Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for A Constellation of Roses by Miranda Asebedo. This tour is being hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club. I’ll be sharing my review, quotes, and there will be a giveaway. Also make sure you check out my instagram photo/post for the tour there.
A Constellation of Roses
by Miranda Asebedo
Release Date: November 5th 2019
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
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.
My hand slips into the woman’s gaping purse like it’s my own. Fingers nimble and sure on her wallet, I brush against her as if I am just impatient to get through the crowds of people milling around in the Eastside Mall. It’s not hard to do. Everyone here is in a rush to get to the next big sale. That’s why I always pick this place. And because it’s lightly patrolled by burly security guards who stand idly outside upscale department stores and watch for the wolves among the placid, woolly shoppers.
My touch is only the softest graze against the woman; she doesn’t even notice. Before I can inhale a full breath of her expensive perfume, I’m gone, her billfold in hand. I stuff it into my beat-up bag and lose myself in the throngs of people. This is the third wallet tonight, and by the glimpse of the designer insignia, I’m guessing that I can retire for the evening. I only need enough to cover the week at the motel and maybe something to eat a couple times a day. I steal just enough to get by. No more, no less.
I follow the stream of other shoppers as they trickle out of the mall, but when they go to the parking garage to load up their Mercedes and their BMWs, I pull on my hood and walk into the wind. It’s barely September, but lately the evenings are cool enough to make me hope I remembered to turn the radiator on low before I left the motel.
One of the security guards making the rounds in the parking lot briefly scrutinizes a girl with a black hoodie and ripped jeans and says something into his walkie-talkie, but I don’t worry about him.
You see, I’ve got a gift.
Once I watched a movie about this little boy who could heal people with his hands. They said he had “a gift from God.” I’ve never seen God, and from the few times I prayed with the pious foster mom whose husband whipped me with a belt when I spilled juice on their new carpet, it became clear to me that if there was a God, he didn’t see me, either. But my gift is okay, too, regardless of where it came from. My hands are swift, undetectable. I was born a thief.
I’m sure there are more people out there like me. Some strange twist of DNA giving us gifts like perfect pitch or immortal cells or quick hands or even healing ones. I don’t think I was chosen or found worthy. I think I’m just damn lucky. Sometimes for fun I like to watch the security-camera footage at the bodega next to the Happy Host. I wander in the aisles, loading up, barely a shadow on the screen above the register, just someone in a hoodie with her hands firmly in her pockets. No one sees a thing. Ever.
Wow! A Constellation of Roses really surprised me. I was a bit worried going in because it’s not normally a book I would pick up. But it sounded good and I’m trying to branch out more. I’m so glad I did for this one.
This is such a wonderful story of family, friendship, love, and loss. There are a lot of dark parts which I’ll get into more later. The characters in this book were amazing and I was quickly attached to all of them.
Trix’s life has been pretty terrible. She and her mother moved from place to place, usually with Trix stealing things for them. Trix had a gift and could steal anything without ever getting caught. A type of magic she didn’t know she had. Her mother waitressed and it sounds like she might have been a prostitute at times. She also had a drug addiction. Trix was so happy when her mom came home from rehab. They had a great year and she felt like she might have a real place in the world. But her mom started drugs again. One day, she went to get cigarettes and never came back.
Trix was put into the foster care system which she constantly runs away from. She is 17 and living on her own, stealing to survive. She has been back at a motel where she stayed the longest. There were friends there. She even had a boyfriend, Shane, that went to jail. He promised her that their lives would be good one day. But Trix was found again. This time her case worker told her that she actually had family on her dad’s side. An aunt, Mia, a cousin, Ember, and her great aunt, Auntie. They were thrilled to find out that their brother (he died years earlier) had a child and they moved her in.
The McCabe women lived a couple hours outside the city in a small town where everyone knew everything about everyone else. Mia and Auntie owned a bakery and tea shop. The specialty was pies. That’s because the McCabe women all had gifts. Mia could bake pies for people to recover from relationships ending or to fall in love. Auntie reads palms. It takes awhile for Ember to open up. She hides out most of the time because of her gift. When she touches someone, she can see their greatest fears and secrets. She had a very bad experiece with it in the past, finding out something she didn’t want to know. A lot of people are kind of afraid of her and she’s a loner at school.
Trix meets a boy, Jasper, and his friend group takes her in. Trix knows she has feelings for Jasper, but she is always afraid of loss. She also wants to run away all the time. Jasper lost his brother, Jesse, the year before to what was called a hunting accident. They both keep their secrets, but slowly open up to each other.
After months with the McCabe’s Trix starts to feel a bit more settled. She starts letting people in. Especially Ember. That need to flee when things get bad doesn’t leave though. She doesn’t really understand how family works. She doesn’t trust easily.
My heart broke over and over for Trix. Her mom was abusive and she has scars she hides. She stole to stay alive, trying not to form bonds. Every moment seemed like she was conflicted and didn’t know what to do. This family has shown her a great love and stability that she couldn’t imagine having. But things from her past turn up again and Trix feels pulled back to the city. There are a lot of memories throughout the book of her growing up with her mom. The bad, but also some of the few good things.
I felt so much love for Trix, Mia, Auntie, and Ember. Each of them had kind hearts, but Auntie showed her love by being super snarky. I loved her so much!
The writing in this book was beautiful. I felt like I could picture every moment. The book made me feel. A lot of sad, but also happiness. This was just a wonderful book.
There are some dark topics, but nothing with too much detail. I want to mention them for others who might need a warning. There is prostitution, drugs and addiction, bad foster homes, abuse/scars, miscarriage, suicide, cancer, stealing, depression, death/loss, and teens taking care of themselves while their parents are MIA. Abandonment is obviously a big topic in this book.
I gave this book 5 stars. Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy for review.
Fan Art by elvishness:
Some of my favorite quotes:
“Yeah, but what do you put in them?” I ask. “Are you like the happy feelings dealer of Rocksaw? Am I going to get addicted if I have another piece?”
The McCabe women are as different as shades of the rainbow, each one reflecting light and color in her own way.
Mia shrugs one shoulder. “Heartache’s not all bad. It reminds you what you felt is real.”
I’m still trying to figure out what love is, although I have a patchwork collection of answers.
There’s something so comforting about her touch, knowing that there’s someone out there who has seen all my dark places and still loves me.
Auntie groans again. “We’ll leave the door unlocked. Come in sometime before sunrise. And don’t be drunk or pregnant.”
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.
Prize: Win a copy of A CONSTELLATION OF ROSES by Miranda Asebedo (INT)
Starts: 5th november 2019
Ends: 19th November 2019
Image below by Alexis Bestwick.
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