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A Constellation of Roses

by Miranda Asebedo

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794284,295 (4.63)None
Perfect for fans of Tell Me Three Things and The Astonishing Color of After, A Constellation of Roses is brimming with a magic all its own--lovable and flawed characters, an evocative setting, and friendships to treasure. Ever since her troubled mother abandoned her, Trix McCabe has preferred to stay on the move. But when she lands with her long-lost relatives, she finds out that the McCabe women have talents like her own that defy explanation: pies that cure all ills, palm-reading that never misses the mark, knowledge of secrets that have never been told. Before long, Trix feels like she might finally have found somewhere she belongs. 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. More magic awaits in the stunning companion novel, The Deepest Roots, which Booklist called "a must-read" in a starred review!… (more)
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"A Constellation of Roses" was a lovely story and I was captured from the first sentence. From the start it was raw, emotional and beautiful! I loved Trix and was inspired by her growth throughout the novel. Her life was s difficult one until she went to live with her previously unknown family on her father's side.

Mia, Auntie and Ember, three generations of McCabe women were fabulous secondary characters and I smiled that they all had a touch of magic. They were strong, supportive and compassionate which made them very easy to like, and I adored them all.

Dealing with loss, family and forgiveness," A Constellation of Roses" was beautifully written and I will be looking for other books by this author. A delightful read. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Nov 11, 2021 |
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. ( )
  Morteana | Oct 14, 2021 |
Me, a third of the way through this book: I mean it's okay.

Me, after sobbing (yes, sobbing) my way through the last four chapters: This book was so good.

No, but seriously. It was hard to get into - don't get me wrong. I loved the McCabe family. Auntie and Mia were the saving grace from Trix's sullen attitude. And the blossoming of her and Ember's friendship was so beautiful.

It was a little hard to like Trix at first. The author did an excellent job of creating her character, and of fleshing her out as the story went along, giving us bits and pieces that explained Trix's behavior even as she was healing and growing out of her old mindset.

Honestly, the content of the book was so heavy - it dealt with a lot of serious subject matter. But it did it without a heavy-hand. The aches were soothed with breaks of levity.

"I love you, Trix. I need you to know that no matter how many times you run, no matter how far you go, I'll keep looking for you."
  zombiibean | Nov 20, 2020 |
I got this through NetGalley to review. I really loved this book. I did not realize that this is a companion novel to “The Deepest Roots”, however this book stands alone very well on its own. It was sweet and thought-provoking and had some magical realism as well. It's an excellent coming of age story and has some wonderful themes about friendship and family.

Trix McCabe is struggling to survive on her own after her mother abandons her. She is dodging social services and making a living via her uncanny ability to steal things and not get caught. Then someone turns her in and social services is involved again, this time they place her with her Aunt...family she didn’t even know she had. As Trix starts to try and make a living with the McCabe family she learns secrets about her past and realizes that this may be just the fresh start she needs to turn things around.

I really loved this story, it grabbed me right from the beginning and was impossible to put down. It was weird how similar this book was to “Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe” which I just finished the week before I read this. Both books have magic pie, a small town setting, and themes of family, friendship, love, and overcoming hardship.

This book is humorous, heartbreaking, and hopeful all at the same time. Trix is a smart girl with a tough past and she is really trying to make her new situation work but old habits die hard. My heart broke for her over and over. I enjoyed watching Trix put everything back together in her life and also enjoyed the small elements of magical realism throughout the story.

There is a lot about friendship, family, coming of age, and getting over a tough past in this book. The book is beautifully written and very hard to put down.

Overall I really loved this book and plan on going back to pick up Asebedo’s first novel as well. I would recommend to those who enjoy coming of age type contemporary fiction with some elements of magical realism. ( )
  krau0098 | Oct 22, 2019 |
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Perfect for fans of Tell Me Three Things and The Astonishing Color of After, A Constellation of Roses is brimming with a magic all its own--lovable and flawed characters, an evocative setting, and friendships to treasure. Ever since her troubled mother abandoned her, Trix McCabe has preferred to stay on the move. But when she lands with her long-lost relatives, she finds out that the McCabe women have talents like her own that defy explanation: pies that cure all ills, palm-reading that never misses the mark, knowledge of secrets that have never been told. Before long, Trix feels like she might finally have found somewhere she belongs. 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. More magic awaits in the stunning companion novel, The Deepest Roots, which Booklist called "a must-read" in a starred review!

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