Stars in their Eyes

Jessica Walton

Stars in their Eyes
Fremantle Press
28 September 2021

Stars in their Eyes

Jessica Walton

In this debut graphic novel, pop culture-obsessed Maisie can’t wait to get to her first Fancon. But being a queer, disabled teenager with chronic pain comes with challenges. Can Maisie make it through the day without falling over, falling in love or accidentally inspiring anyone?

Maisie has always dreamed of meeting her hero, Kara Bufano, an amputee actor who plays a kick-arse amputee character in her favourite show. Fancon is big and exciting and exhausting. Then she meets Ollie, a cute volunteer who she has a lot in common with. Could this be the start of something, or will her mum, who doesn’t seem to know what boundaries are, embarrass her before she and Ollie have a chance?


Maisie and her mother are travelling across the country to attend the fan convention, FanCon, where Maisie will finally meet her hero Kara Bufano, the actor who plays her favourite TV character Luna. Maisie has two things in common with Luna: a bad-ass attitude and a prosthetic leg. When they arrive, FanCon is big, loud and exhausting, but it’s also a place where Maisie finally feels at home. Especially when she meets Ollie. Together, they bond over their love of all things nerdy, as well as their shared embarrassment of their parents.

As soon as I read the blurb for Stars in Their Eyes, I knew I had to get my hands on it. A queer, intersectional meet-cute set at a Con? Sign me up! I can happily report that Jessica Walton and Aśka did not disappoint with this beautiful graphic novel. Together, they’ve perfectly captured the experience of attending a fan convention for the first time and packed so much into such a short book. The artwork and narrative work seamlessly together, and the result is fast-paced, humorous and heartwarming.

As characters, Maisie and Ollie are unapologetically themselves, making them all the more loveable. I loved how supportive and encouraging their parents were. It’s refreshing to read a young adult story about queer identity being celebrated instead of traumatic coming-out stories, which we see in so many YA novels.

Fans of Jen Wilde and Ashley Poston will adore this uplifting and fun read about celebrating identity, first love, and navigating the world with pride and passion. For ages 11+.

Lucie Dess is the marketing assistant at Readings.

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