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A Constellation of Roses

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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.

326 pages, Hardcover

First published November 5, 2019

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Miranda Asebedo

2 books168 followers

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Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,625 reviews5,070 followers
January 14, 2020
"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!
Profile Image for Jasmine from How Useful It Is.
1,270 reviews338 followers
December 7, 2019
This book is a fantastic read! Trix definitely had a hard life lacking of family love. I like her thinking about Ember's pictures looking like a shrine as compared to her only picture was when the police picked her up or when she drew it herself. She sounds so lonely in this moment. She seems like an honest and down to earth person. I love Trix's long lost aunts. Mia is so nice and calm. I feel like her motto is give them time and they will come around and it sure works! Trix's great great aunt is super cool!

This book is told in the first person point of view following Trix, 17, who has a history of running away from many group homes. She pickpocketed for rent and food money. She said being a thief is her gift. She moved around quite a bit after she ran away from group homes but she always came back to the motel where her mom left her. From there she was caught and sent to live with her long lost aunt. While staying with her aunt, she learned that her gift came from her dad's side of the family because her aunt, great aunt, and cousin Ember also has a gift. Trix grew up with the belief that she was abandoned and unwanted until living with her aunt's family in nowheresville started to feel different even though she still wanted to runaway. There are italicized portion in the story dedicated for Trix's memories of the past.

A Constellation of Roses is well written and a fast paced read! This story focused on the relationship between mother and daughter. I like the reminder that kids do pay attention. Trix's detailed observation is interesting to read. Trix's past slowly revealed to readers as this and that triggers her memory. I got teary eyed on many parts, especially near the end. I like the diversity in this book. Most of all, when a person doesn't have anything, they just need someone who is patience and kind no matter what and I'm happy that Trix has that support when she most needed it. Besides the serious stuffs, I like the easy going and fun banter between Trix and Jasper. I love it when the title of the book weaves itself into the story. Also love the rose chapter headings. This book is an excellent read and I recommend it to everyone!

***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Wunderkind PR for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.

xoxo, Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Alana.
653 reviews1,245 followers
December 1, 2019
"Heartache's not all that bad. It reminds you that what you felt was real."

Do you ever just stumble across a story that feels so good for you heart? Like, if you're going through something tough, it gently helps you put back the pieces of your life...because that's exactly what this book did. There is always something about contemporary stories with a touch of magical realism that just suck me right in and this book as no exception. A girl with a troubled past who has a gift for stealing things and uses it as a means of survival is given a new chance at life. However, her new chance at life comes as a plea bargain to avoid jail time for getting caught stealing and packing up her life on the run to an actual home in the middle of nowhere Rocksaw, Kansas.

Trix, was an absolute gem and I LOVED her character growth in this. Honestly, character driven stories are the way to my heart and I absolutely adored how the author shaped Trix throughout this story. Don't get me wrong, it definitely broke my heart at times but at the end my heart was so happy that I may have even teared up a little bit. This book was everything I hoped Practical Magic would have been. Mia, was so kind and gentle with Trix and I loved that she didn't try to pry into Trix's life and instead understood that when the time was right Trix would tell her about her past. I adored Ember and was so happy to see Trix help her grow and become more comfortable around people after years of secluding herself from everyone. And Auntie was....well, Auntie. I loved her attitude and more times than not I was hysterically laughing at the things she said. Together Trix, Mia, Auntie, and Ember made an incredible group of women who carried this story on their backs and warmed my heart so much.

A few other things that I loved about this besides our leading ladies were the other characters in this story that Trix meets at school. The fact that the other girls at school where nice to Trix (even when she wasn't that nice to them) and not hellbent on being assholes like most stories would have done was so good. I love when authors write women actually getting along and being nice to one another instead of putting them in competition with one another. I obviously also loved the very subtle hint of magical realism throughout this, that all the McCabe women had their own special gifts. It was so perfect. I ADORED the soft romance between Jasper and Trix. And last but not least, the heavier topics this book also touched upon besides Trix being abandoned by her mother. There are so many lessons Trix endures on her journey throughout this book and they're definitely not easy but they sure are beautiful.

