Published by HarperTeen
Published on 5 November 2019
Genres: Social Issues, United States, Young Adult
Source: my local library
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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.
I really enjoyed this book. At first I was a bit surprised but delighted at how defensive and prickly the main character Trix was. She had a pretty hard life, and had a lot of defensive reflexes making it difficult for her to love and trust others, even when they were working so hard to love and trust her.
I loved how Trix affected the family she inherited: she was a really great influence on her introverted cousin Ember, and her aunt Mia was just the kid of supportive adult a teen really needs: someone willing to fight for you, who doesn’t yell, who doesn’t blame you for being a teenager, who still gave her a lot of the freedom she was used to. I really loved how open and welcoming not just the family was but the friends at school were, and I loved seeing Trix relax and break down her walls brick by brick.
I also really enjoyed the magical realism. Was it really a fantasy or paranormal novel? Everyone seemed to accept that Mia’s pies were magical, but I’m not sure if this world accepted them as actually magic, just a weird quirky gift. I liked how Trix struggled with her own gift: as a thief, she can literally take what she wants when she wants it, but she grows to accept that it’s not morally right to just do that. Her gift can hurt others, like the kindly stationary shop owner. I really love how she struggled to turn around from someone who only cared for herself to someone willing to put down roots, as Auntie said, and that it required certain sacrifices like the freedom she’d known, but it also resulted in certain benefits, like a family that loved her unconditionally.
It was just super wholesome, okay?
What I think I liked most of all is that Trix didn’t make bad or dumb decisions, just poor ones on account of her being a teenager without an adult’s wisdom or experience. She wasn’t a dumbass too stupid to live whiny chick, she legit felt like a genuine teenager and I could very easily see why she made the decisions she did. It all felt within character and aided her progression.
I also liked the relationship she developed with Jasper and how his mental illness was handled. He seemed like such a great guy, but he was battling some intense demons, and he and Trix developed this really sweet bond – another root for Trix to put down.
The narrator for the audiobook was fine, I have no issues there.
It was a kind of quiet novel, but the worldbuilding was really interesting, the characters were great, the theme of finding your true family really resonated with me, and I loved seeing Trix’s character progression.
Also I really want some lemon meringue pie.