This is one of the rare times where I spent the entire day – sick day yesterday unfortunately – reading a book for a blog tour because I didn’t start it early enough. Luckily, I was so wrapped up in this story that I ended up finishing semi on time (it’s like… 12:33 am on my post day right now. I’m still on time) because I could not. Get. Enough. Thank you again so much to Fantastic Flying Book Club for this opportunity! I have an Instagram post coming up later today too, when I officially wake up for the day, so stay tuned for that as well.
And of course, click on the banner for the tour schedule and giveaway info. You know the drill, fam.
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.
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.
Underage drinking, prostitution, drug abuse,
abandonment, death, suicide, overdose,
Latinx, Lesbian, Chinese
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club and HarperTeen for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
So like I was saying above in my intro, I literally could not put this book down all day. I was feeling really sick and I ended up calling out of work today. I needed it and was actually falling asleep while I was in the middle of reading this book. Not because I found it boring or anything, but because I was that tired and sick.
But anyway, wow. If I wasn’t sick, and if I was able to keep myself awake all day like I wanted to, I think I would have finished this book earlier because I was so intrigued and captured by the magical realism in this novel and just everything about it. I absolutely adored this book, I don’t even know how I can put it into words.
Sometimes I like to sleep on my reviews after I finish a book, so I can take some time to process my thoughts and make sure that I’m being coherent in what I want to say in my review. I can’t do that this time, and I think that even if I did end up saving this review for when I woke up in the morning, I still would be tongue tied about what I wanted to say about it.
Trix was a girl that I could not stop thinking about. Her gift of being… basically unnoticed when she would steal things, to the point that I don’t think people would even notice that things went missing, helped her to survive in a world that wanted her to fail. She was abandoned by her mother, who unfortunately was on the wrong side of drug addiction. She was also a prostitute, and that was how she made ends meet for her and Trix. That’s what she had to do to survive, and I don’t think that really helped Trix grow up in a “normal” setting.
So I get it. She even said that she only stole what she needed to in order to pay her rent for the week at whatever motel she was staying at – never staying in the same place for long since she was technically hiding from social services – and to feed herself a couple times a day. She even mentioned that some day she didn’t eat dinner. She was not in the best circumstances even after her mother just left her to go “buy cigarettes” and never came back, but she survived.
And in this novel she had to learn how to let go of that gift she had, not to steal from the family that took her in and try to plant roots before she couldn’t have a home anymore. And I really was invested in her story because I wanted her to survive. I wanted her to be able to eat more than once a day, not worrying about where she was going to get the money to pay rent at a sleazy hotel, fend off some johns that thought she was up for making some money with some sex work despite being in high school and growing up with her mother doing that to get by.
I wanted her to have a family, especially since she never really had a good relationship with her mother, and didn’t even know who her father was.
Clearly I just had a lot of feelings about this book, and while I was reading it I kept highlighting all of the quotes I liked because I knew I had to post some of my favorite quotes. There were so many times where I had to immediately get the highlighter, make my note, and sit back and let that line sink in. This book was just beautiful, and I am so glad that I got to read this. I know that this book will stay with me for a long time, and I truly hope that if you get a chance to read this, you will cherish it and enjoy it too.
So like I mentioned, I made quite a few highlights to make note of my favorite quotes while reading this book. I won’t share all of them with you because that would just be a super duper long post, but I think I’ll share my top three. Ooooh, that’s going to be hard to narrow down, but I’m gonna go for it!
This spoke to me in so many volumes. I don’t think I ever thought about it in this way, and heartache isn’t always about breakups. So it means even more to me when I think about the really hard heartaches that I’ve felt over the years.
I’m pretty sure I cried when I read this line. This is true love, love that can be so damn rare and once in a lifetime, and doesn’t have to come from a significant other, but just someone that truly cares about you and wants you in their life. This is love from someone that will never give up on you, especially when you felt like giving up on yourself.
I was wondering where the title came from, and then this freaking amazing line came up and I could imagine how her arm looked like after she drew the roses on her.
Okay a bonus line!
Okay not gonna lie: I died laughing at this part. I could just imagine the conversation that prompted this accusation.
Yay for another book that kept me up all night and made me cry like a little emotional love bug. I love books like this, and oh my gosh I really really can’t imagine my life without Trix, Ember, Mia and Auntie in my life. Even Jasper and the rest of his crew, although I have a super soft spot for the McCabe women after this. I don’t know what ethnicity they are, but all of Auntie’s sarcastic comments made me imagine her to be some old Chinese lady for some reason. Although I think it would be really cool if they were Latinx. Either way, I saw my family in these women, and it touched a piece of my heart that doesn’t always come out when I’m away from them. It really made me feel like I was witnessing my own family going through this journey, seeing a part of me in every single person. It moved me so much, and I thank you all for reading my incoherent and mushy thoughts about this book.
Until next time, fam.