How to Make a Wish, by Ashley Herring Blake

melodierhae's review

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3.75 stars. A lovely book that I think tried to cram too much tragedy. Not because people can only receive so much tragedy...but because it rained...then it poured...and then it fell into the trap of trying to be MORE than a YA Romance. It skirted the line between characteristic and compelling.

But the romance was SO SO SO good. And despite the "80 thousand tragedies over the span of a summer" feeling, Grace's mom was a wonderfully written character. Ashley Herring Blake did a fantastic job of creating some truly dynamic characters.

mlatrece's review

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I fell in love with Ashley Herring Blake's writing since her debut "Suffer Love". Blake did not disappoint me with her sophomore book "How To Make A Wish". I spent the entire day reading this book. I love how she captures the different relationships Grace has with her mother Maggie and Eva. She has a way with making you feel the character's pain and struggles as you're reading. If you're a crier like me you might need a tissue or two. This book covers diversity well. What I like about this is that the characters already know their sexual preferences and not in the discovery point. Another great read by Ashley Herring Blake.

Disclaimer: I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

kirstyreadsblog's review

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This was one of my most hyped up lgbt+ reads of the year because hey, there's not much f/f romance around. As a warning this book has emotional abuse from a parent who has mental health problems.

Grace spends her life moving between homes of her unbalanced mother's boyfriends, where we pick up in the book she finds out that her mum is now dating her ex boyfriend's dad and she now has to live with her ex boyfriend. Then Eva moves to town after losing her mum and Grace and Eva form an unlikely connection.

There was both bisexual and lesbian representation in this book which is always a good thing and the love interest was biracial which made it even better.

Continue my review here:

katiecatbooks's review against another edition

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New adult. Bisexuality. Unstable family.

Story: Soon to be high school senior Grace returns home from a summer music school, when her mom announced that while she was away at the school, they moved. Grace's mom is unstable, hopping from boyfriend to boyfriend, new house to new house, and they always end up bad. When Grace meets Eva, a new girl in town, they form a friendship with their torn apart families as a foundation. As the friendship develops further, Grace and Eva must make life changing decisions.

Language : Told in first person from Grace's pov. Set in a small cape town in Maine during a summer. There is one new adult scene but it's more suggestive than explicit, so this book is borderline upper YA / new adult. This book contains strong language and adult situations including alcohol.

Characters: Grace is an almost senior girl who has had to act like an adult most of her life, taking care of her mother and even working to be able to pay their bills. Other characters include her mother, her best friend Luca , Luca's mother and the new girl Eva.

I really liked this book. I liked it for many reasons it was not - not preachy, not dramatic, not easy, not magical answers. While this book includes bisexuality, it also includes a lot of question marks, life situations where life is unfair and sometimes the hard way out is the only option, and a naturally forming friendship.

ellieafterall's review against another edition

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”You live here?”
I follow her gaze toward the lighthouse, my breath sticking in my chest. Such a loaded word—live. It could simply mean existing. Heart pumping blood, lungs taking in air. Or it could mean settling into something. Being a part of what’s around you. Investing.
“For now,” I say.
“For now,” she echoes softly.

this book is sad but good, just like life. and that’s sort of all i think you should know about this. i think the best part about this book were grace and eva: they just felt like they should be together, and they were, and it was glorious. i have only 2 minor complaints

1. their interactions felt very repetitive. i understood that they were both going through some heavy stuff, but ever time they interacted, it’d end up with grace mentioning ballet and eva looking away and then one of them starts crying etc. it basically felt like an extended hurt/comfort fic. which is fine! i just wanted more.

2. i felt like this book was confused if it was a hurt/comfort book or a book about a neglecting mother. there was a huge part in the book where her mother isn’t even referenced, and so I sort of forgot all the build up we had in the beginning of how much grace suffers. and the thing is, grace goes home to her mother every single day. just because the story doesn’t focus on it doesn’t mean she’s not suffering still, and the author suddenly not showing that when it was scrutinized so much before felt inconsistent? like, i was like “oh, that’s still a thing, right” when we get the focus back on her mother.

anyway it was good and sad and I’m glad I read it. these two girls were the softest and gayest and I’m so glad for their existence

She tastes like summer, like running and laughter, and the combination is so heady that I have to force myself to slow down and savor the moment.

breadedbookpages's review

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Full Review Posted on my Blog!

"It's a peaceful kind of silence. Easy. And dammit if it isn't nice to let something be easy."

Grace Glasser kind of has the most irresponsible mother I’ve ever read about in a YA book which says a lot since we come across a lot of mothers who do absolutely nothing to help their children in YA. Maggie Glasser is the kind of mother you want to shake and just beg to be better to her 17 year old kid who had to grow up very fast and take care of her own mom. There was no moment in this book in which I didn’t want to reach over and possible strangle Maggie for putting Grace through the worst.

