Published: May 2nd, 2017
Purchase here: Amazon
Synopsis: All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn’t have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.
Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace’s mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.
Diversity: Eva is biracial and lesbian. Grace is openly bisexual. Both have mental health issues very clearly as a result of aspects of their life.
Warnings: sex, neglective parenting, death, alcoholism, mentioned posting of sexual texts online
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
How To Make A Wish was a sad and ridiculously sweet look at two girls falling in love and finding themselves after the impact of their mothers on their lives.
I adored this book just as much as I hoped I would. Ashley Herring Blake’s writing is so easy to read – I flew through this book in less than two days, reading like 250 pages in one day because I just couldn’t put it down. Blake understands her characters well and continuously plays with the idea of outward perception and reality – who Grace’s mother appears to be and who she really is, who Grace is, who Eva is.
Grace is a great protagonist. Witty and relatable in all her loyalty and her fears that play such a strong role in this novel. I adored her passion for music and my chest hurt for her love of her mother and need to protect her as if she isn’t the child in need of protection. Personally, as someone who also identifies as bisexual, I loved the fact that she just was bisexual. She used the word, she knew that about herself without any fear. She has history with guys, she has history with girls and no one around her questions that.
The depiction of sexuality was brilliant in this book. Both Eva and Grace are open and proud of their love, what they identify as themselves, and even about the issues that come along with that sexuality in their own lives. Also, no homophobia in the piece was a massive bonus on an already great book for me.
Eva and Grace’s relationship was just straight up adorable. They’re both in a tough place, trying to figure out their futures after the death of a mother and with a mother who never really acted like one, and they have this genuine connection and understanding of each other. Their first encounter on the beach just a few chapters in sold me on the beauty that would be their relationship.
Blake’s display of grief was really wonderfully. She showed the reality and the dangers and how much it can affect your life and those around you. With Grace’s mother, Maggie, you see the most devasting of impacts – a child who had to grow up too fast, who sees too much and has to put up with too much. You also see Emmy, the mother of Grace’s best friend and Eva’s guardian, struggling to find footing on solid ground to truly help Eva get through her grief and her desperate need to help and make better something that can’t be fixed like that.
Following that, there is also a conversation about unhealthy grief, when it becomes an illness that needs to be treated, and the support for getting help, going to therapy or rehab in these moments, is stated and encouraged in the book.
How To Make A Wish is just a wonderful book with queer girls trying to live their lives to the fullest. It speaks on grief and mental illness and not just accepting what life has dealt you. It speaks on love and sexuality and race. I just loved every moment of it.