How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring BlakePublished on May 2, 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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.
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Another contemporary, another book I wanted to love but just didn’t quite get there, and not necessarily the fault of the book so much as my own reading tastes.
I loved the cast. Grace is so strong despite the struggles she endures. She is the mature one in her family, having to take care of her mother instead of the other way around and it’s a constant weight on her shoulders, something no teen should have to deal with. But she does and she’s nothing short of amazing.
Eva has the stronger personality of the two with the sass to go with it and that drew me to her almost immediately. I wasn’t really invested in the story until she was introduced.
And their romance is perfect. It’s not necessarily the focus of the story but still plays a role and I don’t think I’ve ever read a romance that was so… sweet (to be fair, most of the romances I read are adult so maybe that’s the difference). Grace and Eva were goals.
I also really loved the friendship between Luca and Grace because more often than not I see the friend of the opposite sex become the love interest and it didn’t happen. It was GREAT. I want more of this!! I don’t understand why friendships are passed over so often for romances when they can be just as amazing, if not more so.
There were so many relatable moments that I started getting goosebumps imagining being back in high school which, for the record, is not somewhere I ever want to be again (as a student, at least). These characters have a little bit of everyone in them and it’s hard not to connect.
The one thing that I didn’t really get into, and which I see I’m likely the black sheep in this, is the writing. It just wasn’t a style that worked for me but not in a distracting sense that took away from the story.
Despite my praises of this book and its wonderful elements, it wasn’t something I devoured in one sitting. Or something that I connected with on a deeper level outside of select scenes. The characters were great and the dynamics well written but I didn’t feel invested enough in them compared to other books I’ve read. Regardless, though, I would highly recommend this book to contemporary fans looking for a wonderful story of family, friendship, and romance featuring a diverse cast.