Favorite Quotes

"You have to decide if you'll bloom or if you'll wither. Put down roots or you'll die."

"All I know is that it's the good memories that cut the deepest, because those are the ones where you remember what you've lost."

"The thing about being pushed away is that it feels a little bit better when you get to do it to someone else, too. That way you're not hurting alone."

All in all, from the writing, to the plot, to the characters, I enjoyed this immensely and may have even ordered the The Deepest Roots by this author during Book Outlet's Black Friday sale. I mean, especially when I heard that this book can read as a companion novel I was sold!

Thank you Wunderkind PR for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review!

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Profile Image for Dana Al-Basha |  دانة الباشا.
2,148 reviews774 followers
February 27, 2020
I'm in love with the synopsis, title, and cover... the story has the same feeling of Garden Spells. But sadly it isn't.

The cover is so optimistic but the story is sad and depressing. I liked the artistic edge of Trix and how she draws everything, but I hoped for more once Trix moved in with her father's family, who are magical or gifted but it wasn't a magical ride other than people eating pies and crying, and Trix stealing everything. (what kind of a gift is that?!)

I think I'm disappointed with this book, a lot of teenage angst, I liked the "looking for home" vibe but it's still too gloomy. It sorts of reminds me of According to Greta.

Trix is a teenager left to fend for herself in a motel when her addicted mother disappears, the social worker finds her family, an aunt who she has never met to a father who she never met too. Trix is a thief, she thinks it's her gift, her family, her aunts, and cousin are all gifted too. It runs in the family. She wants to feel at home and works in the family's bakery, starts having friends and is interested in a depressed athletic guy, and then her past comes knocking.

Profile Image for Vicky Again.
587 reviews819 followers
December 23, 2019
magical, lovely, and a very gentle book, despite its prickly protagonist.

it had such a soft touch and was lovely to read. also, pie.
Profile Image for Toya (the reading chemist).
1,099 reviews96 followers
May 30, 2019
I don’t typically do trigger warnings, but before I even start this review, there are some trigger warnings that I need to highlight for vulnerable communities: adultery, abandonment, abuse, suicide, depression.

Trix McCabe is a seventeen year old girl who is gifted with being able to pickpocket strangers in mere seconds without raising any red flags. Since her mother abandoned her, she is living at a motel that she rents by the week in cash, which is frequented by drug addicts and johns. Her life wasn’t great by any means, but it was better than being thrust back into the foster system. Everything was fine until the police caught Trix and gave her two choices: 1) go to jail or 2) move to the middle of nowhere Kansas with her long lost relatives.

When Trix moves to Rocksaw, she meets her great-aunt (Auntie), her dad’s sister (Mia), and her cousin (Ember). She went from having no family at all to living in a house of strangers that she’s related to…and on top of that, apparently the McCabe women all have some sort of magical gift. Auntie can tell incredibly accurate fortunes. Mia bakes pies that can alter your emotions. Ember can read your deepest secrets all with the touch of her palm. What in the hell did Trix get herself into?!

I don’t want to give away a lot of the plot because this is one of those stories that you just need to experience the myriad of feels. There were parts of this book that brought tears to my eyes, made me chuckle, and made my heart burst. This is one of those character driven novels where you love each and every person in this story, no matter how flawed, and what they have to offer. Trix is broken and troubled, but with love (and a firm talking to from Auntie), she’s the girl that you’ll be rooting for at the end.

I want to re-emphasize that this book discusses some pretty dark and disturbing topics. I don’t want anyone to go into this book thinking that it’s going to be light hearted because it’s not. This one is going to rip your damn heart out and then piece it back together bit by bit.

