, some steam, and of course, music.  Well-crafted and full of timely cultural references.... this book is so vibrant and just so cool.  READ IT!  

Thank you Net Galley and Dreamscape for the advanced listening copy!
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“I don’t need throngs of adoring fans or the pressure that comes with their expectations. Fame is a trap...fame was as addictive as any drug. She’s seen first hand what her mother had done in its pursuit.” 

Growing up, Antonia “Toni” Bennett had only her guitar. With an absentee mother and a father reluctant to raise her, she found family in Sebastian Quick, another broken soul. They promised each other they would eventually escape their little town. Together. Then, at 18, Seb split without a word and never looked back, leaving Toni truly alone in the world. She foraged on, though, making a name for herself in Philly’s rock scene. But when she auditions to play in the hottest new band in the county, she finds that Seb is their manager. Will the sparks from their childhood reignite, or will Seb disappoint her again? 

This was a really cute second chance romance set in Philly. I loved Toni and Seb! Two broken kids that find solace in each other become successful musicians, despite the hurdles life has thrown at them. I very much appreciated that the basis of the book was set around guitars 🎸 and the music industry 🎶 instead of just a superficial girl trying to make her way in a girly “rock” band. Toni had substance and grit and I am here for that! 

I was given an audio arc of this book and I really enjoyed the dual narration. Their “singing” left a little to be desired 😜, but the narrators gave these two kids emotion and heart and I enjoyed every minute of their story. 

On a side note, I forgot I received this arc and also ordered this as my BOTM add on. So yayyy for multiple copies of the same book 🤪.

Thank you to Netgalley, Dreamscape Media and the author for this audio arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Wow. 

I really enjoyed this book. 

It follows Toni, a girl who has grown up around music here while life and has a massive talent, but she doesn’t want to be in the spotlight. When the opportunity to buying into a studio comes around, it’s a dream come true. The only problem, she’s about 35K short of what she need for the buy in. To make her dream come true, she has to face her fears and take a job as a temp guitarist for a rising girl group. 

This book was fantastic! I love the characters, I thought the plot was engaging, and loved the writing style. 

I would highly recommend this book. 


Thank you to the publisher for sending me an advanced copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
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What a cover! This may be one of my favorite covers this year. The Girl with Star in Her Eyes has been a highly anticipated read for me, and I was lucky enough to join the Let’s Talk Books promo tour for the book. Overall, it’s one I really enjoyed. I was so grateful to listen to an advance listener's copy, since audio is my preferred reading format. I appreciated that there were a lot of extra details added in order to set up what’s meant to be a series. I LOVE the concept of The Lillys. It’s something I could easily visualize throughout the book, and I would love to have a front row seat to see these ladies perform. The energy of the last quarter of the book really propels this book up a star for me. 

The premise: Antonia "Toni" Bennett’s mom abandoned her early on for a career in music. She was raised by her surly dad, and sought solace first with her guitar, and later in  Sebastian Quick. Seb was a bit older, and sought similar companionship with “Nia”... they made a pact to escape their small Pennsylvania town together. But Seb shattered both Nia’s heart and dreams when he left town at 18 without her.

Nearly a decade later, Seb and “Toni” as she’s known now, are reunited during Toni’s big audition for one of the hottest new acts in the country--the Lillys. As Toni’s dreams start coming true, she has to decide if she still has space in her heart for Seb. While this book definitely has a romance-y storyline, I would dub it more as a contemporary or women’s fiction. The band interactions are fun and cool, and I’m excited to see where the rest of the series takes us.

Tamika Simone was the perfect narrator for Toni. I just loved her portrayal. Seb's narrator--Alexander Cendese was also really good, but I wasn't the biggest fan of his female voice portrayals, specifically Candi's. I do really appreciate two narrators for a dual POV storyline though. 

