Title: A Constellation of Roses
Author: Miranda Asebedo
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Genres: Young Adult Contemporary, Magical Realism
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.
With lovable and flawed characters, an evocative setting, and friendships to treasure, A Constellation of Roses is the perfect companion to Miranda Asebedo’s debut novel The Deepest Roots.
A Constellation of Roses by Miranda Asebedo came to me at such a perfect time. Typically, I do not like YA Contemporary books mostly because of the negative familial relationships. Miranda Asebedo’s book however, is not such a book. It is a story of family, love, and getting up despite the struggles of life.
We start off with Trix McCabe, a seventeen year old girl with a talent: fast hands. Abandoned by her mother, she lives in a motel living off scraps and quick bucks from pick pocketing, and shop lifting. Life wasn’t great but not complete bad either. She had her own tribe, friends and familiar people, and had comforts that she was lucky to enjoy. And, it was better than being in foster care, in Trix’s opinion. But luck isn’t on her side when CPS and the police catches up on her and gives her an ultimatum, finish her high school degree with newly discovered family or get locked up in jail.
Trix suddenly gets thrown into a small town in Kansas where she finds herself with her aunt Mia, cousin Ember, and grandmother Auntie. And then, she finds out that her new found family has also their own special talents. She suddenly feels overwhelmed and is determined to take life by the reins, finish high school and get out. But what if her flighty nature will be her downfall?
My favorite part about this book is the characters. At first, I didn’t really like Trix. When I was in her head, so to speak, I just couldn’t help but roll my eyes and hope for the best. But as the story progressed, I appreciated her story more, her character development was done in such a great pace within the story. Plus, it wasn’t just the main character of the book that had such a significant story. I really appreciated that Jasper wasn’t the typical boy-next-door that the main character swoons over, he had his own struggles and problems. Same goes for Mia, Ember, and the other characters mentioned in the book. This rich characterization made me feel like the characters were given equal love and attention.
Another aspect of this book I loved is the Magical Realism. Sometimes, this aspect is not really well applied in books but the magic aspect of A Constellation of Roses made the small town of Rocksaw very appealing, personal, and charming. It was so believable that I want to visit the McCabe Tea Shop myself and have a lemon pie myself. It was very subtle but I quite enjoyed that detail of the plot.
This is my first time reading a work by Miranda Asebedo, and I absolutely loved her writing style and tone. The book is well paced, I didn’t feel like it was too rushed or too dragged on. I also enjoyed the bouts of humor, specially Auntie’s parts. They were cute and fun moments that I absolutely live for. Though this book is unashamed to discuss about very serious and pressing issues, I would say that they were taken with grace and poise. Mental illness was not glorified or shrugged away or was carelessly thrown around and I totally appreciated that.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed A Constellation of Roses. There were so many great moments that made me laugh, made me shed tears, and made my heart want to jump out of my chest. It is a very character driven novel with a great amount of charm, sweetness and magic. This book is about facing your fears, accepting and giving love, and allowing yourself to be vulnerable to be strong.
Trigger warnings: suicide, depression, substance abuse, death of a parent, addiction.
Thank you to The Fantastic Flying Book Club for having me as a tour host! Follow the rest of the blog tour on this link!
about the author
Miranda Asebedo was born and raised in rural Kansas with a love of fast cars, open skies, and books. She carried that love of books to college, where she got her B.A. and M.A. in English, with an emphasis in Creative Writing and Literature. A Seaton Fellowship recipient, her short fiction has appeared in Kansas Voices, Touchstone, and Midway Journal.
Miranda still lives on the prairie today with her husband, two kids, and two majestic bulldogs named Princess Jellybean and Captain Jack Wobbles. If Miranda's not writing or reading, she's most likely convinced everyone to load up in the family muscle car and hit the road.
Get a chance to win a signed finished copy of Constellation of Roses! Just follow the rafflecopter steps below!a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js