Cover Image: Girls with Bad Reputations

Girls with Bad Reputations

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Member Reviews

Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to listen to this book in exchange for my honest review.

First of all, this is a second book in a book series. I did not know that when I read it, I never felt like I was missing something major, but you definitely meet characters and references that are referring to a past I have not yet had the pleasure of reading.


This book is amazing. It gently highlights so many topics like prejudice and elitism without being overly aggressive. The main character Kayla does a wonderful job of handling prejudice that gets thrown her way and her character is such a strong independent role model that still struggles with finding her place in her world. It’s a refreshingly beautiful read and dichotomy of wanting to please your parents but following your true self.
Ty is the second main character and you immediately fall in love with his ideals and his relationship with his Pop Pop. I loved watching his story unfold as he finds his justice and learns what he wants.

I was captivated by the entire story and I will be going back and reading the first book of the Lilleys.

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I will not being rating this book because I did not finish this book. I stopped reading this book at the 10% mark. I don't think I am the right reader for this book. The mother and daughter relationship in this book was difficult for me to read. I do think Xio Axelrod is a good writer and appreciate the existence of the books that have been written by Axelrod. Because of the following message from netgalley "Before we send your review to the publisher, please make sure your review includes a star rating," I will select the star rating of 3 stars.

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For some books when I reach the setup it’s like a mark off the checklist. Then there are some books where I’ve got all the warm feelings inside and I’m all smiles. That’s what @xioaxelrod sets up in Girls with Bad Reputations.

The book follows Kayla and Ty. Kayla has joined the band as their drummer as The Lillys are really starting out and gaining their following. Ty takes the assignment as their driver for the tour. You’ll love reading these two get to know the other and realize they like each other! In addition to the romance, the larger story includes Kayla and Ty, both having experienced difficulties in life, and now are having to make decisions to make their next steps in life. Xio crafts important stories that she executes so well!

Not only will you love Kayla and Ty, but you’ll love the rest of the Lillys and Pop Pop!

I also got the opportunity to listen to the audiobook and I loved the narrators. I thought they did such a wonderful job bringing these characters to life. Some of the moments that stick with me the most from the audiobook experience are when Kayla is drumming. I felt in awe of Kayla’s talents as if I was truly the spectator in that moment and I think the narrators adaptation of Xio’s writing really helped spur that connection.

I haven’t read the first book in The Lillys series and now I’m really excited to go back and read the first book! I also excitedly await the next one!

Thank you to NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for the advanced copy of the audiobook to listen to in exchange for an honest review.

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Really enjoyed this book and it was a great continuation of the series. The narration was also perfect for the story. Hope it continues

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This book follows Kayla, a drummer in an up-and-coming band, and her relationship with the driver of her tour bus, Ty. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, and I was excited to pick this one up via audio-book.

The audio narration of this story was excellent - minus the attempts at an Australian accent for one of the characters. I loved having two people narrate the two different protagonists.

Both Kayla and Ty had intensive backstories and grew a ton as characters throughout the story. I enjoyed watching them confront their pasts and explore their relationships with their families and friends, although some parts were a bit cheesy.

My least favorite part was actually the romance. Kayla and Ty had cute moments, but I was missing some angst and eventual relationship development. They went very quickly from crushing on each other to in love. In a 14 hour long audio-book, which in my opinion is too long for a contemporary romance, there should have been ample time to convince the audience these two people are actually in love.

Overall, this was an engaging story but a less successful romance. Thank you to NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for this audio ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Read if you like:
🚎 Forced Proximity
🥁 Bands
❤️ Romance
⏳ Coming of Age Stories

I went into this one blind and based on that, my one recommendation for other readers is to read the first book in the series before jumping into this one as there is a lot of the story tied to the first book where I was a bit lost.

Other than that, this is a heartfelt romance of two people who have had struggles and faced adversity coming together through forced proximity and an undefinable pull.

Thank you so much to the publisher for my AlC in exchange for my review!

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Girls with Bad Reputations was a great audio to start February off with!

Kayla, following the loss of her brother, has been playing drums for up and coming band, the Lily's. She's living her dreams yet hiding who she truly is from her band mates and parents. Ty, looking for a fresh start after being charged with a crime he didn't commit, decides to be the bus driver for the Lily's. He can't help but noticed the redhead drummer. She can't help but notice him with his books and kilt. Forced to confront reality and stay true to onselves, each set out on the journey that they won't be able to look back from.

