Review of How to Make a Wish: F/F YA Contemporary

I'm so sorry this post is late! I hit save instead of publish --_--

How to Make a Wish

by Ashley Herring Blake
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 2nd 2017
Genre: Young Adult, GLBT, Contemporary
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All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants isher own life. A normal life in which she sleeps inthe same bed for longer than three months and doesn't have to scrounge for spare change tomake 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 tobe Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.

Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with herown 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. AsGrace's mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out howto love and howto move on.

Trigger Warning: Attempted Rape, Neglectful Alcoholic Parent, Drunk Driving,

I absolutely loved How to Make A Wish. It's  adorable and painful, awkward and real. I was in as soon as I read the f/f couple part, but really I love "issue" books like this. I love books where the families aren't all dead or perfect. Where bills and jobs weight as much as they do in real life. 

I grew up without a mother and an alcoholic father. I was working as a dishwasher real young to help out. Plus it gave me something to do while chilling at the bar all the time. Why are books that reflect my life, the lives of my friends, boiled down to "issue" books and disregarded as a ploy? My life is more than one event, and even if it is only the one thing, that one thing matters, okay? Statistics are real people. I just...fuck anyone who disdains for those of us. 

If it's a bad book, diss that part, not the reality.  

  • Hooked right away
  • Living with her asshole ex is an issue but it quickly becomes more of a back-burner one. Grace also realizes stuff about herself, Ex is still a douche but not a comic book villain. 
  • Being bisexual and being a lesbian for Grace and Eva have consequences and considerations, but it's not a "coming out" book. The main "problem" isn't that they're attracted to each other or in a relationship. The biggest gay hardship is making Maggie crawl out of a bottle long enough to remember Grace coming out. 
  • Realistic, authentic issues with an alcoholic parent. My father is/was an alcoholic and that push and pull of child-caretaker riding the edge is painful. 
  • Lesbian sex! And I don't mean that in a creepy way, but in the bout damn time way. It's the best kind: fumbling, awkward, and adorable. 
  • Love how Grace is bisexual, and describes her realizing it, how experience isn't necessary for your identity
  • Female masturbation is included, but again not creepy or voyeuristic. 
  • Eva is awesome. She colors adult coloring books for anxiety, rails against being called "exotic" and is trying to cope with losing her mom. 
  • Luca is a great best friend. And yes, they're actually only friends. He's funny and not a macho guy with toxic masculinity. 
  • There is some friction between Luca's girlfriend and Grace, as Grace has to face some unpleasant facts.However, it's not a full on war and they come to terms. 
  • Grace is awesome. She loves Cherry coke and is scared of water beasts like me :D
  •  and her pathology is on point. She's unwittingly in this cycle, continues playing her role, and is in denial in a real way. It takes hitting rock bottom, effort, and pain to halt the fucked up trajectory they're on. Her realization is so fucking familiar. Even when you're aware and fighting to be normal, things like this fuck you up in ways you don't see until it smacks you in the face.
  • Grace's mom Maggie is very familiar with the bar fly women I've known. It's depressing. 
  • The lifeguard crush reminds me of Sandlot, which is a good thing. 
  • Ending is perfect. 
  • The denial and trauma of dealing with the rape threats and the bars and the fear of unknown men that is all anxiety-inducingly real. I do wish there was more support and acknowledgement but given Grace's issues, it's understandable why she doesn't have the vocab for it. 

My entire life is one gigantic just. 

I just never know when a good day is going to turn to total crap. 

Ashley Herring Blake isa reader, writer, and mom to two boisterous boys. She holds a Master’s degree in teaching and loves coffee, arranging her books by color, and watching Buffy over and over again on Netflix with her friends. She's the author of the young adult novels SUFFER LOVE and HOW TOMAKE A WISH.

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