How To Make A Wish

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Author: Ashley Herring Blake
Genre: Young Adult, Glbt, Contemporary
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Pages: 336

Author Website|Book Depository|Goodreads 

Goodreads Synopsis: Grace, tough and wise, has nearly given up on wishes, thanks to a childhood spent with her unpredictable, larger-than-life mother. But this summer, Grace meets Eva, a girl who believes in dreams, despite her own difficult circumstances. One fateful evening, Eva climbs through a window in Grace’s room, setting off a chain of stolen nights on the beach. When Eva tells Grace that she likes girls, Grace’s world opens up and she begins to believe in happiness again. How to Make a Wish is an emotionally charged portrait of a mother and daughter’s relationship and a heartfelt story about two girls who find each other at the exact right time.


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There was much I liked about How To Make A Wish, especially the depth of most of the characters. I found that I got taken right in by their ever-growing personalities and how great of a best friend she had in Luca and a second mother figure in Emmy, because the mother that gave birth to her was just the worst.

The best parts were the relationships, not being afraid to venture forward in life, getting to know those who seemed to be more than what their outer exterior showed. It was a great novel about becoming and not being afraid of what lay ahead, what life held for the future. Their experiences are those of many, not always easy to go through, but honest and life changing.

“Still, I wasn’t unhappy. A weird thing I’m learning about grief–grief in all its forms –is that you can feel almost everything once. You’d think all those tears, all that laughter, all that deep sadness and even deeper hope would still the lungs and stop the heart. But no. It’s sort of the opposite. And that’s the funny thing about wishes–only when one comes true do you realize the full scope of that wish. What you really wanted. The beauty of it. The complexity. The cost.”

It’s a harsh reality for Grace though, even though she finds love it isn’t in the easiest of terms. Her mother makes everything in her life a struggle and that much harder to be able to love freely and be open about what she wants or deserves to have. That is where my blood boiled. Her mother is a whole different something. She caused so many feels and none of them happy ones, especially when I think about how those things happen to many children and youth in real life.

Grace, Eva, Luca, Emmy, even Jay all end up helping each other be free of those painful things and moments that plague their life. They find solace in each other and help each other gain closure from past relationships, choices, and family woes. They’re all very complex characters, with many facets to them. Their lives are not an easy thing to live with, and their circumstances even harder, showing all of us the importance of having loved ones by your side.

“Emmy answers the door dressed in a tank top and a pair of blue-and-yellow-plaid pajama bottoms, her hair a sleep-tossed mess. She takes one look at my tear-ruined face and the suitcase in my hand before she releases a long sigh, like she’s been holding that breath for years. Maybe she has. Maybe we all have. Then she smiles a sad smile–part relief, part heartbreak–and pulls me into her arms.”

It’s a novel that had it all the feels, but too many painful ones to be able to fully give this all the stars I’m able to give. Even though I struggled to get past a few sections in this novel, it was all meant to bring the story to full circle. Doesn’t make any of it easier, but genuine and leaving the reader with hope for happy endings even when it seems like the storm will never fade.

***I received this copy from HMH Teen. All opinions are my own.***

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