I was immediately drawn to this story and loved the dual pov, especially as the also had both narrators. Benjamin Charles and Tyla Collier allowed me to become invested in the story from start to finish. I remained curious about Ty's court case and how everyone wanted him to fight back yet he wanted to stay out of the spotlight. I enjoyed Kayla's relationship with her mother and the unraveling of what truly is a mother/daughter relationship by the end of the book. While Girls with Bad Reputations did have a focus on the relationship, I found it more to be women's fiction with how Axelrod deep dived into who each character truly was. I cannot wait to read more from Xio and the Lily's band!

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"Girls with Bad Reputation" by Xio Axelrod is a fantastic young adult novel that blends a fast-paced narrative with an immersive exploration of the music industry's highs and lows. This captivating read offers readers a front-row seat into the lives of its dynamic characters, Kayl and Ty, providing a glimpse into the world of fame, friendship, and personal growth.

The chemistry between Kayl and Ty is undeniably cute, making their journey a joy to follow. While Ty's style choices might not align with personal preferences, the characters' authenticity and relatability shine through, making them endearing and relatable.

Having enjoyed the first book in the series, I was eager to dive into the second installment, and "Girls with Bad Reputation" did not disappoint. The author's ability to weave a compelling narrative and infuse it with the intricacies of the music industry adds depth to the story, keeping readers hooked from start to finish.

A noteworthy mention goes to the narrators Benjamin Charles and Tyla Collier, whose performances added brilliance to the audiobook. Their narration skillfully brought the characters to life, enhancing the listening experience and making it an absolute pleasure.

In conclusion, "Girls with Bad Reputation" is a must-read for young adult fiction enthusiasts and anyone intrigued by the behind-the-scenes dynamics of the music industry. Axelrod's storytelling prowess, combined with the charming narration by Benjamin Charles and Tyla Collier, makes this book a delightful addition to the series. I eagerly anticipate more from this talented author.

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Girls with Bad Reputations is the second book in The Lillys series, but can definitely be read as a standalone. It follows the band’s drummer, Kayla, as she and the band head out on their first tour. There is plenty of band drama and even a little bit of romance along the way.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book. It was sweet seeing Kayla and Ty’s relationship grow and I really liked the fact that there was so much open communication between the two of them. This one hit so many important topics, including racism, in really thoughtful ways and included BIPOC and bisexual representation.

It did feel like there was a little bit too much going on for one book. There was Kayla’s past with her family, the band drama with Candi, false accusations against Ty, and more. I would have loved for there to be a little bit more focus on Ty and Kayla’s growing relationship and a bit less drama.

The narrators did a great job bringing the characters to life and enhancing their emotions.

Thank you to NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for the audio ARC.

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4.5 stars
I loved this book so much. Kayla and her story was so interesting and I loved seeing it evolve. Ty’s story was also amazing to read and I loved his grandpa. Both of their stories have such unique moments but as they become more famous, their secrets get harder to hide.
Ty and Kayla’s connection was beautiful and I loved the way books meant so much to both.
The rock band was such a fun and amazing concept. I loved seeing them on tour.
I didn’t know this was a book in a series which was fine and didn’t make me not know what was going on at all. I now need to read the first book though.
I listened to the audiobook and the narrators were so good. Their voices fit the characters so well and really made me see the story happen.
Everyone needs to experience the magic that was this book. It’s so good.

*Thank you Dreamscape media and netgalley for an advanced listener’s copy in exchange for an honest review,

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I finished the audiobook in under 48 hours - just couldn't stop listening to it.

I really enjoyed this audiobook - the voices actors fit the characters well and the dual POV voice actors help keep the pace of the book well. The characters are all compelling - whether they are the leads or just side characters. While a lot is happening in this book in addition to the romance, I feel like it helps round out who the characters are and makes them feel more lifelike.

I didn't read the first book in the series and didn't have trouble jumping in with this book before reading the first book.

I'm not sure if I would call this a slow burn but it is not high spice. A few spicy scenes but not super explicitly described.

I loved that Ty was a bisexual and demisexual man!!

Thank you to NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for an ARC of this audiobook!