I think it has a bit of a slow start for the first half, and it’s fairly long--13+, but the writing is solid. It’s one I’ll definitely be recommending to friends! Thanks to Sourcebooks, Dreamscape Media, and NetGalley for access to an audiobook to review.
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After a childhood growing up in dive bars with her mom, Toni spent her adolescence in her dad’s bar and playing guitar with Seb. Seb was the best thing in Toni’s life - they promised each other they would both get out of their small town, but Seb left Toni without a word when he turned 18. A decade-is later, Toni auditions to play guitar for the Lillys - the band Seb manages. Toni never expected to be playing music instead of producing it, and she really never expected to run into Seb. However, the Lillys seem to be a perfect fit…and maybe Seb is too?

The audiobook of this was really good! There were two narrators - one for Toni and one for Seb, and I think the dual narrators really added a lot to the audiobook. I could not stop listening. I really, really enjoyed this! I didn’t know a lot about the music industry, but I felt like this was a good snapshot - definitely an interesting setting!

Thanks to @NetGalley, Sourcebooks Casablanca, and Dreamscape Media for my ARC! Read this when it comes out on Tuesday, May 4th!
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Lots of reviewers are RAVING about this one but it was just an okay read for me. Thanks to NetGalley for an early audio review copy. I liked the dual perspective second chance friends to lovers romance. It was a slow burn build-up but the chemistry was definitely there. I also really enjoyed the focus was a girl group of kick-ass women musicians. Despite that though the story was just okay. I wasn't fully invested or kept on the edge of my seat. Recommended for fans of Jasmine Guillory.
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This book was such a wonderful surprise. I was drawn in by the fantastic cover, and it turned out to be a story that sucked me in until there were no more pages to turn. Even though it is technically a romance, the romance part takes a back seat for most of the book. The strength of this book is in telling Toni's journey in life through music. She's a great female lead and the music is interwoven with such authenticity that it feels like another character. I enjoyed the romance between Toni and Seb; even though it didn't feel central to the story, it was sweet and endearing . I will definitely keep my eyes peeled for Xio Axelrod's next book. 

I was able to listen to the audio version as well as the e-book and I slightly preferred the book version. The female narrator and the male narrator had different styles (hers more subtle, his more dramatic) and I found that the switches from one to the other were distracting because they felt so disparate. Also, the parts that were songs in the book didn't sound like singing in the audio version, so I preferred imagining the singing as I read.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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A good story, but I didn't find it to be a great one. Toni B is a fierce protagonist, and I loved her determination to make it in a misogynistic music industry, but I never quite bought the whole relationship between her and Seb. I listened to the audio... perhaps I would have enjoyed reading the text copy more.

Thanks, NetGalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca, for the audio-ARC.
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I really enjoyed this book. The heroine was fierce, without her fierceness being shoved down the readers' throats. I loved the female friendships, and I loved how the heroine's goals changed throughout the book (in a really realistic way, one that still made me feel like she was getting what she wanted and not compromising anything). And the romance was hot.

I took off a star because I couldn't completely get into the character of Sebastian. I wish I knew more about his backstory earlier in the book. I think it would have helped me identify with him more. His mystery was not very intriguing to me. This might also have been because of the narrator for the character in the audiobook. The voices he made for the other characters took me out of the story.
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“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs. The ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile, and who love you no matter what.”-Anonymous 

This was my first book by Xio Axelrod, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! You can tell she has a passion  for the music industry (which I know next to nothing about) and I loved being able to see inside the various relationships of The Lilly’s. The way they interacted, played, fought, and worked together was nothing short of intriguing.
Seb and Toni were beautiful characters with complicated backgrounds and a past that made them who they are today. If you enjoy music, romance, and characters with grit then you will love this one 💞
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I was so excited to get the audiobook copy of this, because I'm always such a sucker for dual narration. I found the narration to be really good and created an altogether positive reading experience. Overall I thought this was a fine romance, albeit a little forgettable. In its defense I've read a ton of really good romances lately so I found myself unfairly comparing it to those titles throughout. This was my first book by this author, and I would definitely consider picking up another in the future depending on the premise! 

