Cover Image: Girls with Bad Reputations

Girls with Bad Reputations

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Member Reviews

Girl band
Rockstar romance
Found family
Slow burn

Audio review
Narrated by: Benjamin Charles, Tyla Collier

Family issues, rock stars, romance and more.

Your past can make your future. Sometimes that’s good and others times it’s not, Kayla is trying to move beyond her past and live her dream. When she meets Tyler, they have instant chemistry. He is a tour bus driver and she is a rock rock star.

Kayla is the drummer of an all girl band. She learned from her brother and used it as an escape from family drama.
Tyler is the new driver for their tour. Quiet and steady. He just wants to be comfortable and take care of his grandfather.

These two are cute together. The band played a large part in the story but Tyler and Kayla are the show.

The narrators did a great job. Easy to follow and added personality.

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3.5/5 (rounded down to 3)

CW: death of a sibling (recounted), racism, drug abuse (mentioned), death by overdose (alluded, off-page), car accident (mentioned)

I would like to thank NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for providing me with a free audio e-ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Girls with Bad Reputations was a nice read, but I don’t know if I would read this again.

Don’t get me wrong; the narration is so good. I loved how both narrators brought life to the characters’ voices, but the audiobook is super long. At a whopping fourteen hours and sixteen minutes, Girls with Bad Reputations is the kind of audiobook you need to make a commitment to in order to finish. Added insult to injury is that the book has a bit of a slow pacing, which is not doing the audiobook version any favors.

Other than that, the book itself was fine. I liked the cast of characters and the plot was good. It’s just that I don’t think this book was quite for me, but I’m willing to check out the author’s other works.

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I absolutely enjoyed Girl With Bad Reputations, and the cherry on top was the band being from Philly (my hometown!).

While Kayla is hiding her identity from her parents, I do appreciate her living her dreams.

Girl With Bad Reputations is the second book in The Lillys series, but I read this without having read book one with no problems. But, I will be going back to read the first one to spend more time with this group of friends.

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3.75 -4 ⭐️ ( DON'T JUDGE ME,I'M PICKY OKAY?)

Girls with bad reputations was so refreshing! Described as A Star is Born mixed with Daisy Jones and the Six by the way of Colleen Hoover (I can kinda get the first two but why do the author dirty with the last comparision?) I was intrigued. Going into this, I didn't know that this was the second instalment of this series but Axelrod did a great job of recapping events from The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes in a way that would make you curious enough to go back to it but not lost enough that you wouldn't be able to read this book without the previous one.

I am so so proud of the Lilys and their journey to stardom. They feel real and I loved how atmospheric Axelrod wrote their touring experience and shows, I felt like I was right there alongside them. All band members were distinct, their love and respect for each other was so palpable same with with their manager and lawyer. The found family was wonderful and warmed my little heart.

The romance between Ty and Kayla was so sweet (if these bitches were a real couple I'm telling you the TikTok girlies would be losing their minds - based on their character descriptions alone they are the definition of bi panic if I do say so myself)

I would say that this book *technically* is romance but the romance definitely took a back seat in the story. Both characters were dealing with a lot outside of the main relationship. A lot of Girls with bad reputations revolved around band politics, racial discrimination, grief, toxic parents, friendship as well as anti-blackness. The anti-blackness from the main character's mother was addressed but was brushed over in the end which was a letdown because it felt like she faced no consequences for her actions SHE MADE ME SO ANGRY THERE WERE TEARS IN MY EYES . she slightly redeemed herself but I wanted to fight her.

Overall I enjoyed this , it was so sweet and I will definitely continue the series but I don't think that this book will stick with me in the long run

Audiobook review
The audiobook was dual narration (A male and female voice actor corresponding to the chapters from the perspectives of Ty and Kayla). I relatively liked both narrators, Benjamin Charles and Tyla Collier. I liked their voices and thought that they matched the characters. However, I preferred Collier's narration,she was a little more dynamic in her voicing of different characters. My personal highlight of her performance was for Kayla's mom (OOOOOO GOD I WANTED TO FIGHT her -the mom not the narrator) as well as Tiff......and Toni and lily tbh, as she really captured the essence of them respectively. Charles's narration lacked flow, at points, it felt like he was reading Ty's story instead of the characters telling their own story if that makes sense?. His voice for Ty's grandpa was endearing and his narration flowed better after a while I did feel like he captured Ty's laid-back vibe (for lack of a better word.)

