• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes by Xio Axelrod

Axelrod offers a light fiction romance that's heavy on engaging passages about making music, band life, and tricky interpersonal dynamics.

The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes tells the story of Toni Bennette (she's heard all the jokes before, so don't even start) and her dream to make it big with her band, the Lillys.


Toni grows up feeling like a painful afterthought to her mother's desperate efforts to advance her own struggling musical career, yet Toni can't avoid the pull of the music business for herself.


Young Toni crosses paths with Sebastian Quick, an older, wiser guy who just might offer her a way out of her little no-name town--and together they just might have a shot at something bigger. But when Seb leaves town without warning, Toni's left cobbling together a plan for musical success without him in the mix--and trying to heal a broken heart.


Cut to years later, when Toni, making a name for herself in the Philadelphia indie music scene, tries out for a hot new band. She loves the band's feminist vibe--but the group's manager is someone from her past: Seb. Tricky situations ensue!


Axelrod offers a light fiction romance that's heavy on engaging passages about making music, band life, and tricky interpersonal dynamics. These were my favorite elements. There's also draaama, drawn-out aaangst, and romaaance, plus some steamy-racy scenes. A hopeless, neglectful guy transforms into a seemingly redeemable fellow at unbelievable, warp speed--but I didn't mind. You just know some version of things will turn out satisfyingly here, and it's clear from the get-go that The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes will hit the spot.


I received a prepublication copy of this book, published May 4, 2021, courtesy of Sourcebooks Casablanca and NetGalley.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

Axelrod has numerous other books, so if you're in for this one you have many more offerings from her to try.


The author plans to write more books in The Lillys series.


If you like fiction about bands and music, you might like the books on the Greedy Reading List Six Rocking Stories about Bands and Music.