All her life, Grace simply deals with Maggie’s alcoholism, her lack of commitment, her delusion about how “fine” they are. Grace grew up and did it fast and in the process she developed this thick skin that did nothing to help her from the pain her mother caused her with her insensitivity. I absolutely loved Grace’s voice in this book. She had me hooked since page one and I couldn’t help but adore her. Sure, Grace comes off kind of gruff but there is nothing about her that isn’t so real and palpable. She is a breathing character with her own ambition and fears and wishes.

I especially loved the exploration of Grace’s sexuality. She’s bisexual and her feelings felt so good to read. It felt like something I’d try to use to articulate how I personally felt when I began getting feelings for girls. Her attraction to Eva was so fluffy and good. She offered Eva comfort but did not ignore that Eva needed help that should come from professionals since Eva was dealing with her mother passing away. These two girls had so much chemistry that I couldn’t help but pout at the end. I definitely wanted more and more.

Eva on the other hand is this beautiful girl who loses her mother. I felt so greatly for Eva, having lost my father at a young age. The whole change of her life must have been so daunting but she braved through. I loved the girls’ ambition and them having this artistic side to them, Grace as a pianist and Eva as a dancer. The description of certain scenes involving these two things were so magical I couldn’t help but sign in contentment.

Another fantastic aspect in this novel is the involvement of minor characters. I considered Grace and Eva as the mains and everyone else sort of was the perfect bouquet of characters I’ve only read in a handful of other books. There is Grace’s best friend Luca, his family who host in Eva, and Grace’s mother as well as her Ex-boyfriend and his dad. It surprised me that I even began to like Jay (Julian) and that he didn’t need an intense redeeming arc for him to be seen as human. Sure he did something absolutely shitty but that didn’t stop him from being a complex character with good and bad sides. Luca and Grace had such a refreshing friendship devoid from any clichés concerning boy/girl friendships. They were handsy like siblings would be and they got pissed at each other in the same manner too, which really made me like them. Luca’s mom Emmy truly made me sob at a certain moment because she provided for Grace the only parental guidance that she needed so badly.

Over all, the characters are well-rounded and complex without any clichés. There is diversity of race and sexuality seeing as Eva is biracial (her mother was black and her father was white) and queer and Grace is bisexual. This book is also sex-positive and I liked how honest Grace was about how she was attracted to girls (and boys). It’s also cute how Grace is shorter than Eva… Sign me up with that height difference trope, yo!

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants something that would move them and make them smile.

paulina_books's review

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This book is always going to have a really special place in my heart, I identified in so many ways with it. I am just like Grace and Eva in a lot of ways and well this was just so beautiful and important 🌸💜 Ashley is now one of my new favorite authors I need more of her books!! I am just so happy with this... 😭😍

spiderkid's review against another edition

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I thought I had notes for my review, but turns out I don't. Oops. This book was AMAZING though. Like holy shit amazing. It was super queer and I shipped Grace and Eva so much. Everyone needs to read it. I loved the way the author developed the characters and tackled the issue of the mom's problematic behavior. The voice was super strong and the characters felt so real. 

leahkarge's review against another edition

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This book was wonderful, and I loved it to bits!

Full review can be read on Just Love Reviews!

emablackburnreads's review against another edition

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puntuación: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Este es un libro verdaderamente bello porque es completamente real. Muestra el dolor, la pérdida, los sentimientos y situaciones complicados y el amor de manera transparente, la autora nunca me falló en eso.
Los personajes son complejos, a veces hacen lo correcto, a veces lo más irritante pero les da personalidad y les da vida propia.
Trata muy bien temas como el duelo, a las madres ausentes (de distintas formas), la amistad, la aceptación de todos estoy problemas. Y como siempre con Ashley H. Blake, este libro tiene una muy buena representación queer de una relación wlw (chica bisexual y chica lesbiana).
Lo que me gusta tanto de los personajes y como son es su complejidad porque, es una situación compleja. Y es difícil hacer lo correcto cuando los sentimientos se encuentran en el medio, e incluso cuando me enojó MUCHO el comportamiento de varios personajes se que es perfecto así. Cómo ejemplo, el personaje de Eva. siempre se mostró muy comprensiva sobre la relación de Grace con su madre, y apoyo a Grace y le prometió hacer lo correcto, pero a su vez, ella acababa de perder a su madre y en cierto modo, también necesitaba a Maggie. Parece un personaje contradictorio, pero las personas son así todo el tiempo.
Ahora, sobre el final. Me pareció perfecto. Es un final feliz, pero no de un modo irreal. Si, la mayor parte de los problemas se resolvieron pero me parece lógico. Luca, Emmy, Macon, Janelle y Eva obviamente iban a acoger a Grace y llevarla a la audición, eso iba a pasar. Y también es lógico que Maggie haya ido a buscar ayuda porque lo único que necesitaba para buscarla era el empujón que le dio Grace. Necesitaba despertar y ganar la determinación para mejorar. Y tampoco es un final perfecto, porque la recuperación de Maggie va a ser compleja, y como dice Grave, va a haber altibajos en su relación con su madre pero el final del libro es el comienzo de ese viaje y me parece muy bien y muy realista.

Este libro es un verdadero 10/10 y no puedo esperar a leer los demás libros de la autora