Thank you to the author for providing an ARC for an honest review. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
1,978 reviews3,296 followers
December 26, 2019
A Constellation of Roses is a quiet, heartfelt coming of age story about love, family, and healing from trauma, with just a touch of magic. Ever since her mother left, Trix has been alone, stealing to survive and never staying in one place for long. But when Child Services finally tracks her down, she finds out that she has family, related to the father she never met. With an opportunity to have a family and build a life, Trix must decide if she is willing to let down her walls, or if she will continue to run away.

This is a slower, character-driven story that explores trauma, complicated family relationships, and the choices we can make. It is well-written and something that I really enjoyed. I received a copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own.

CW for physical abuse of a child (discussed but not graphically depicted), discussions of suicide, loss of a loved one, loss of a parent, mentions of cancer, neglect of a child, drug use and prostitution by a parent, teen drinking.
June 5, 2020

My initial thought going into A Constellation of Roses was that I will read anything set around small towns and pie baking. This novel was so much more than that. It was raw, emotional, and beautiful. The main character Trix is tossed around from foster home to foster home... Until she eventually ends up running away on her own. Only to be caught and then having to move in with her long lost aunt whom she has never met.

Her aunt owns a small pie diner in the small town that she is from. The whole town believes the pies to have magical qualities to them. At first, Trix is not convinced. However, all the women in their family are said to have special magic talents. The story sets around her eccentric new family and I absolutely adored every minute of this book. It was the exact story that I had been needing to read.

The way Trix's new family embraced her into their lives made me all fuzzy inside. Trix never had stability growing up with a drug addict mother. It was wonderful to see how easily she was embraced within the family.

My favorite character by far was the eccentric Auntie. Her random thoughts and outspokenness made the novel 100% better. I wish all the characters were as brutally honest as her. I loved reading about all the different characters within the small town and hearing all the town gossip. I love any novel set in a small town for that very reason. It became very relatable and drew me in instantly. The story is all about belonging and is told beautifully.

I loved the writing style and how the author drew me in from the very first page. I have to check out some of her other books because I loved this one so much. A Constellation of Roses is about bringing your walls down and inviting others in.
Profile Image for Christopher.
215 reviews167 followers
December 21, 2019
Trix McCabe has always had the practically magical ability to take things without being noticed. It's how she's survived so long on her own after her mom walked out. However, after a slip lands her in police custody, she must choose between prison or living with her family in middle-of-nowhere Rocksaw, Kansas. As much as Trix wants to cut and run, she can't help but admit there's something alluring about staying with the McCabe women of Rocksaw. Perhaps it's their own seemingly magical abilities—like Auntie, who reads fortunes and sees hard times ahead if Trix doesn't put down some roots. But while she slowly feels closer to her new family, ghosts from her old life continue to crop up, and the urge to run grows stronger every day.

Sometimes a story comes along that's so expertly woven together, bound with such effortless prose, and, ultimately, packed with such a hopeful core that reading it feels a bit like a marathon. It's a complete experience and there's a bit of awe that it's actually over. Author Miranda Asebedo has certainly achieved that here.

Trix hasn't lived an easy life, which is probably an understatement. After her mother abandons her, she's forced into finding ways to survive alone to the point that she relishes this independence. Asebedo painfully paints these early scenes of a teenager who's grown accustomed to being alone as a defense. And yet there's also a glimmer of possibility—she's magnetic, and it's easy to root for her to achieve the brilliant future she eventually fights for.

That's where the McCabe women come in. Three generations, led by the blunt matriarch Auntie, take Trix in and gradually create a home that she finds some comfort in. Asebedo skillfully blends their magical abilities into the story, including aunt Mia, who bakes pies that help alter feelings, and cousin Ember, who can discover a person's deepest secrets through a simple touch. Gradually, as three becomes four and their worlds intertwine, they each offer family support for one another. Their moments together with Trix forms the essence of Asebedo's work, and it makes for a genuinely heartfelt saga.

While this all manifests occasionally as a charming small-town romp, Asebedo doesn't shy away from complicated, even dark, topics. Nothing is off-limits, and Trix has to reconcile her feelings for her former life with her present one. It's both an emotionally gripping and satisfying journey. Juxtaposed against the fantastical elements that come with the McCabes, Trix's careful progression is the root of why the action feels real.

