Reviews

A Constellation of Roses — Miranda Asebedo

December 12, 2019

43884154. sy475 TITLE: A Constellation of Roses
AUTHOR: Miranda Asebedo
GENRE: Magical Realism/Fantasy/Contemporary
AGE RANGE: YA
PAGES: 336pg
SOURCE: Wunderkind PR

Ever since her mother walked out, Trix McCabe has been determined to make it on her own. And with her near-magical gift for pulling valuables off unsuspecting strangers, Trix is confident she has what it takes to survive. Until she’s caught and given a choice: jail time, or go live with her long-lost family in the tiny town of Rocksaw, Kansas.

Trix doesn’t plan to stick around Rocksaw long, but there’s something special about her McCabe relatives that she is drawn to. Her aunt, Mia, bakes pies that seem to cure all ills. Her cousin, Ember, can tell a person’s deepest secret with the touch of a hand. And Trix’s great-aunt takes one look at Trix’s palm and tells her that if she doesn’t put down roots somewhere, she won’t have a future anywhere.

Before long, Trix feels like she might finally belong with this special group of women in this tiny town in Kansas. But when her past comes back to haunt her, she’ll have to decide whether to take a chance on this new life… or keep running from the one she’s always known.

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“You have to decide if you’ll bloom or if you’ll wither.”

Do you ever read something and, while you’re reading it, you’re like, “Yeah, this is good,” and then you finish it, and you’re still like, “Yeah, that was good!” and then suddenly, a week has gone by and you think back on it and it hits you that holy smokes, that was such a good book?! That was Constellation for me. It’s like it crept up on me and got under my skin, and now I just can’t stop thinking about this sweet, quiet, sad story.

Some of my scars will always show, whether I want them to or not.

First, and most importantly, is Trix. She’s such an incredibly flawed, wounded, lovable protagonist and I felt the most ridiculous levels of pride over every single step of her journey. She progresses so much and truly blossoms right before our eyes, and the love I have for her, well, it’s downright maternal. I just want to hold her for a while. She’s been through so much, but she manages to find a light in the dark and cling to it, and it’s the most gorgeous tale of hope and healing.

Her embrace is the only thing that gives me the courage to say what I want, mostly because I know that I’m putting everything on the line.

The thing about it, though, is that Trix’s progress couldn’t have ever come so easily without the support of her newfound family, and they mean so much to me, I have to gush about them, too. There’s Mia, the mother figure of the McCabes, with her quiet fierceness and forgiving, gracious compassion and love — if there’s a fictional mom I want to be like, it’s gotta be Mia, right down to the magic she cooks into each and every pie. Then there’s Ember, fashion designer in the making, a quiet introverted little thing who hurt my heart just as much as she warmed it. And of course, there’s Auntie, playing the classic “hilariously blunt older woman” role that I’m so fond of in stories like this. These three McCabe women are all so entirely different from one another — and from Trix herself — yet they make the most delightful little family unit. I adore them.

“Just wait,” Auntie says. “Wait and see what blooms for you.”

Beneath all of the humor and warmth and love and magic, though, A Constellation of Roses is a story of grief, addiction, abuse, generational curses, poverty, and the measures desperate people will go to simply to survive. It’s a hard read, especially given the fact that I’ve had so many family members go down paths like Trix’s mother’s, but it’s well worth the ache and it offers so much optimism in the end. Just like the McCabe women’s gifts, this story is quietly, sweetly magical and left me more than a little bit awed.

All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Wunderkind PR for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
c o n t e n t – w a r n i n g s →

addiction, thievery, abuse, neglect, death of a family member, mentions of terminal illness, depression, suicide

d i v e r s i t y →

mentally ill characters, multiple characters of color

t l ; d r →

Sweetly and softly magical, just like Mia’s pies — and it’ll fill you up with just as much hope, too.
WOULD I RECOMMEND IT? 
Yes!

destiny

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15 Comments

  • Reply Mel December 12, 2019 at 10:12 am

    I was curious about this one because I read her first book, The Deepest Roots, last year and was very intrigued by the magic in it, so I’m very glad to hear you enjoyed this one! Thanks for your review 🙂

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries December 21, 2019 at 12:20 am

      I haven’t read that one but I definitely want to now! I heard they’re sort of companion novels, which sounds really cool. 🙂 Thank you for reading! ♥

  • Reply Aubrey @ The Shelf Life Chronicles December 12, 2019 at 11:07 am

    This one snuck up on me as well. I did a buddy read and while my friend enjoyed it I loved it! The magical pies might have been my favorite thing.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries December 21, 2019 at 12:20 am

      The magical pies were SO precious! I love soft magic like that in stories — it’s really lovely. ♥ I’m glad you enjoyed it, too!

  • Reply spicygeekreads December 13, 2019 at 7:02 am

    I keep telling myself that I need to get a copy of this book to read it. Between how good it sounds and how incredible beautiful the cover is, I want it on my selves. I even included it in my Friday Favorites 2019 book covers post last week https://www.spicygeekreads.com/2019/12/06/blogmas-day6-friday-favorites/

  • Reply Alex December 13, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    So glad to hear you enjoyed this one! I read The Deepest Roots this year and loved it, so I’d definitely like to read more from this author 🙂

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries December 21, 2019 at 12:23 am

      I really want to read The Deepest Roots now! I might have to see if it’s still on Bookoutlet when I do my annual after-Christmas order haha!

  • Reply MetalPhantasmReads December 15, 2019 at 12:00 am

    So happy you loved this girl! I hope to get it from my library sometime in the future lol

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries December 21, 2019 at 12:28 am

      I hope you get the chance to pick it up some time! The audiobook narrator is really good if you get the chance to listen to it 🙂

      • Reply MetalPhantasmReads December 26, 2019 at 12:15 pm

        Oh good to know! Thank you girl 🙂 I hope to pick it up sometime soon

  • Reply rachel @ typed truths December 18, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    i so glad you loved this one! i have the deepest roots on my radar

  • Reply dbsguidetothegalaxy January 7, 2020 at 4:47 am

    This sounds really interesting! I haven’t heard of it before but that cover looks good and Trix sounds fun.

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