Title: How to Make a Wish
Author: Ashley Herring Blake
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Published: May 2nd, 2017
Format: e-ARC via Netgalley
Rating: 4 stars
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.
It’s been a few weeks since I read this one, and I’m still not sure exactly how I feel about it. So let’s start with what I’m certain of.
I’m certain that Blake is a beautiful writer. Each of her sentences flows into the next like waves. It’s the reason I read this book in less than a day. It was surprisingly captivating for a contemporary and I could not put it down – I had to know what was coming next.
The plot was so heartbreaking. I wanted to reach into the pages and hug Grace or slap some sense into her absentee-mother. I was never bored.
The romance was simple in the way that most high school relationships are – and in a good way – if that makes any sense. While I love books like that, Grace and Eva weren’t promising forever and ever to each other or acting like they were their whole worlds. It was just really sweet and slow and beautiful. And real.
“Each bubble eventually burst.
Each firework fizzled out.
Each lens got stripped away, and each girl saw the world like it was, all nakedness and reality and live action.”
Alright, so onto the part I didn’t enjoy? Grace. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike her but… she got on my nerves. Quite a bit. At the root of her character, I found her really entertaining. She was sarcastic and funny.
But her decision-making, her impulsiveness drove me up the wall. I do understand why she tried to believe in her mother, even when she had no reason to. She was her mom. But Grace constantly acted like she was alone in the world. Like she didn’t have a best friend in Luca and Eva and a maternal figure in Emmy. Grace is surrounded by so much love, but she shuts out everyone all the time and instead runs back to the woman that keeps on hurting her. At some points, it was understandable, but at others, when she had other, safer, better options and people to turn to, it didn’t.
Something I did love about Grace was that she is a pianist! I don’t talk about it a lot on here, but I’ve been playing the piano basically all my life and it’s so rare to see a YA character doing the same! I related a lot to the way she talked about her music.
“Schumann’s Fantasie unfurls from my fingers. It’s soft and haunting and I love it. I pour myself into it – every wish, every shitty duplex, a girl named Eva, a mother who steals from her daughter – it all rises and falls with the piece’s dynamics.”
And even though I really did enjoy this book, I just feel a little bit… off about it. I think there was so much hype surrounding it and I was a little bit disappointed. But, as I said, it was still an awesome read! It has great f/f rep and a biracial love interest!
Overall, this book was beautiful, easy to read, and left me feeling very, very satisfied.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC for review. This in no way influences my opinion on the book.
Are you guys planning on reading How to Make a Wish? Have you read it already? What did you think about it? Tell me in the comments! 🙂