Somehow subtle and explosive all at the same time, A Constellation of Roses is nothing short of a triumph.

Note: I received a free ARC of this book from Wunderkind PR.

Review also posted at https://pluckedfromthestacks.wordpres...
Profile Image for Alexis Bestwick.
2 reviews1 follower
January 24, 2019
A Constellation of Roses is a beautiful read. The main character, Trix, shows so much growth throughout this book. I really liked reading about the city life Trix experienced, but then also seeing her adjust to small town life as well. I absolutely loved the magical realism aspect of this book! It felt so light and not something wildly unbelievable. Trix's gift of pick-pocketing without being seen felt very normal and not something that was a huge leap. There's also magical pies, and honestly I could go for a slice of magical pie right now. I felt like the characters really had depth, and the ability to change throughout this book, not one-dimensional at all. There are romances in this, but are not the main plot which is always nice. But seriously, who doesn't want to read about a nice love interest that happens to have excellent hair and a dark secret? I loved the raw emotions, I found myself crying many times, and could really sympathize with Trix and everything she went through. I truly enjoyed the focus on family and friends that this book depicted, and think this is the perfect read for lovers of the YA genre.
Profile Image for Susan's Reviews.
1,063 reviews479 followers
July 8, 2020
What an inspirational read! Trix thumbs her nose at the world. She was dealt a bad hand: a junkie for a mother and the knack for being able to pick a pocket without being caught.
When Trix's mother disappears one day, Trix is sent to live with her late father's family out in the country. I loved the McCabe women! That touch of magic and whimsy made this a truly entertaining read. Trix and Jasper had a world of trouble on their shoulders, but I love how they each found the way to make it through. Such an important message: we all get by with a little help from our friends - and new-found family!
Such a great read!
Profile Image for Kayla Brunson.
1,334 reviews243 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
November 22, 2019
I recently read Asebedo’s debut The Deepest Roots last month and really enjoyed her writing and the theme of it. When I heard that she was writing a companion novel for it, I was so excited to read it. However, my feelings changed once I started reading A Constellation of Roses.

Maybe it’s because I was expecting the same whimsical feeling of her debut and the closeness of the friendship here. There wasn’t really any of that present here. While Trix and the other McCabe women do have gifts, I wasn’t getting that same feeling of magic that I got with The Deepest Roots. Was it because I went in expecting for this book to give me similar feelings like it’s companion? Maybe.

What really made me decide to put this book down was our main character, Trix. I couldn’t get myself to care for her in the slightest. Her woe is me attitude was too much for me. I couldn’t stop myself from saying “oh my goodness, yes” when she was told to get over herself and that bad things happen to people all the time. What did she continue to do, snap at people and take her frustration out on them.

While they were setting her up to have a love interest, I couldn’t go for it. I seriously don’t think she needed one and honestly, the guy could have done better with someone else.

Basically, this didn’t live up to my expectations or this author’s debut. I am open to reading from again though.

I received an ARC for an honest review.

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Profile Image for Alexa.
2,116 reviews11.1k followers
October 13, 2019
I really liked this one! It’s a quieter YA contemporary read (with just a hint of magic to it) about a girl who might just finally find a place to call home, and her coming to terms with the past that led up to her being there.
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,379 reviews233 followers
November 7, 2019
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Trix had been on her own since her addict mother went out for cigarettes and never returned. She had been using her "gift" to steal just enough to get by, but when she was caught, she was given two choices: jail or the family of the father she never knew. Initially, Trix was just going through the motions, but after Auntie told her to plant roots or wither, she was determined to give an honest effort to being a part of the McCabe family.

This was such a beautiful and emotional story of family, connection, and forgiveness. Trix's story was heartbreaking, and every flashback, though painful, reinforced my happiness that she had found this amazing group of women. It was them - Mia, Auntie, and Ember, who received Trix with open arms. They gave her love without expecting anything back, and they gave her the sort of home and stability she deserved.

