Book Review: A Constellation of Roses by Miranda Asebedo

A Constellation of Roses by Miranda Asebedo

Posted October 21, 2021 by Amber in Reviews / 0 Comments

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A Constellation of Roses

A Constellation of Roses

by Miranda Asebedo

Publisher: HarperTeen on November 5, 2019
Genre: Contemporary, Magical Realism
Target Age Group: Young Adult
Content Warnings: Abandonment, Addiction, Alcohol, Cancer, Child Abuse, Death, Death of Parent, Gun Violence, Suicide, Toxic Friendship

Rating: ★★★★★

Check out this book on Goodreads or buy the book at Bookshop.org

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.


I do so love Miranda Asebedo’s writing and I have been aching to read A Constellation of Roses since the preorder arrived on my doorstep. In fact, it was this book that made me decide I had to inject my preorders into my TBR rather than leaving them to the mercy of the TBR Jar. When this one popped up, I danced a bit. And you know what? It lived up to all my expectations.

Where to begin? The world building is fantastic. Asebedo excels at giving the reader enough so they can imagine the world, but not so much that it doesn’t leave room for individual impressions. Like in her debut novel, The Deepest Roots, there’s an underlying whisper of magic. Not enough to turn this novel into a full-blown fantasy book, but enough that it gives you hope that there could be people like this in the world. There aren’t, but wouldn’t it be amazing? Rocksaw itself has that small town America feel while still bringing individuality to the table. I want to say the obsession over homecoming and the farms and all that are pure fiction, but having grown up in one of these one-horse towns in New England… nope, this feels pretty familiar. That may be why it resonated with me.

Along with all the charm of a small town come the prejudices. While there’s no noted racial diversity or LGBTQIAP+ community in A Constellation of Stars (not to say there isn’t at all, it just wasn’t a topic here), there is discussion both on mental health discrimination and prejudice toward those with a criminal history. Both of these topics were well treated and explored. In particular, Trix’s struggle to feel safe in a community where some people immediately assumed she was no good while also trying to convince herself of her own safety and security in a new place… I’m not doing an adequate job describing what Asebedo did here with this character, but it was excellently done. The summary may make it seem like Trix is “just another bad kid who becomes homecoming queen and turns her life around” but I promise, that’s not what’s happening here at all. It’s really good.

Most of all, Asebedo knows exactly how to weave a story and make it feel special. Days after finishing this book, I find myself aching for a slice of Never-Lonely Lemon pie… and I don’t even like lemon merengue pie. Mia’s softness, Charly’s naivety, the blooming romance between a few different characters… it’s a story that left my heart so full. Asebedo’s writing is like her books – magical and subtle. Her characters make their way into your heart without you realising it until they’ve already made themselves at home. It takes a special writer to make their readers fall in love with a standalone book, but Asebedo has that skill in spades.

I loved it. I absolutely loved it. It lived up to my high expectations after The Deepest Roots and in fact surpassed them. I cannot recommend this book enough.

Setting

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Characters

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Pacing

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Plot

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Writing

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Personal Enjoyment

Rating: 5 out of 5.

No Bad Apples Here!

According to my research, this author has not written any problematic books, does not have a problematic history wherein they have (through intention or ignorance) insulted or hurt marginalized communities, and does not use their platform to speak out in hate against others, nor have they performed any known damaging or illegal acts. For now, I’m very pleased to encourage you to support this author and their works!

A Constellation of Stars Stays on the Shelf

I can already tell that A Constellation of Stars is going to be a comfort read.

send me your thoughts

What is your favorite kind of pie?

I’m partial to apple and peach-raspberry pies, but I also love a good chocolate cream pie. What about you?

Share with me in the comments!

stay magical amber

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Other Books by Miranda Asebedo

2 books found

★★★★★

★★★★★


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