How to Make a Wish – A raw, heatbreaking story of Love and Grief

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Publication date : May 2nd, 2017goodreads

Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Genre : Young Adult | Contemporary

Page Count: 336

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.
(From Goodreads)

Rating : 4.5 stars

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Trigger Warning: Emotional Parental Abuse

(No Spoilers)

How to Make a Wish rendered me speechless, let’s start with that, it is so beautiful and honest that I couldn’t help feel every emotion it conveyed, every one of them. Oh and before I forget, I read this with my lovely fellow Moroccan blogger, Maha @ Younicorn Reads and we both adored it to pieces. It is just the kind of book that takes a hold on your heart with no intent of ever letting it go, not like you would mind, you really don’t want it to go away.

First of all the writing, oh boy, it’s art. It feels like a punch, it is so powerful  and emotionally packed while being poetic and flowing very effortlessly. What’s most striking about it are the descriptions, they’re raw and gutting and just uuugh, I’m at a loss of words and I apologize deeply for not knowing how to English anymore. One thing I really appreciated is how comfortable Ashley Herring Blake is with writing explicit content (re: sex, masturbation) which in my honest opinion teenagers should be exposed to because it’s par of their reality (not all of them obviously).

How to Make a Wish is the story of two girls broken by their moms. Eva, the love interest has lost her mom and has no other family while Grace, the MC loves her mom more than anything but the latter cannot seem to *see* her. And God help me, I was so so angry at that woman, her behavior towards her daughter made my skin crawl (and the worst of it, is that I know that it is some people’s reality). She was manipulative, selfish and delusional.

Her mom listened and paid attention to everyone BUT her, prioritizing which ever guy is in her life at the moment, and the worst of it all is that she’s oblivious to how wrong and hurtful her actions are. She brushed off Grace each time she was concerned and tried to call her out on them and the girl can do nothing more than that because she loves her mom very much and keeps holding on to that sliver of hope that she’ll get better one day.

The cast of characters is probably one of the most realistic cast I’ve ever read in a YA book. They’re all flawed, fight and then make up. I loved the dynamic and energy that were carefully threaded into their relationships which made them unarguably believable.

Grace was such an amazing main character, strong and brave, spoke her mind loud and clear when needed, and didn’t let anybody squish her down. Unless that somebody is her mom. She’s also very closed off to people, had a hard time opening up to anyone in the fear of getting hurt, which she wasn’t even conscious of. Through her experiences, the author very subtly addressed and explained bisexuality. I loved her relationship with best friend Luca, who was basically a brother to her, he was very sweet, caring, supportive and protective of her. He also never shied away from telling her the truth as it is and even though she refused to hear it, she appreciated it in the long run.

Eva is a very complex character, I really liked how she had this kind of quiet vibe of wisdom and she didn’t run away and was never ashamed of her sadness, she embraced it. Again, through her experiences, Ashley Herring Blake tackles biraciality issues and what struggles some biracial kids may go through (and from what I read in #ownvoices reviews, it is one of the best portrayals out there). THEIR ROMANCE WAS HONESTLY SO PURE, OH MY HEART !! It is so true, gentle and heartwarming that I couldn’t help but root for them, they had their issues, which complicated things for them but they ultimately got past them.

All in all this was such a heartbreaking and -at the end- heart-mending story that deals with the loss of a parent, grief, toxic, abusive parenthood and the importance of having a strong support system. It is relentlessly hopeful, I loved how by the end not everything was fixed but you could see the light at the end of the tunnel.


That’s it until next time.

Did you read How to Make a Wish? If so, what did you think?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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