I'll post a full review on my Goodreads on it release date!
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I really enjoyed this story. I felt that the author could include all the components you might expect from a story about someone's rise to fame, and yet it was not cliche. The characters were relatable, likable, and I looked forward to their perspectives. The characters were diverse and entertaining to learn about. It felt  Better yet; it was evident that the author was passionate about music and conveyed that passion in a way that the lay reader could understand. The author's depiction of an all-girl group was empowering, and I'm glad she included the characters' struggles in the industry as women. 

I also feel that the narrators did an excellent job of incorporating their styles into the audiobook. I feel like the accents could have been better or avoided, but it was a good listening experience. 

I will definitely be recommending this book when it comes out. 
#indigoemployee
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I LOVED this book. The story is just wonderful, and you'll get attached to the characters quickly.

This audiobook was the most fun I've had listening to something in a while. I finished it all in about two days. The narrators were fantastic actors, and I felt the brought the book to life amazingly. The audiobook also sounds great in 2x speed, the speed I normally listen with, which is great!
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This New Adult contemporary fiction gripped me from start to finish and I felt like I was there with Toni, navigating her hardships, her joy, and finding her dreams.

Toni grew up following her mom around from gig to gig, waiting back-stage or being babysat by a bar owner until her mom decided to ship her off to live with her father. Her dad didn’t really give her the time of day and so she befriended a local boy who shared her love of music. They were inseparable until he ran off on her too, without a word. Years later, and much more grown-up, Toni runs into Seb again and those sparks are still there, but can she forgive him for abandoning her?

I really liked all the characters, and because of that I wanted to know more about them, particularly the leads. I actually wouldn’t have minded if this book was a little longer than its 464 pages if we got to go a little deeper into both Toni and Seb. I wanted to hear more about their time growing up and the years in between. But I loved their chemistry and the way they supported each other in a way that only someone with that much shared history really can.

I listened to this on audio, and loved the narration by Alexander Cendese and Tamika Simone. It’s just over 13 hours long, and was a wonderful experience.

It looks like this will be the first book in the Lilly’s series, so stay tuned! I can’t wait to read more!
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Antonia “Toni” Bennette (yep) is trying to make it in a man’s world. Regardless of her talent, garnering respect in the music world doesn’t come easy—especially as a woman of color. Toni B. eventually gets an opportunity that would take her farther than she could imagine. The only problem? It requires working with Sebastian Quick, the guy who left her without a word when they were teenagers. I so loved Toni’s character and as a musician I loved the different “behind the scenes” aspects of her life. Xio Axelrod's writing kept me invested throughout the book and I found myself missing Toni B. and Seb after I finished.
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I really wanted to like this book, but I didn’t like Seb. He seemed slimy and I just didn’t like him as a love interest. I think maybe if we knew more about them before they had a falling out earlier that might have changed it.

I really liked Tony, I thought she was a great character. I loved how talented she was, but didn’t care for fame.

But I just couldn’t get past Sebastian, it made any romance scenes weird to me. It brought me out of the story a few times. 

This might the first time I didn’t want the main characters to end up together. 

Overall, a really great book. I wish I could pinpoint what it was about Sebastian that I didn’t like. 

The ending was cute, I like that Tony was able to do both owning the label and perform with the Lillys. 

Unfortunately, I never grow to like Seb. He gave me a weird vibe and his “jokes” always make me feel uncomfortable.
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This second chance romance about music and dreams will break your heart and mend it with music. 
Stunning read.
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Thank you NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for an advanced listening copy in exchange for an honest review. 

The Girl With Stars in Her Eyes is a fun, entertaining and romantic read about Tony, a talented guitarist trying to make it in the music industry. While the book has some depth in themes, I still found it to be a light-hearted, enjoyable read that was the perfect break from the thrillers I've been reading lately. The romantic interest is a large part of the story, but so is the story of a woman trying to figure out what she wants from a demanding and difficult career path. There are some very steamy scenes for those who love the romance angle. 

I listened to this on audiobook and thought both narrators did a great job. This was my first read from Xio Axelrod and I look forward to reading more of her work!
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