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book (arc) review: constellation of scars ✨

*Thank you to the publisher, the author, and NetGalley for providing me with an e-arc of the book. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*


Constellations of Scars by Melissa Eskue Ousley

Not all gifts are a blessing. Some are a curse.
When Amelia turned 12, she began growing pearls. Every month, a crop of beautiful pearls bursts from the skin on her back. Her mother, Denise, believes her daughter is blessed, and sells the pearls to put food on the table. Amelia sees her condition as a curse. As the pearls form, her body aches and her skin grows feverish. The harvest of pearls brings temporary relief from the pain, but leaves her back marred by scars. Denise hides Amelia away from the world, worried that Amelia’s gift will be discovered and she will be abducted for the wealth she can provide. Now a young woman, Amelia realizes she has become her mother’s captive, and plans her escape. When she runs away from home, she finds a new family in a troupe of performers at a museum of human oddities. She soon discovers the world is much more dangerous than her mother feared.

Everything about this book demanded to be read – the gorgeous cover, the synopsis, the concept, and even the first line which was, “Blood got everywhere and Mother wasn’t happy about it.” But unfortunately, it’s one of the most disappointing books that I have ever read.

things i liked:-

  • short chapters.
  • easy flowing language.
  • new concept.
  • gives off tangled/rapunzel vibes except the girl sheds pearls monthly rather than have a super long-ish magical hair.
  • interesting take on real life people.
  • bizarre world.

things i hated:-

  • annoying characters.
  • dialogues had me rolling my eyes.
  • the author made almost everyone a book lover, and it felt like a lazy way to make us like the characters.
  • too much info dump.
  • we are told that the characters have a dark past and that they have been through a lot which has caused trauma. but there is no evidence to that.
  • slow paced at times, so much so that i almost skimmed a few parts.
  • characters are twenty-one to twenty-seven year old, but they act like angsty teenagers and make annoying decisions.
  • too much telling and no showing.
  • lastly, i didn’t like the fact that the author took on sensitive topics like rare disease and glorified it and made it look heroic and all glossy. i mean, i really respect all those people out there who fight these disease and uniqueness everyday, BUT the author made it sound like it’s a “gift” and that nothing can ever go wrong. they should cherish it. i mean it’s not the same foe everyone. some really suffer. this just didn’t sit very well with me and i thought of mentioning it.

That was a lot of negative stuff in a review hehe. I really didn’t like the book and it made me very sad because i had hopes for this one. Tangled is one of my all time favorite movies and I just had to love this book. But -☹️

Do you guys have any favorite re-telling? Let me know in the comments below!

21 thoughts on “book (arc) review: constellation of scars ✨

  1. The book sounds pretty boring tbh
    Tangled is my fav as well!! How can you not adore that condescending smile of Flynn rider?😍
    My favourite retellings are every retelling written by Melanie Celier and also I wrote a few and I quite like my work😅😅

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Your Journal looks more and more like a journal with every post! I mean, no shade to your previous posts. I just love reading your posts, its so lively, always.
    This books seems pretty interesting, apart from those negative points. Should I give it a try?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m so sorry you didn’t like this one, ashmita! Looks like I won’t be picking this book up. 😐 I haven’t really read read many retellings, but I want to 😭 I’m thinking of picking up Cinderella Is Dead because it has so many high reviews!!
    Lovely review, as always 💖

    Liked by 2 people

  4. ahh i was about to say what a beautiful name this book has until i saw your one-star rating ahh!! 😅but i’m intrigued at the retelling aspect that a girl sheds pearls?? eeks annoying characters, info dumps and not giving themes the proper weight is just awful… but it was a great review ashmita!! sorry that this one didn’t work out ❤️


  5. Ikr!!!! Flynn rider ahh! But I loved that chameleon. I hate reptiles, but I got to admit. The pet was really cute. And remember how Flynn said, “take your pan, take your frog.” 🤣.

    And yess!! I have read one or two of your work. I love your dark and feminist take on them!!! I liked ur work better than this book ❤️


  6. Ahh janhavi, so sorry for the late response 😭😭😭😭😭😭 I am catching up on comments. Ah well, I hope you skip this one and get to read some amazing retellings. You should try reading the lunar chronicles. All the books in the series are retellings. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend cinderalla is dead, because I didn’t quite enjoy it. But the lunar chronicles ❤️

    Thank you 🥺❤️


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