Asebedo is so good at assembling these groups of incredible women. She did so in The Deepest Roots, and has done it again in this book. She not only gave them "talents", but she made they strong and compassionate with a vulnerability making them easy to relate to. I adored them all, and loved how each of them helped topple the walls Trix had erected.

Mia was so kind and understanding. She exercised great patience with Trix, and became a strong maternal figure for her. Auntie was a hoot! She was brutally honest, but also very wise. She was a great motivator for Trix and helped keep her on her path. Ember developed such a real and honest friendship with Trix, and it was a reciprocal relationship, as Trix helped Ember heal some wounds as well.

The family dynamic was beautiful, but I also liked how they fit into the town. Trix grew up in a big city, and experienced some culture shock when she arrived at the McCabe's. The longer she stayed, though, the deeper her roots, and the greater her integration into the town.

Though this book tackles some heavier issues, Asebedo weaves in humor and hope, which alleviates some of the weight. From a gritty beginning comes a joyful ending, and I could feel my heart growing more and more full as I worked through this story.

A stable home. A loving family. A place where she belonged filled with people she could count on. These were the things that had eluded Trix, and it was so gratifying seeing her finally getting it all.

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

November 8, 2019
Where do I begin? This book is awesome in so many ways! The writing is exquisite, the pacing is perfect, and while the dialogue often lends itself to priceless moments of laugh-out-loud humor, the serious issues addressed throughout the book are presented with diligence and grace. Never before have I read a book that makes me want to laugh so hard, and cry so freely, all from the simple turn of a page. This is the magic of the story itself - it will no doubt give you the BEST kinds of feels!

In addition to the awesome writing, the characters in this book are FANTASTIC! The author has seamlessly woven so many interesting lives into one story, and the more I read, the more I found myself invested in all of the characters. With every new chapter, I wanted to learn more about Trix's troubles, Jasper's depression, Mia's heartbreak, Ember's secrets, and Ramani's grief. And don't even get me started on Auntie! She had me laughing throughout the entire book. This diverse cast of characters added so much dimension to the reading experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed the realistic scope of all the different people in this book!

As I mentioned earlier, this book tackles some pretty serious issues, one of which happens to be depression. As a reader who has been battling mental illness since middle school, I think it's SO COOL that this book features a character with depression. The mental illness aspect doesn't overshadow the original story, but it offers a sense of comfort and relief to readers who may be experiencing depression themselves. I also admire the way the author tackles the controversial topic of antidepressants. The takeaway is very encouraging and I think a lot of people will benefit from the reassurance the author offers throughout this story.

Another thing I love about this book? The MAGIC. It's subtle, but it's there, and just like it was in the author's debut novel, The Deepest Roots, it's realistic and VERY believable! It feels like such a natural part of the world, and because of that, it isn't at all distracting. Rather, its presence feels organic and fits right in with the overall tone of the book.

And speaking of The Deepest Roots, although A Constellation of Roses isn't a sequel, it *does* contain some Easter eggs from The Deepest Roots that I REALLY enjoyed!!

All in all, I thought this book was INCREDIBLE and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an entertaining and humorous, yet meaningful read!
Profile Image for Shannara.
436 reviews82 followers
December 7, 2019
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this book and I think it may have been better that way. I loved this story so much and I really thought the characters came to life. I got this book from a Once Upon a Book Club book box and I must say it was an amazing experience. This story is one of those instant magical classics that you’ll want to reread all the time. I’m not going to go into detail because I think less may be more in this case, but this book gave me all the feels.
Profile Image for Mike Lasagna.
67 reviews12 followers
April 25, 2021
Wow. This book is just....wow. Real and painful and beautiful, the MCs story is the most human thing I’ve read in a long while. Asebedo is a magical storyteller, and I wanted to both devour and savor this book at the same time.
Profile Image for Mary-ellen.
319 reviews29 followers
February 6, 2022
Trix is a troubled teen living on her own after being abandoned by her mum. When authorities catch up with her she’s given an ultimatum. Either she lives with her father’s family and finishes school or she gets charged with theft.