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I haven't read The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes but this new installment of The Lillys Series definitely made me want to. I adored all the characters and their bold personalities. I must warn you it's impossible not to fall in love with our main characters Kayla and Ty.

This was a beautifully written story and I loved the audio as well. This story story really hooked me in and took hold of my emotions. I wasn't expecting to feel so deeply for these characters. I admired Kayla's passion and determination to live the life of her choosing. Although she rebelled against her parent's wishes she still thought of how her actions would effect them. Ty Baldwin was a swoon worthy MMC and I couldn't help but fall in love with his Granddad too! I enjoyed Ty and Kayla's transition from friendship to lovers. The way that they both exposed themselves and allowed each other to be vulnerable and comfortable in their own skin struck a cord with me.

I appreciated the way Xio Axelrod approached the topic of grief and racism in this book. It was interesting to see how Ty and Kayla approached misogyny and racism. I loved how they were able to teach each other things and change their own perspectives based on past experiences. Their relationship was built on mutual respect and overall kindness and I couldn't have asked for a better love story.

Xio's writing made me want to be at a concert or in the recording studio with this crew. I definitely want to add The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes to my TBR and learn more about this crazy crew.

Audio. I've never heard of Benjamin Charles and Tyla Collieras but I definitely will look out for books narrated by them now. It was a great experience and amazing story telling by them. Well done.

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Thank you, Xio Axelrod, Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for the advance copy of this audiobook,

All her life, Kayla Whitman has lived under the pressure of being "the perfect little girl"... but now she found her groove beating the drums in an all girl group, The Lillys. There, under an alias, she's no longer her mother's daughter, the inspiration for children's books. She's loud and wild and free. She's made her own little family with the band. Everything is going her way while they are playing local gigs, but they are getting bigger and pretty soon she won't be able to keep her lives separate. She finds solace in her kinship with the bus driver for their tour: Ty Baldwin. He's like no one she's ever met before and their connection is immediate and intense. He's a bookworm, a poet and a sight for sore eyes. 

As their fame grows, the press starts to sniff secrets, Kayla's and Ty's. Will she be able to pursue her dream or have to give it all up? Will there be room for Ty in her life?

In the same vein of The Girl With Stars in Her Eyes, we get a backstage pass to the life of a band on the verge of breaking big. 

I loved every single character in this book and I loved how Xio Axelrod veered away from clichés. Yes, her mother is domineering but she's not portrayed as a villain. Yes, Ty has a past he hides but he doesn't play the victim. We hope he gets justice for what was done to him and it's heartbreaking to understand why he's just tired to fight back. Their romance is sweet and slow. And it's fun to follow the band on tour. 

Narrated by Tyla Collier and Benjamin Charles. Tyla is new to me and she impressed me with how unique she made each character sound! Benjamin Charles has that honey voice that's just perfect for the lovely Ty.

Rep: black MCs and author. Non gender-conforming MCs

Possible triggers: mentions of loss of loved ones, systemic racism, estranged relationship with a parent

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this audiobook ARC.

In terms of the audiobook experience, I enjoyed the narration and quality. The narrator for Ty in particular was excellent. I noticed some repeated words, which I’ll put in notes for the publisher.

In terms of the story, I had a great time getting back into life with The Lillies (I’ve read book 1). This book was an interesting balance - the band dynamics and experiences took as much, if not more, plot time than the romance. I didn’t mind this, but it made the book feel very long as I kept waiting for more romance!

The other side effect of having lots of band content is that there wasn’t as much time dedicated to the development of the relationship. It felt a little Insta-lovey, and I really wanted more banter and connecting between the leads.

Having said that, the band content was great. The rock scene felt authentic, and the side plots with Ty’s academic incident, and Kayla’s family relationships were fleshed out too.

In short: if you don’t mind slightly less romance time, and you enjoy music and the rock scene, this book will be a winner for you. The audiobook was a quality production.

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Girls with Bad Reputations has got it all. Strong female lead with a complex, but sweet male love interest. These characters hit home for those who feel judged or held to higher expectations by their parents rather than understood for who they are. I wish I could actually hear The Lillys perform in real life! Their girl power, creativity, and support of one another make an excellent found family for Kayla. The narrator’s voice for Ty’s Grandpa was probably my favorite thing in this audiobook. Thank you Dreamscape Media for the advanced copy to review.

