As I’ve gotten older, I’ve felt more and more detached from young adult fiction. Which is a shame because I used to love reading as much of it as I could get my hands on. But, at thirty, I just sometimes struggle to identify with teenage characters. However, I am looking for that book that will change my mind and when I heard about Miranda Asebedo’s newest novel, A Constellation of Roses, I thought it might just be the YA book to remind me of how much I love YA. And it was.
(All reviews are spoiler-free unless otherwise noted.)
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.
It’s been a while since I’ve read magical realism, and after reading A Constellation of Roses, I have no idea why. Because it’s amazing. And this book is a fantastic example of just how great magical realism can be. I truly loved the magical elements. It honestly took me back to my childhood of reading Matilda and wondering if maybe I could possibly have powers hidden somewhere. (Sadly, at thirty years old, I’ve had to give up on that idea.) Still, I got to experience a little magic with this book, and it was lovely.
Like I said, I generally don’t pick up contemporary young adult novels, simply because I don’t relate to the characters as much as I did when I was younger. And it’s not exactly fun to read a book where the main character gets in trouble and identify with the main character. But this book changed that for me. Because I had a strong connection to Trix. Even though we are completely different people, I could one hundred percent identify with her thoughts and feelings. Which I think made this book so much more impactful. And I loved it. All of the characters were incredibly dimensional and lovely. I’m always a fan of characters who feel truly human, and Miranda Asebedo definitely pulled it off here.
I also really enjoyed Miranda Asebedo’s writing. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but there was something about the pacing that just really appealed to me. Everything worked so well. It didn’t feel so much like reading as it did experiencing a story. Which is pretty rare (and this is coming from someone who reads A LOT of books). It was just a pleasure to read. I’m excited to read more by Miranda Asebedo!
★★★★★ – I debated between giving A Constellation of Roses four or five stars, but, ultimately I couldn’t find anything I didn’t like about it. It’s been a very, very long time since I’ve given a contemporary YA book five stars, but this book deserves it. I highly recommend A Constellation of Roses, especially if you enjoy magical realism.
To get the audiobook for free, use this link to sign up for a free trial of Audible.
This book was generously provided to me by Wunderkind PR. All opinions are my own.
*This post contains affiliate links, which means I may get a small commission for purchases made through this post.*