I loved all the other characters in this book more than Trix. There was a tad too much angst going on for most of it. I enjoyed the touch of magical realism with the McCabe women all having different talents, although these were kept at a surface level and it would have been nice to see them have a stronger role in the narrative. The McCabes felt like a light version of the Waverley family in Garden Spells.

This was an enjoyable fast read, but I never felt immersed in it.
December 12, 2019

Also Posted on For The Love of Fictional Worlds

Disclaimer: An eARC was provided via The Fantastic Flying Book Club and the Author as part of the Blog Tour. The Thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own.

Disclaimer: Please know that the Trigger Warnings for this book include Infidelity, Abuse, Suicidal Ideation, Child Abandonment and Depression.

Trix McCabe is a wonder with her sleight of hand – and not in the magical sense – she is a talented pickpocket.
Abandoned by her mother, she lives in a motel frequented by drug dealers and pays for room by cash, every night. While this is not the most ideal circumstances for any teenager, for her it is and will always be better than going back into the system, a system that she isn’t exactly fond of! Everything was fine until it so happened that the cops catch her in action and give two choices either go to jail or move in with relatives she has never even heard of! Yeah no choice at all!

When she moves to Rocksaw, she is met with a myriad of relatives – okay only three women;
Auntie, her Great Aunt; Mia, her dad’s sister and Ember, her cousin. Now, Trix has a whole lot of adjustments to deal with – from being answerable to no one, but herself till now, she has to answer to women, she doesn’t even she likes and on top of that, she is hit with the news that all McCabe women tend to have some magical gift!

Yeah; Trix’s life has turned on its head; and trust me, you can’t help but sympathise with this teenager.

I adored the way this book was written –
the plot is honestly way more character driven than I had expected; but it was the only that this book could have made this much impact on yours truly!

Four females with their unique personalities butting heads and hearts in this standalone novel was way more than just that – A Constellation of Roses is an emotional journey of understanding, not just yourself but the way you fit in this weird quirky world! It is definitely not a light read, but it is one where you connect with the characters in a heartbeat!

For more reviews visit For The Love of Fictional Worlds :)

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Profile Image for Lauren  (TheBookishTwins) .
447 reviews204 followers
November 24, 2019
I recieved a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you kindly to HarperTeen for my review copy.

A Constellation of Roses follows Trix, who has had to survive on her own since her mother walked out on her. She’s confident she can make it on her own due to her unusual, almost magical, gift — the ability to take unsuspecting strangers valuables. She steals just enough to get by until she’s caught. She’s given two choices; jail time or go live with her long-lost relatives in Kansas. She doesn’t plan to stay long, but she finds herself drawn to her strange relatives, and perhaps her “gifts” are not so unusual after all. As she finally begins to feel at home with the McCabe women, her past comes back to haunt her, and Trix must make a choice: keep on running, or take a chance and put down roots.

trigger warnings: abuse, suicide, depression, addiction

I really enjoyed A Constellation of Roses mainly because I love books about family and this one was an exceptional one. The main character, Trix, has such amazing growth throughout the book. She has a dark past and as a result, some serious trust issues. She goes from having no-one in her life, relying only on herself, to being in a house full of family; people who choose to be in her life who love her without conditions, and she has difficulty coming to terms with this. In a sense, I do think that this has a found family type vibe, so if you enjoy books like that, you’ll like this one.

“I tug out the fountain pen from my pocket. On top of the first scar a few inches from the crook of my elbow, I draw a blooming rose, its petals black-tipped with ink. And then another, and another, until my arm is covered, and instead of a constellation of scars, I have a constellation of roses.”

It’s a painful and raw story, but beautiful nonetheless. Asebedo has a beautiful prose, quick pacing, and she’s a captivating storyteller. Her ability to create such amazing and distinctive characters makes you really fall in love with them. I adored each of the McCabe women and really enjoyed how much we got to know each of them. Like I said, one of my favourite aspects of the novel was how much growth Trix had throughout the novel. It’s definitely a character driven novel, but it does it very well.

