Title: How to Make a Wish
Author: Ashley Herring Blake
Published: 02 May 2017 | HMH Books for Young Readers
Date Read: 29 April 2017
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.
Ashley Herring Blake’s debut book Suffer Love has been a remarkable read for me last year. I loved how uniquely the plot of that book was written as well as the characters. That’s why I made it my mission to ensure that I’ll get to read her upcoming novels as well.
I’ve read my fair share of diverse books but this is the first F/F YA story that I’ll be reading. I don’t know what to expect. I’m excited and curious all at the same time. How To Make a Wish is another remarkable story given by Ashley Herring Blake about two-girls who found each other on what may be the lowest points of their lives.
Grace is channeling all her focus in finishing High-School and soon going to a top music school in New York to do what she loves – playing the piano. I really admire Grace’s character. She’s smart, talented, strong-willed and dedicated. These were shown thru her passion in playing the piano, her relationship with his friends and her mother.
“I can’t leave her. She’s my mom; I’m her kid. We belong together.”
Grace and her mom doesn’t have the perfect relationship. Grace’s mom, Maggie is spontaneous, reckless, unreliable and unpredictable leaving Grace into the mother role of their so-called mother-daughter relationship. The way their relationship was written is raw, heartbreaking, painful and real. I literally shed a tear or two after reading several events between Maggie and Grace that are literally sad. With these events shown, we were given a window to see why Grace is feeling the way that she’s feeling – her anger, sadness and helplessness. I really admire her strength as a teen and her love for her mother.
Eva, on the other hand is grieving. She’s grieving the loss of her mom. She’s running from her own demons. I actually had a hard time getting to know Eva. The book already ended but it feels like I still don’t know her that well. Which I think could’ve been remedied by giving her a chapter or two because it feels like I only saw glimpses of her and her life.
“Up there, I didn’t belong to a messed-up mother. She wasn’t the grieving daughter. We were just Grace and Eva.”
“Just Grace and Eva. Two girls who need to feel young and free, need to feel like girls. Need to scream from the top of a lighthouse and eat peanut butter out of a jar and swear and accidentally brush up against each other and giggle about it. “
Grace and Eva are cute together. The chemistry is there! I love their moments in the lighthouse where they are simply Grace and Eva.
The main thing that makes this book stand out is the author was brave enough to introduce us to a set of characters that are not afraid of their sexuality. The main characters Grace and Eva are both bisexual. I really appreciate how real the sexuality of Grace and Eva were portrayed in the story. I also kind of like how we’re saved from all the “coming-out” stuffs because their family and friends easily accepted them. This part was thoughtfully written.
The set of supporting characters that this book has was also easy to love. Luca – Grace’s best friend was so charming. His mom Emmy has been a great help as well. I even ended up liking Jay Lanier!
The storyline flowed smoothly. The setting was dreamy as well – the little coastal town of Cape Katie. And above all, for me, the author well portrayed the F/F relationship in the story.
Overall, How To Make a Wish is a very heartwarming story. The ending was inspiring. It leaves us a very good note of accepting and loving who you really are and who you’re friends and love ones are. And, believing that dreams do come true. You just surely need to chase them.
“If you really want something, baby, the stars won’t help you. You have to reach out and take it.”
Ashley Herring Blake is a reader, writer, and mom to two boisterous boys. She holds a Master’s degree in teaching and loves coffee, arranging her books by color, and watching Buffy over and over again on Netflix with her friends. She’s the author of the young adult novels SUFFER LOVE and HOW TO MAKE A WISH.
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