It was a decent audiobook but not one I would personally say is a must-listen!

Big thanks to Dreamscape Media for the advanced listening copy in exchange for this review!
very late ALC review - apologies, life was LIFE-ING
this has been out since the 6th Feb!

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Girls With Bad Reputations is the second in the series by Xio Axelrod featuring the Lilly's, an all girl rock band. This is the story of Kayla, the Lilly's drummer who grew up in a very strict household and is going against her mother's wishes by living her life on her terms.

The Lilly's have just made it big enough to go on a US tour and they find themselves competing with Candi, again. Despite this Kayla finds a friend in Tyrell "Ty" their bus driver. Ty has taken this job while he is reapplying to university following an incident where he was wrongly accused. Ty is also caring for his grandfather who encouraged him to take the bus driver gig.

Watching Kayla and Ty build a relationship is absolutely beautiful as they are both a bit broken, looking for the next steps and they find each other. The storyline is different than most romances, it touches on deeper issues and yet the characters connect. Speaking of characters, most are very well developed, each with their own back story and that story impacts their actions. They are realistic and genuine.

I loved the first book in the series and this one is just as good! I cannot wait for the next Xio Axelrod novel!

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🎧Song Pairing: Signs - Bloc Party

💭What I thought would happen:

I thought it would be about a wrongfully accused black woman. Maybe not a serious crime but like cheating? Turns out I was wrong but right 😂

🗯Thoughts/sassy musings:

😷What didn’t work:

TOOO LONG. This could have easily shedded 150 pages of its snake skin. More story less unnecessary details thx

I was bored at times. I just wanted the suffering to end.

😚What did it for me:

I really liked the ending. I loved how Kayla confronted her mother and her snobbery

I loved all the characters. Tyrell & his love of audiobooks. Hello I see you 😉 and the band mates rocked

The cover!! Hello it’s colourful beautifulness

Maybe I’ll give the author another chance. Maybe I won’t. Time will tell

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The Lillys are back, and this time we get Kayla’s story. After the death of her brother, Kayla’s mom became incredibly overprotective. Now, Kayla is doing the opposite of everything her mom expects by being the drummer of the Lillys, and she is fighting to keep her past and present completely separate which becomes more challenging as the band becomes more popular. She finds herself sharing parts of herself she doesn’t share with many people with Ty, the tour bus driver who is struggling to find his own path after being released from prison, for a crime he was wrongly accused of.

I loved going back to the world of the Lillys and Kayla/Ty’s story was just so good! I love the complexity of the stories in this series. We have characters with so many layers to unpack and even the side characters have so much depth. I was so invested in both Kayla and Ty’s individual stories and that made me root for them even more as a couple. Much like in the first book, I loved the glimpses of band life and the strong women at the center of the story.

The audiobook narrated by Benjamin Charles and Tyla Collier is definitely the way to experience this story. They did a phenomenal job bringing the characters to life and I loved listening to the audiobook.

Thank you to Sourcebooks Casablanca, Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for the advance copies.

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Thank you to netgalley and Dreamscape Media for allowing me to read this book. This was a good story. In the end it was just meh for me.

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I loved getting a chance to read Kayla and Ty's story and get more insight and story on the Lilly's! Xio captured my heart and soul with The Girl With Stars In Her Eyes and I really loved this follow up novel. While it probably can be read as a stand-alone and make sense in its own right, I do love revisiting familiar characters. This story was great and I loved the audio!