I also really enjoyed the small elements of magic, just like I did with Asebedo’s previous novel, The Deepest Roots (and I rather appreciated the reference to the girls of Cottonwood Hollow). They somehow feel realistic, but still add so much charm to the story.

There is a bit of romance in A Constellation of Roses too, and it was a lovely addition to the story.

Overall, this is a lovely, but sometimes painful, novel of loss, grief, and family.
Profile Image for Mari Johnston.
426 reviews55 followers
October 25, 2019
This review and many others can also be found at Musings of a (Book) Girl.

Content Warnings: cancer, death of a parent, death of a sibling, underage drinking, addiction, depression, suicide, child abuse

A Constellation of Roses was everything I needed at the moment I read it.

Every one of the characters was resilient and filled me with hope. They showed that life can put you through shit and it’s still possible to come out on the other side and be okay. Trix was completely unlikeable at so many times but she was also authentic. She reacted to every situation the way most teenagers would have. It’s impossible to not love her and empathize.

Something I consistently seek in the stories I read is the theme of found family – and Trix definitely found hers. Mia was the most kind and understanding person, Auntie was a riot that had jokes for days, Ember was fiercely loyal, Charly was a badass, and Jasper stole my heart. It was incredible to see Trix go from having nobody to suddenly be surrounding with the best people possible.

Contemporary stories are generally pretty straight forward and you know what to expect from them, but Miranda Asebedo added such a fun twist with a dash of magic. The women in the McCabe family each have something special they can do and I loved seeing this explored. It didn’t go so far that it made it a fantasy novel but it was such a neat extra layer that makes the book stand out.

This was the first thing I’ve read by Miranda Asebedo and it certainly won’t be the last. The characters in A Constellation of Roses have stuck with me and I desperately need to read more. I’ll be picking up a copy of her debut, The Deepest Roots, and am looking forward to her next writing project.
June 5, 2019
Gorgeous hints of magical realism bring to life this beautiful story about a drifting star of a girl looking for a constellation to call home.
This story is about a girl named Trix, who is living in a motel using her gift of thieving quick hands to steal enough money to get by, when her social services tells her that she has much more family than she thinks and she has to live with them until she graduates high school.
This story had such an amazing foundation to it. Trix is a protagonist that I clug on to immediately; wanting the best for, hoping she finds her way. She was incredibly magnetic and felt very genuine. Her family is the same with their unique and complex personalities, they felt like a real family that I trusted. (And they own a tea shop/bakery which is a huge plus).
I loved the way their gifts were incorporated with who they were and the lack of explanation for it. Are the gifts real? Are they just talented? Has everyone lost it? It doesn't matter, if a pie can help you get over heartbreak, I'm sure eating it after this book. (Although, I'm always down to eat some pie!).
I also really appreciated a present and lovely romance that didn't at all take center stage. It was always this nice side thing in her life, but her life was very much about her and her family. It was done in such a good way that I never felt eager for the book to focus on something else. The flow was always very natural and made sense.
This was honestly such a gorgeous, heartwarming book, I myself, take family very seriously and I hope that anyone who also loves family stories will feel the same way I do after reading this.
Profile Image for Celine | stuffcelinedoes.
164 reviews33 followers
December 22, 2020
3.75 ★

This book is like a warm cup of wild berry tea on the first day of Spring.

"It's both beautiful and frightening to feel like you're being seen, truly, for the first time."

I found it a bit hard to care about our main character Trix at the very beginning of the book. She appeared to be - not to sound too harsh - a little bitchy and ungrateful to people being genuinely nice to her. I was over her attitude but I grew to like her and love her very quickly.

The book brought up important subjects such as child abuse, depression, suicide but they were overflown in my opinion and deserved to be more developed and deepened both as to how it happened and how it was/is dealt with/"resolved".

"Scars tell a story, even when we don't want them to."

