Book Features, Book Reviews

Book Review: Cynthia Starts A Band by Olivia Swindler


Eleanor Quinn lives a life most young girls dream of. She’s the lead singer of a wildly successful band, dating the most beautiful man in America, and in love with her life on tour. She pours her heart into every song she writes and genuinely enjoys connecting with fans. So, when she disappears after her fiance’s fairy-tale perfect proposal on stage, the world is shocked. Worse yet, he starts telling interviewers that Eleanor is crazy — possibly even a danger to herself and those around her. As the weeks go by, the world wants to know: Who is Eleanor Quinn really?

But Eleanor needs to find that out for herself.

Broken and filled with self-doubt after the proposal, Eleanor embarks on a journey to regain agency in her life. She needs to reconnect with the Ellie Quinn underneath pop sensation “Eleanor Quinn.” Determined to find herself again, she moves in with her cousin in Seattle, picks a new name, and enrolls in a local university’s writing class. But she starts to realize that running away and starting over isn’t as easy as it seems in movies. Crushed by self-doubt and subconscious fears, ghosts from her past refuse to leave her alone. She realizes the only way forward is to share her version of the past.

Olivia Swindler’s debut novel embraces the values of family, empowerment, and healing and draws on the #metoo movement. Reminiscent of Evvie Drake Starts Over (Linda Holmes) and Searching for Sylvie Lee (Jean Kwok), Cynthia Starts a Band tells the story of starting over, discovering who you are when the world isn’t looking, and summoning the courage to be honest with yourself and the world.

Purchase links:

Amazon/ Barnes & Noble



Cynthia Starts A Band is a chick lit book about standing up for yourself and taking your life back.

Eleanor Quinn’s life was always dictated for her and she never got a say until she decides to checkout. She leaves her band, the celebrity that comes with said band and her pushy manager and band mates. Eleanor decides to live a different life and I don’t blame her.

What I liked most about this book is that Eleanor finally had the guts to take her life back even though she did it in a nonconventional way. After moving in with her cousin and changing her name to Cynthia, she was able to do some of the things she wanted and to have a normal life.

I appreciate that the author wrote the book from Eleanor and Cynthia’s points of view. This helped me understand why Eleanor did what she felt she had to do and why Cynthia was able to be more free. This was a entertaining yet heartwarming story with great characters.

If you like Chicklit, women fiction or stories about women overcoming and finding their voice, Cynthia Starts A Band is the book for you.


Olivia Swindler was raised in Spokane, Washington but currently resides in Grenoble, France, as the Communication Coordinator for Young Life in Europe. She spends most of her spare time wandering through the mountains and eating her weight in bread.

Olivia believes that through fiction we can learn and grow from one another because there is something magical about picking up a book and allowing it to transport you someplace new. Cynthia Starts a Band is her debut novel. She hopes it will create and foster hard, real-life conversations, inspiring readers to have the courage to discover who they are when the world isn’t looking.

Website and Social Media:

FB: @olivia.swindler

IG: @oliviaswindler

Twitter: @oliviaswindler

Visit they rest of the tour

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.