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It took weeks for me to get through this story and I barely finished. It was extremely boring and painfully slow to get through. To sum it up, it’s basically life of a band on the road. Nothing more or less

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I liked Girl with Stars in her Eyes, but this sequel was so much better! I loved Kayla's story and the relationship that brewed between Kayla and Ty. Bookworm romance is so fun!

This book just felt different from the first. Tensions were higher, the girls were closer. It was a ride and I enjoyed every second! Candi was causing more trouble, the girls were gaining more recognition, but there was also the whole side plot about Ty and his past. YMI signed Candi and a new band and was pushing them in the spotlight rather than the uber talented Lillies.

This book touched on prejudice with Ty and the false claims against him and how the color of his skin played a big part in the punishment he received for something he didn't do. It also touched on unrealistic expectations between Kayla and her mom as her mom writes Little Miss Yolanda as this perfect daughter that Kayla doesn't feel she can live up to. There was talk of loss and grief (all close family), deceit, scandal, female rivalry perpetuated by powerful men.

The narration was good. I enjoyed the audiobook and I felt it was a good way to read the story.

Xio came really far with this one and I hope that Tiff's book is next because that spitfire is my favorite and I can't wait to see what her story looks like!

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I received this book as an audiobook advanced copy from NetGalley and didn't realize that it was actually the second book in a series. I listened to the whole thing and then realized that but I loved it. I really loved the band dynamics and I loved the main characters. I almost am glad I read this one first because I didn't love the first one as much after I went back and read that after this one. Band romances are always a hit or miss for me but this one was extremely well out executed. We've got a super badass drummer making a name for herself and pushing back against the expectations of her well-meaning but overbearing parents. And then we have a guy who is just trying to figure out where his life is going after an incident that really rocked his core. He ends up as the band bus driver for their tour and he and the drummer develop feelings for each other. Of course there's a lot of dynamics in play within the band but also with his aging grandfather.

I loved the romance but my favorite part was really seeing these two characters embrace their own individuality and confront the idea that they are worth happiness. They deserve to live happy fulfilling lives and that is so genuine.

I need to start writing reviews immediately after finishing because I cannot remember the specific representation. I want to say that the FMC is hinted at being queer. I don't remember there being a specific label on page but she's very open to addressing the attractiveness of all people. I'm pretty sure she's bi or pan but don't quote me on it.

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This book can be read as a standalone. Kayla is the drummer of the Lilly’s, an all-girl rock group taking the music scene by storm as they hit the festival circuit and prepare to release their first single - but Kayla is hiding a secret from her bandmates: her mother is best-selling author of a hugely successful children’s book series based on Kayla. Or rather, what her mother wishes Kayla was like. Kayla is hiding her family from her band, and her band from her family - how can she work towards her dream while balancing these two lives? Ty is working to make money for himself and his grandpa by driving busses and happens to get a gig driving the Lilly’s on their first tour when he meets Kayla.

I loved Ty’s character and Ty’s love story with Kayla was good.

The politics, planning and production of the band was a lot of the plot, but I had a hard time staying attached with the band’s drama. I just wanted more Kayla + Ty content! All in all this was an ok read and had me interested to check out the previous novel to learn more about the other cool ladies in the Lillys.

Thank you to NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for providing this ALC

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Didn’t know anything about this book or author and, as such, ended up reading this as a standalone.

Loved it so much that I was so stoked to see it’s actually the second in the series. I cannot wait to go back and read the first. I loved Kayla, the Lillys, and Ty’s gentle courage.

Plus, everyone loves a utility kilt. Excellent narration on both parts as well.

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The beginning was really promising and there was a lot I liked about the story and the writing style but ultimately I made it to about 53% and it was not holding my attention. I think if I had made it to the end, it would have netted out to about 3 stars.

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Thank you for granting me access to this audiobook. I had the best time listening to it. I was lucky enough to to be approved as soon as I finished reading the first book, even though this can't be read as a standalone. I enjoyed the narration, the pacing of the novels, even the characters came stronger. I absolutely adore it!

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The Lillys are back!

