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The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes by Xio Axelrod

Contemporary fiction

The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes

by Xio Axelrod

Excellent choice

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Quick take

Like the best concerts, this tale of rock and romance will have your head bopping, feet tapping, hoping it never ends.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Romance

    Romance

  • Illustrated icon, 400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Feminist

    Feminist

  • Illustrated icon, First_in_Series

    First in series

Synopsis

They say the road to stardom is paved with broken dreams.

Growing up, Antonia "Toni" Bennette's guitar was her only companion...until she met Sebastian Quick. Seb was a little older, a lot wiser, and he became Toni's way out, promising they'd escape their small town together. Then Seb turned eighteen and split without looking back.

Now, Toni B is all grown up and making a name for herself in Philadelphia's indie rock scene. When a friend suggests she try out for the hottest new band in the country, she decides to take a chance. She's in for a surprise when one of the decision-makers turns out to be none other than Seb. Toni can handle it. No problem. Or it wouldn't be if Seb didn't still hold a piece of her heart, not to mention the key to her future.

Free sample

The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes

PROLOGUE.

ANTONIA: 12 YEARS OLD

ANTONIA BENNETTE WOKE FROM HER after-school nap to the sound of a guitar. It was coming from somewhere inside the small dressing room in the back of Ginny’s Jazz House where her mother was gigging tonight. She listened for a while, searching for something familiar amid the improvised notes, giddy with anticipation.

The tenor of Mary Bennette’s prized old Gibson was unmistakable. Softer than the Fender or even her other, newer Gibson. Antonia loved the way its tone could change note to note—from the sound of water dripping from the roof when it rained to the crunch of loose pavement under her shoes. And the way her mother could make it sing, make it harmonize along with her own voice, gave Antonia goose bumps. Audiences loved Mary Bennette too. They packed small clubs in Chester, Baltimore, and even Philadelphia to hear her. Antonia’s mother was a star.

After another few bars, Antonia was able to pick out the melody to Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday.” Her mom had remembered and must have something special in store for her. Maybe she’d even let Antonia stay for the show and not send her off to stay with one of her play-aunts across town.

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Why I love it

Though she may not have been graced with the advantages of some and has had more than her fair share of hard knocks, the moment Antonia “Toni” Bennette makes her debut in The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes, you know she’s meant to be a rock star.

Toni is the type of fictional heroine that a reader can root for from the very first page: smart, full of pure heart, incredible drive, and amazing talent. And then when Toni meets Sebastian Quick, another poor kid from the wrong side of, well, everything, sparks fly and it’s musical magic. Sebastian is strong, talented and as driven as Toni, but he’s also in a tragically desperate situation and it’s because of that desperation that he and Toni’s magical destiny is in question.

I adored every moment of reading The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes. Axelrod brings a haunting humanity to the sexy rock and roll spotlight and readers will be singing along with Toni, Sebastian, and the Lillys as they follow them on their road to stardom. This book reads like an impeccable performance that you don’t want to end and will have you shouting, “Encore! Encore!” by the time you reach the last page.

Member ratings (1,258)

  • Sadie B.

    Huntsville, TX

    I really didn’t like Seb the 1st half of the book, he just seemed like a lame lying pos under Candi’s sway but Toni and the Lilly’s story was so good that it didn’t matter. Great story w/an ok romance

  • Kelly H.

    Centerville, OH

    Great read. Awesome character development. Unique look into an upcoming musicians life. Thought it might be difficult since you can’t “hear” the music youre reading about but Xio pulls it off superbly

  • Rachel P.

    Glen Jean, WV

    It was mostly predictable but in the best way I’d say. Everything seemed resolved and seemed to bad a reason to it which I like a lot when reading. Overall one of the best BOTM books I’ve read so far.

  • Leah G.

    Saint Marys, GA

    One of my favorite books I’ve read this year. I was hooked from beginning to end. This story gave me all the feels and a little steam. Don’t think about it, just read it. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Alexandria G.

    Brooklyn, NY

    Boy was this book fantastic. This book is everything I love about romance, a perfect story about Toni’s love for her best friend and her craft. Such a beautiful story, 100% my favorite book this year!

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Contemporary fiction
View all
The Last Love Note
Anita de Monte Laughs Last
Honey
The Leftover Woman
Interesting Facts about Space
Bye, Baby
Swan Song
The Connellys of County Down
Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life
Jackpot Summer
Adelaide
The Collected Regrets of Clover
Again and Again
Evil Eye
Black Cake
Maame
Romantic Comedy
Someone Else’s Shoes
Once There Were Wolves
We Are the Brennans
The Bad Muslim Discount
What Comes After
Olga Dies Dreaming
Last Summer at the Golden Hotel
Monster in the Middle
My Dark Vanessa
Nine Perfect Strangers
The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany
The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes
Honey Girl
In Every Mirror She's Black
Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?
Sankofa
The Unsinkable Greta James
The Love of My Life
The Five-Star Weekend
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto
The Wishing Game
Behold the Dreamers
The Mothers
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
Little Fires Everywhere
The Music Shop
Queenie
Where’d You Go, Bernadette
The Reckless Oath We Made
Dear Edward
When We Were Vikings
The Girl with the Louding Voice
Anxious People
A Good Neighborhood
Big Summer
All Adults Here
Happy & You Know It
Friends and Strangers
The Comeback
True Story
The Last Story of Mina Lee
Troubles in Paradise
White Ivy
This Close to Okay
The Chicken Sisters
The Prophets
The Kindest Lie
In a Book Club Far Away
The Other Black Girl
Apples Never Fall
A Quiet Life
We Are the Light
The Most Likely Club
The Fortunes of Jaded Women
When We Were Bright and Beautiful
The Hotel Nantucket