“A Constellation of Roses” by Miranda Asebedo is a coming-of-age story about Trix McCabe, a high school senior with a habit of running away from all her problems and refusing to put down roots.
Ever since her mother left, Trix has been determined to live on her own, moving from motel to motel. With the help of her almost-magical ability to steal from strangers, Trix is confident she’ll be able to survive.
Everything is going as planned until she’s caught and put back in foster care, forced to either live with her long-lost family or serve time in jail. Trix plans to leave the tiny town of Rocksaw, Kan., as soon as possible.
But there’s something special about the McCabe women. Her sweet cousin Ember has a passion for sewing dresses and is able to tell a person’s deepest secret just by touching them; her aunt Mia bakes pies that seem to cure all ills. And Trix’s boisterous great-aunt Auntie takes one look at Trix’s palm and warns her if she doesn’t put down roots somewhere, she won’t have a future anywhere.
Trix eventually falls in love with the small town of Rocksaw and begins to believe she could find her place with the McCabe women. But when her past suddenly comes back to haunt her, Trix has to decide whether to stay and face her problems or to run away.
Asebedo makes you smile at each interaction between characters while also facing the hard realities of trauma and depression. You fall in love with each of the characters instantly, as you enjoy Trix’s determination, Ember’s gentleness, Auntie’s abrasiveness and Mia’s love. There’s also Jasper, a cowboy with the ability to make anyone smile.
The young adult fictional novel is set in a contemporary setting, with a hint of magic that could be described as almost “witchy,” which is very unusual for the mainstream young adult genre. “A Constellation of Roses” is beautifully done. Its 352 pages are a quick read and will leave you desperately wanting more the moment you turn the last page.