While the story very much focused on Kayla’s growth in her career and with her family, the romantic subplot between her and Ty. Seeing their intense connection grow and thrive was such a great aspect of the book. Ty was seriously so sweet.

Despite a seemingly perfect and idyllic upbringing, Kayla Whitman has dealt with a host of struggles in her teens and twenties. From an overbearing mom constantly pressuring her for perfection to living with the grief of losing her brother. She and her brother both lost and found themselves behind a drum set. Now, she’s making a name for herself with the Lillys, while also trying to keep that part of her life separate and secret from her parents and their judgemental opinions. The more the Lillys grow, the harder it is to maintain the facade.

I loved catching up with the band, seeing them go on tour, watching behind the scenes magic, and the drama unfolding with “rivals”. I liked the found family aspect, and seeing how Kayla and Ty tried to maintain healthy relationships with their blood families.

I enjoyed the dual POV narration. Benjamin Charles as Ty and Tyla Collier as Kayla were a great pairing. Benjamin had a melancholic but hopeful vibe and Tyla gave us Kayla’s vulnerable but confident personality really shining through. The only minor critique I had was listening to Ty’s grandpa. Ack–it hurt my throat to hear him rasp! But overall a really, really fun listen. I’m hopeful we’ll get more stories in this world!

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As someone who often daydreams about my second life where I am musically talented and excellent at playing the drums, I was happy to live vicariously through Kayla and The Lilly’s.

Ty was a great character and I loved how they moved through the world, even with so many things already against them from the start.

They were perfect for each other and were able to do that thing where they are what the other person needs in the moment, even if they weren’t looking or hoping for anything. It was cute and fun and rock and roll 🤘🏽 😎

Thanks to #NetGallery and publisher for a copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Genre: Romance MF
Format: Audio
POV: Single
Spice: 🌶️ /5
Age suggestion: 18+

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I'm disappointed that Book of the Month chose not to continue with the second Lilly's book, after I had really loved The Girl With Stars in Her Eyes. I think contemporary fiction novels about black women in Rock music are few and far between, and these novels in particular (while also being love stories) are something I'd really like to see more of since so many books BOTM chooses by black authors are traumatic. I think there is a lot of value in having books that are quite different than the normal offerings, and I wish I could have also had a matching set when the others come out. Alas, I was super psyched to get the audiobook from Netgalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca, because I got to hear the book which added a really fun, different experience for me that I enjoyed a lot. The two different narrators were really wonderful, and I will 100% look up other work that they've done.

I like that the love story in the book is not technically the main focus, and it didn't feel very forced to me which was also quite enjoyable. The characters are super likable (you already know Kayla a little bit if you read TGWSIHE) and Ty is wonderful. Both characters are trying to move forward and away from their respective pasts, and the book is filled with really fun characters along the way. Ty's Grandfather, Van, was 100% my favorite.

You don't have to read TGWSIHE to enjoy this book. You'll miss the fall-out with Candy which is a subplot, but nothing else is super ties in in a way where this book isn't enjoyable. I think that is really interesting, but great for people who may not want to double back. You will spoil the couple from the first novel, and a bit of the plot over there, but if you don't care about that you can always double back as well.

Overall, I was happy to find The Lilly's again, and catch up with where they are now. I hope it doesn't take 3 years to get the next one!

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The second book in The Lillys featuring the drummer as our FMC. I absolutely loved this second installment of Xio’s slow burn friends to lovers rockstar romance. This was so beautiful and so well written. Loved the exposition into Kayla’s character and discussions into her family dynamics. Loved Ty’s quiet strength and how just unapologetically himself he was. From the simple scenes of them sitting down next to each other relaxing with an audiobook to fighting tooth and nail for justice for each other, I loved how they both grew into their own, how they gained confidence, how they simply captivated each other. With this series, Xio truly writes from the heart and with so much knowledge of the music industry. I seriously can’t wait for all the other girls’ stories.
(+) bisexual MMC, bisexual FMC (everyone in the band is basically bisexual), grief and loss of family members

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