Feb 24, 2017

A heartwarming story of relationships || How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

Title : How to Make a Wish
Author : Ashley Herring Blake
Release Date : May 2nd 2017
Publisher : HMH Book for Young Readers
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.

I am really picky when it comes to my contemporary reads. Nevertheless, I was really excited to read How to Make A Wish, because I love books that tackle relationships, and I was looking forward to read my first book with a bisexual MC and I absolutely adore Ashley. And the book didn't disappoint by any means, and has actually become one of the rare contemporary gems in my fav shelf!

Grace's relationship with her mother is what you'll call complicated. Her mum is unreliable, unpredictable and a piece of work who's gone to new limits this time, by moving in with her new boyfriend, who just happens to be Grace's ex's father. The only people keeping her life sane is her best friend, his mum and Eva - the new girl in town who starts the butterflies in Grace. How to Make a Wish is the story of Grace and her relationships - whether it be her mother, best friend or Eva.

I adored this book. It reminded me of the Sarah Dessen books I binged when I was 14, especially my favourite Dessen novel - Lock and Key. There are only a few contemporary authors I trust with handling platonic relationships as the central theme of a book, and Ashley has certainly joined that list. The book is beautiful, but not in a perfect, delicate way, but rather beautiful in its honesty, in its realistic portrayal and how it doesn't shy away from the ugly bits of everyday life and relationships.

Grace is hands down one of the most realistic contemporary narrators I've read in recent times. Her feelings, anger, passion, sadness, jealousy - everything rang so true, and I loved it. She didn't make the perfect decisions, hurt people she loved while making excuses for those who didn't deserve it, and she was so real that at times I forgot that she's a fictional character. Her sexuality was explained so well, that even a straight girl like me could feel what she felt when I read those lines - of course, How to Make A Wish is #ownvoices, so it makes sense.

Even though it contains a love story - an extremely cute one in that, but let's talk about that later - the predominant focus of the book is Grace and her mother. Both love each other - a lot, of course - but her mum's lifestyle, impulsiveness and straight up impossibility at times give Grace a hard time. There are certain times when I straight up despised her mother, and was repeatedly wondering why Grace even put up with her, but there are also instances where she clearly loved Grace and made it hard to give up on her. Their bond was dynamic, at times messed up, complicated - but it was also heartwarming and bittersweet and that's the most beautiful thing about this book.

Grace and her best friend Luca were adorable. The friendship was wonderful, and I also loved how realistic their rough patches were, especially at times when Grace refused to give up on her mother as Luca wants her to, and when he gets a girlfriend and Grace feels awkward. 

And the romance. It was just incredible. I loved Eva. She was sweet and the perfect juxtaposition to Grace in every way, and I loved it. Her voice as a biracial and lesbian girl was distinct and her grief made me want to hug her tight. Eva and Grace had one of the cutest romances ever, with enough tension and feels to make me swoon.

Overall How to Make A Wish is a character driven story that focuses on relationships. If these type of stories are your thing, then you should definitely give this book a shot. I'd also recommend the book to fans of Sarah Dessen and Elizabeth Scott, or any contemporary fan tbh! Also, if you're looking for an authentic F/F love story with a bisexual MC, this book is a must read!

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