Book Review: How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

Posted February 7, 2018 by Alexia in book review / 1 Comment

Book Review: How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring BlakeHow to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake
Published by HMH on May 2nd, 2017
Genres: contemporary
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

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 don’t know why it took me so long to read this book. Ugh, it was so good and I gobbled it up once I actually got to read it. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to relate to it due to the complex mother/daughter relationship and the frequent moves Grace & her mother are forced to make. But then we meet Eva. And things magically changed, and my fears were shown to be unfounded.

My heart absolutely broke for Eva. I could not imagine losing my mother and being forced to leave my home and all that was familiar to me. My mom and I are incredibly close and the idea of losing her just makes a knot form in my stomach. Like I literally cannot think about it. Living with her mom’s best friend and her family is an adjustment that Eva understandably struggles with. She wants someone around who has dealt with grief, and her mother’s best friend is not the direction she goes in. In fact, she develops a kinship with Grace’s mother, Maggie. Maggie’s been through her own journey of grief and Eva clings to that knowledge.

Grace struggles with how close Eva and Maggie become. Not because she’s jealous (okay maybe a little bit) but because she knows exactly what’s gonna happen. Maggie’s going to spiral out of control, leaving disaster in her wake and dragging both Eva & Grace along for the ride. Grace struggles with wanting so much more for her life, but also feeling like she can’t leave her mother to deal with her problems alone. She struggles with not having a typical mother/daughter relationship. The type that involves arguments, apologies, sharing of secrets. Grace feels like her mother doesn’t understand the fact that she’s bisexual and that Maggie doesn’t understand what it means to be bisexual (although the word bisexual means different things to everyone)

“Grief doesn’t follow a pattern. It’s not linear.” Eva

I swear I felt all my air leave my lungs at that moment. It felt like I was being punched in the stomach. All I could think about was my grandfather who died when I was 7. I always thought I should be over it by now. I mean he’s dead and has been dead for over 2 decades. Yet I miss him. I miss his giant house with a waterbed. I miss the chocolate donuts he got me on Sundays. This book reminded me that it was okay to grieve, to mourn a loss even if that loss was a long time ago. I cannot thank Blake for that enough.

Now onto lighter subjects, the romance. Holy crap, I loved the romance. Gahhhh, it was utter perfection. I ended up giggling like a maniac during certain parts of this book. Especially the Fourth of July part. That part had me both crying and giddy. I have no idea how Blake managed that, but score to her. I do need to mention how awesome it was to see female masturbation on the page. In the last book that had it, I failed to mention it, so I had to make sure I mentioned it this time. It was handled so well and I found myself grinning like a madwoman. Eva & Grace quickly rocketed to the top of my OTP list. I will never be able to look at peanut butter or lighthouses the same again.

I do have to mention Emmy, Luca, Macon & Janelle. Emmy was Eva’s mom’s best friend and her new guardian. Luca was both Emmy’s youngest son & Grace’s best friend. Macon was Emmy’s older son and Janelle was his wife. They really were a second family to Grace and I know it was mutual. Emmy did her best to protect Grace from her mother, but it wasn’t easy.

Maggie had gone through hell 15 years ago when her husband and Grace’s father had died. Ever since then, she’d found the most comfort at the bottom of a bottle or with a man, any man. She frequented bars & brought men home. It was because of Grace’s gut feeling & strength that nothing never happened to her when these men came around.

Grace’s epiphany happened near the end of the book and it was something I had been waiting and hoping for. She finally stood up for herself after her mother dragged her off without much of an explanation. She desperately wanted her mom to get help, but her mother was in denial that she needed any help. In her eyes, all she needed was Grace.

“No, I’m sorry Mom. You don’t need me, You want me with you to clean you up, keep you out of trouble, whatever. There’s a difference. But that’s not what I need.” Grace

Final thoughts: If you haven’t read this book and you like bisexual girls, great romances and complex mother/daughter relationships, then you need to read this book.

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