It's a quick and easy read with a magical twist to it that gave me some Practical Magic/The Rules of Magic vibes and I would have loved for it to go more into that direction too.

I truly love all the characters of this little town - especially Jasper - and I wish we could have a Series instead of just a standalone. They all are so kind and welcoming and even funny and it would be really nice to have more of this little city and those lovely characters 💕

"Yes, I have gotten what I always wanted. My deepest secrets. Not a perfect family, after all. But a constellation of women, connected by pie and fortunes and roses. And love."
Profile Image for USOM.
2,335 reviews193 followers
November 21, 2019
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: Suicide, abuse

A Constellation of Roses is a story about being guarded. Being vulnerable and afraid of getting hurt. It's a story of running away, making the choice to stay, and to hold our family close. Trix is the definition of guarded and she's used to stealing to get by. Everyone Trix has ever counted on has left her. Theft is her way of life and so things freely given, especially kindness, don't make sense to her. But when her life takes a drastic turn and she finds herself with a family she never knew, Trix is going to have to decide if she wants to make the choice to stay.

What would it be finally like to have a home? Can we really ever change our behaviors? When the world has taught us to never rely on tomorrow, support, or love, can we open up our heart to new possibilities? We have whole relationships as question marks, blank pages, or scrapbooks of pieced together memories. On one hand her relationship with her mother is complex. Full of bright moments, but also marred with responsibility and abandonment. Whereas her father is a blank page, someone she can only begin to know through the fragments of torn memories.

full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/blog...
Profile Image for Sarah {The Clever Reader}.
508 reviews76 followers
March 26, 2021

***Posted on my blog 11-23-2019

This book was so beautiful. It’s a story about grief, abandonment, and friendship.

Trix’s character is so complicated. Her mother disappeared, she’s been in foster care after foster care home, and is living in a hotel when her case worker finally finds her and lets her know she has other family out there. When she finds herself in the home of relatives she never knew existed Trix decides right away that she’s not going to stay. She believes she’s better off on her own and isn’t willing to take a chance on the strange women that take her in. Why didn’t they find her sooner? Did they even know about her? It isn’t until she makes a deal with her new cousin Ember that she finally takes a chance.

I really enjoyed Trix’s journey to trusting those around her. I think it was done very well and the magical realism made this such a beautiful story. We don’t always want to open up after so much heartache but when we do it often times leads us to build relationships we thought we’d never have. That is exactly what happens in this YA Contemporary.

This book explores many things from drug use, homelessness, abandonment, suicide, and grief for the life one wishes they had. Trix is forced to learn to find a way to trust this new family and to make friends in a new place. She has always known to run when times get tough but this time just may be different.

After reading this book I want to read all of Miranda’s books!

Profile Image for Nyx.
142 reviews3 followers
August 27, 2021
First few chapters were a little slow, but then right after I was hooked. I really liked how the author portrayed the issues of addiction and abandonment, how people that struggle with these don’t magically get better. The book also mentioned other issues, such as depression and suicide. Which I also thought were handled well, no instance cure or anything.

Trix’s journey in finding a place to call home and moving on from her demons was very moving— it had me crying near the end of the book. Her reactions to change and stability were realistic. I appreciate how the author didn’t take the approach to present an issue and then have it immediately resolved. The main character works hard for every step she takes to better herself and her circumstances, and she also acknowledges the mistakes she makes along the way and works towards fixing them.

Overall, its a five star type of novel for me and I would definitely recommend.
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,126 reviews458 followers
November 22, 2019
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult, Contemporary
*Rating* 3.5


A Constellation of Roses is the authors follow-up to her debut novel The Deepest Roots. 17-year old Trix McCabe has been living in various hotels doing what she needs to do in order to stay alive, dodging social services, and not having to return to another foster home after her mother went out for cigarettes and never returned. Trix has an uncanny ability of stealing things and not getting caught. She can literally walk into almost any place and walk out without being seen or caught. Shortly after the story begins, Trix is turned into the cops and given a choice by a judge.

*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*

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