Thanks to Sourcebooks Casa & Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
Q: If you were in a rock band what would you want to play? Or would you rather be the lead singer?
Xio Axelrod’s The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes is fantastic storytelling plain & simple.
Second chance-ish romance; a searingly good rock band; female empowerment: it’s all here. I was completely immersed in this story about a woman who takes chances, who feels music in a way that leaps off the pages.
Antonia Bennette, stage name Toni B, was best friends with Sebastian Quigley growing up. She had unexpressed romantic feelings for him but one day he just left. Town; her.
Despite all the grand plans they made, they haven’t talked in almost a decade, both keenly aware of his betrayal. But the rock band that he manages, The Lillys, is looking for a temporary guitarist replacement & Toni gets the job, only realizing later that she’ll be working in close contact with the man who broke her heart.
The language used for music in this romance is sensational; you can hear the mesmerizing notes of the singer; you can see Toni B totally lighting up the stage in one of her many stellar displays of talent. It’s charismatic. Toni has to deal with the stigma that women can’t rock but every time she & The Lillys take the stage they’re thundering proof of the opposite.
Though this book is more about Toni’s journey for me, the slow burn romance between Toni & Sebastian is overall satisfying. Despite the fact that I don’t swoon *completely* for Sebastian —he does something that bothers me in the present-day—there is eventual combustion & I really like their dynamic at the end.
Featuring complicated characters who make mistakes; who are trying to find their way & sometimes stumble, but in Toni’s case, majorly shine too, The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes is a romance that feels almost cinematic to me. Though the hero is a *bit* of a disappointment in my eyes, Toni is all that & more (& so are the rest of The Lillys!).
4.5 ⭐️. Release date: May 4, 2021
parental abuse & neglect; drug abuse
Give me that HEA, please.
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