Title: How to Make a Wish
Author: Ashley Herring Blake
Disclaimer: I received a copy free from the publishers in exchange for an honest review
Grace Glasser has spent her entire live moving from one stranger’s house to another, dragged along by her unreliable mother from one failed relationship to another. Grace feels trapped, emotionally, because she feels like she has to stay by her mother’s side, rescue and save her, because she isn’t capable of doing it herself. But Grace has dreams – she wants to live her own life, she wants to be a pianist, and to attend a top music school in New York. But she has to survive her mum’s latest boyfriend, who also happens to be the father of her ex-boyfriend. While she attempts to lie low, she meets Eva, who drags her into midnight adventures and feelings she was unprepared for.
I went into How to Make a Wish with the expectation it was going to be a light, fluffy, f/f summer romance. What I got was much more nuanced and developed. It was about grief, loss, and mothers. Both Eva and Grace were motherless in different ways. Eva recently lost her mother, suddenly, and she grief-stricken and lonely, and Grace’s mother has never really been a mother, she’s flakey, unreliable, and emotionally manipulative. Grace has always had to be the responsible and grown-up one in the relationship, their roles were reversed, and Grace’s homelife was unstable. How to Make a Wish was an emotional read and did make me tear up a lot.
How to Make a Wish is a character driven story and it is the characters that make you fall in love with this book. I loved Grace, I loved her loyalty, even though it was often misplaced, I loved her passion and her compassion. I loved her vulnerabilities and strengths, and her dreams and fears, she was a fully fleshed out and complex character who went though an immense amount of character development. I loved that she finally managed to break away from her toxic relationship with her mum and I loved the support she received from her best friend and his family, it was truly a beautiful relationship. Eva was another favourite. She was scared and lonely and had a hard time adjusting to life without her mother. I loved her character arc, especially concerning her dancing.
I loved the romance. I loved their chemistry. Eva and Grace found comfort in each other, in their adventures and nights up in the lighthouse eating peanut butter. I really loved that relationship – an incredibly heartwarming relationship.
The romance isn’t central to the story. Grace and her relationship with her reckless and unreliable mother really took centre stage. I think this book had a really important message concerning toxic relationships. That just because it’s your mum, doesn’t mean you can’t leave. It doesn’t mean you have to give 100% into that relationship and get nothing in return. Just because it’s your mum, it doesn’t mean you have to love them and support them unconditionally and I think that is a really important message. The relationship was written honestly to show what it really was – raw and complicated but unhealthy.
How to Make a Wish is an authentic, emotional, and heartwarming read that I highly recommend.
Megan (pronounced MEE-GAN bc her Irish grandfather refused to use the English pronunciation) is a 21 year old british blogger, history graduate, lover of books and expert procrastinator. She is anxious and introverted and is currently attempting adulthood. She loves potatoes which is often blamed on her irish heritage and can often eat her weight in food. She predominantly reads and reviews YA which includes historical fiction, science fiction, contemporary, and f/f romance. She loves reading about unlikeable female characters, positive female friendships & relationships, and is a sucker for a pretty cover.