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I absolutely loved Axelrod's first book in this series, The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes. So, I was eagerly awaiting this one and snagged it as soon as the opportunity presented itself. What a wonderful continuation of this series! As much as I adored Toni and Seb's story, Kayla and Ty also took a piece of my heart.

Kayla and Ty are such kind and sensitive people. Kayla has been the "good little girl" her whole life in an attempt to keep her mother happy. The stress of living up to her mother's expectations of what a strong young black woman should be was daunting and her mother discounted Kayla's own gifts because she was too blinded by what she interpreted success to be. The. book really wove around Kayla finding herself in a solid way = - enough to own her love and passion for music to everyone, including her parents and to be able to tell her friends who she really was. So, when she meets Ty, it's almost perfectly fitting. He has been jostled around and is trying to find his way too. Instead of having an overbearing parent or parents, Ty only has his grandfather. Also, Ty has been through some things as a young black man who was falsely accused and never had the wrongs righted, he's very limited on his future options. Even though they are both in flux, they can't help but be drawn to one another. They're souls seem to connect.

It's fun to be back in the world of the Lillys and seeing more of their lives. I'm looking forward to future books.

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: The audio was fantastic. It truly made the reading/listening experience even more special because the narration was really spot on. 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley for the early copies of both the ebook and audiobook. I enjoyed reading and listening to them both.

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I voluntarily listened and reviewed an audio of this book via NetGalley and Dreamscape Media. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating: 4/5 Stars
Publishing: February 6, 2024
Series: The Lillys
Pages: 448 / Audiobook 14 hrs 17 minutes

Not having read any books by author, Xio Axelrod, I was intrigued to read this story of the Lillys, an up-and-coming girl band making their way as musicians. This story is of Mikayla Whitman, the drummer falling for Tyrell, the band driver. As I was drawn more and more into the story, I made the decision to audiobook and listen to the rest of the book. I am glad I made the change as this was fun and emotional story that had a slow burn romance attached to it. The characters in the story were likeable in their own sort of way. Although the main characters are quite young, they seemed mature and had respect for one another in their relationship. Not big on dual POVs and a lot of backstories, however they helped and worked well for the plot. Well-written and entertaining. My only takeaway is the narration. I thought Benjamin Charles’ vocals were very good when performing, however Tyla Collier’s a bit spotty at times for the male performance. All in all, this was a very good book in this series.

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This audiobook was absolutely stunning! An astounding contemporary romance with relatable themes, strong BIPOC/ Queer representation, Dual POVs and an immersive writing flow had me entranced

Kayla grew up under a very controlling mother who demanded unachievable standards. Kayla wants to break free and finds solace in her music, as a drummer. Her band, The Lilly's becomes very successful, but this brings with it it's own pitfalls, not least trying to keep her life hidden from her mother. Kayla finds comfort with Ty, the tour bus driver (friends to lovers/ relationship goals!)

Ty is an absolute gem and I really like the dynamic between the two, it is so sweet and wholesome and he is just an all round nice person who adores his Grandpa

I was heartened and inspired by how Kayla chose to face up to her mam and build a new relationship out of the mire of the last one and I am really glad that this is a part of a series. This book has definitely inspired me to read or listen to more from Xio Axelrod

Thanks to Netgalley and Dreamscape media for this wonderful ALC. My review is left voluntarily and all opinions are my own

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This book had everything to satisfy your slow burn craving. It had a Daisy Jones and the Six vibe but without the drugs and more of a found family feel. Narrators were fantastic, I think it was my first time listening to them and I loved them. very smooth voices.

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The Lillys are back and they are taking their show on the road!

I’m so happy to be back in the world of the Lillys, rocking out and going on an absolute emotional rollercoaster! In this installment we follow Kayla & Ty whose stories are full of love, loss, resilience, strength, books, music and of course - some romance along the way!

🎸 Rock n’ Roll
📚 Bookish
❤️‍🩹 Complicated Family Relationships
🫶 Found Family
🧳 Tour Bus Adventures
🎫 Live Music
❤️‍🔥 Slow Burn

I seriously can’t recommend this series enough and I can’t wait to see what Xio Axelrod has in store for us next!

Method Read: 📖 & 🎧

🎧 Tyla Collier & Benjamin Charles did an amazing job bringing the story to life! 🎧

Thank you Sourcebooks Casablanca for the ARC and Dreamscape Media for the ALC!

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