Monday, May 13, 2024

REVIEW: Girls with Bad Reputations by Xio Axelrod


I read the first book in this series, The Lillys, and I super enjoyed it so when I saw book two on NetGalley, I requested it. In this second book about the members of the badass girl band, The Lillys, we get to know the drummer, Kayla, and the man who ends up being their tour bus driver, Ty. While they come from seemingly different backgrounds, they bond over their favorite books and music. Their love story takes place over the course of two festival touring circuits, with family drama and former bandmate drama weaving in and out of their narratives. Kayla has been hiding what she's doing from her family because she fears their reaction and is trying to avoid a fight. Ty, meanwhile, is doing his best to take care of and support his only real family member, his grandpa, while grappling with the guilt and horror and anger he has after he was falsely accused of plagiarism and assault. Needless to say, both Kayla and Ty are working through some things and it's interesting to see how they begin to lean on each other and the band as they figure things out. Their love story is sweet and gentle and fun.

In addition to their story, the story of the band is equally engaging. I am very curious about Tiff and Lilly, as well as what's going to happen with Candi and their record label. Their band seems like they're on the cusp of mega stardom while their label seems intent on making every step of their rise to fame incredibly difficult, which makes zero sense....something I'm sure will be addressed in later novels.

All in all a great read that has me eager for the rest of the series. 



"Hot chemistry, fantastic writing, realistic character flaws, triumphs, and family drama—Xio Axelrod never misses a beat! GIRLS WITH BAD REPUTATIONS is one you don't want to miss!" —Rebecca Yarros, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

All her life, Kayla heard the same refrain: Don't be so loud. Don't act so wild. Don't take up so much space. Now she's the beating heart of an up-and-coming rock band…and the whole world is going to know her name.

Once upon a time, the pressure to be the perfect daughter nearly broke Kayla Whitman. Desperate to find an outlet away from her controlling mother, she picked up a pair of drumsticks, forever altering the rhythm of her life. Since then, she's been determined to make her own way, finding her home with her bandmates even as she fights to keep her past and her present firmly separate.

Things were simple enough when the Lillys were playing local gigs at dive bars, but now they're on their first official tour—and all Kayla can see are warning signs. Desperate to escape the worry churning inside her, Kayla finds solace in quiet tour bus driver Ty Baldwin…and discovers in him a kindred spirit like no one she's ever met before.

Their connection is immediate and intense, but when increasing scrutiny from the press threatens to destroy Ty's newfound peace and Kayla's carefully guarded secrets, Kayla's forced to make an impossible choice: pursue her dream and risk destroying everyone around her? Or give in and lose the chance of ever becoming the person she's always known she could be.

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