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How to Make a Wish

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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.

336 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 2, 2017

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About the author

Ashley Herring Blake

12 books4,041 followers
Ashley Herring Blake is a 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 cold weather. She is the author of the young adult novels Suffer Love, How to Make a Wish, and Girl Made of Stars (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), the middle grade novels Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World, The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James, and Hazel Bly and the Deep Blue Sea (Little, Brown), and the adult romance novels Delilah Green Doesn't Care and Astrid Parker Doesn't Fail (Berkley). Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World was a Stonewall Honor Book, as well as a Kirkus, School Library Journal, NYPL, and NPR Best Book of 2018. Her YA novel Girl Made of Stars was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @ashleyhblake and on the web at www.ashleyherringblake.com. She lives in Georgia.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 912 reviews
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.5k followers
January 18, 2018
“Why do you keep doing that?” she asks, her voice small and low.
“What . . . calling you Mom?”
She nods.
“Because that’s who I need you to be.”

How To Make A Wish is one of the most personal books I have read this year. Everything about this book depends on your emotional connection to this story - primarily, your ability to connect with narrative around having a useless parent.

And… I did.

Guys, I’m going to have a hard time reviewing this objectively: this book was almost overwhelmingly emotional for me. This is yet another book that drew me in so much that I basically had to let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding when I finally put the freaking book down. Y’all have got to stop complaining about that because I have started doing it constantly.

Bear with me for this next weird sentence: Grace’s mother is one of the most well-written shitty parents of all time. I feel like a lot of depictions of shitty parents in YA literature have to depict the abusive parent as the Shitstain Of The Earth and it feels so erasive of the fact that, well, most parents are in shades of grey. The implication seems to be that parents need to be totally gross 100% of the time to be True AbusersTM, which feels so toxic and gross and weird and I hate it.

But Grace’s mom? She is not that. She is a shitty parent who has humanity but whose humanity does not negate her horrible treatment of Grace. That is so important to me.

And Grace’s character arc is so freaking perfect. I honestly found myself connecting so, so much to her within her story of learning to trust and overcome some of the effects of her mother’s abuse. As the lovely Sana put it, this is a book about learning you’re not okay, and more importantly, that it’s okay to not be okay.
Quick Other Things Ya Girl Loved So Much

Grace and Ella are my kids. They are so cute and adorable and sweet and great!! And I love their pure relationship!! I love my children!! but also - there's angst between them that isn't drama.

♚ The diversity is awesome? okay, it's a romance between a traumatized bi lead who says the fucking word bi (ONE GODDAMN TIME) and a biracial lesbian and it was SO NICE bye I loved this

♔ the platonic!! relationship!! between a guy and a girl!! that never gets romantic!!

♚ I love all the characters so so much thank you for coming to my ted talk

ANYWAY. I don't have opinions, only screaming. I want you all to read this so much, because I adored it and I think you will too.

Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube
757 reviews2,346 followers
July 6, 2018
EDIT: it’s been a year and i’m still crying over this book. it doesn’t deserve anything less than five stars which is why i changed my writing from four to five stars.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: Parental neglect and verbal abuse

You guys, I finally found a contemporary that I didn't shred and roast to pieces! And I'm literally so happy right now. This book is a gem. It's so diverse and precious, my god, I can't stop hugging my copy of this book!! It's so beautiful and I have the biggest smile on my face and akshajsdhjd I'm so emotional right now. I fucking binged this in less than 2 hours. And god, I want to read it all over again.

This book is so much more than a light, fluffy summer read. In fact, it's nothing like that at all. This book *inhales book smell* is about a fucked up family relationship, love and finding the happiness you deserve in the world. It's about


The main character, Grace is bisexual. She tackles and takes those threesome jokes down so smoothly. She doesn't feel forced to "choose" a specific gender to be with. She doesn't "come out." She does what she wants to and doesn't need to explain or find acceptance about her sexuality from anyone. It is so natural, I needed this!! Grace is such a strong character, I loved this girl.

The love interest, Eva is a biracial lesbian. She recently lost her mother and is grieving. She's such a sweet, kind, caring and loving person. Ahhh, I literally wish I could hug these two characters, they are so fucking adorable..

Their romance is so !!! fucking !!!! ADORABLE !!!! I'm literally squealing.

“You and me,” I whisper, “we’re sandy spoons and fireworks, lighthouses and wishes and peanut butter.”

I loved the M/F friendship in this book. A friendship between a boy and girl that is NOT romanticized? This is so rare in YA books. Luca and Grace's friendship is so wonderful. They are so supportive, loving, caring towards each other and THEY LITERALLY JUST HAVE A STRONG FRIENDSHIP THAT IS NOT ROMANTICIZED.


This book is such an emotional story about a very tough, abusive and neglectful relationship between a mother and daughter. Maggie was a very gross parent who had no care for her daughter's well being. She would move Grace from place to place with new boyfriends and take a kid to bars to rescue the mom when she was being groped?? She always expected everything to be okay for Grace and never cared what happened to her. Maggie did whatever she wanted and expected Grace to be perfectly fine with it and I was just so mad at her. She would talk shit to Grace (i forgot what it was because i have bad memory) and I was so pissed at this freaking woman !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Spoiler ends

Overall, you guys don't know how bad I need y'all to read this. Please!!! go read this book, it's a gem.

Profile Image for Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd).
332 reviews7,309 followers
April 12, 2017
There are aspects of this book that read like your average summer contemporary book. Not average in terms of quality, but in the vibe and setting and style. This book is summery. There are lighthouses and boat rides on the 4th of July and nighttime parties on the beach. And, of course, we can't forget the love story. These familiar elements of the book really helped me to fall into the world and the story and honestly? Just made me want to fast forward to the summer time.

BUT let me talk about all the stuff in this book that is beyond the usual YA contemporary and how it did all of those things very right.

What intrigued me enough about this book that it was one of my most anticipated releases of the year? Well, a f/f romance for one. I'm obviously falling for those constantly. But more than that, the MC is bisexual (#ownvoices) and the love interest is a biracial lesbian. And them falling for each other was just so lovely?? They were snarky and doubtful and tender and I loved them. Grace, the MC, has a couple of really fantastic conversations about bisexuality and what it means to her that I thought were incredibly well done. And honestly, as a f/f romance, there was a lot to like. This hit all my ladies loving ladies notes, and that made my heart glow. Grace and Eva fit in a really fantastic way together and I loved their scenes where they could just flirt and tease and make me grin.

One of the central parts of this book is the relationship Grace has with her mother. That is, their not-so-great relationship in which Maggie is the one acting like a child and Grace is constantly forced to take responsibility. It is a really heartbreaking relationship to read. It is done in an honest and up-close way that makes it difficult to stomach at times, as you see this person constantly doing exactly what you, as a reader, know will hurt Grace the most. It's hard to read, but it is done incredibly well in terms of exploring an unhealthy parent-child relationship, and in terms of seeing how the child in these situations thinks. The way Grace rationalizes things at times is so frustrating, because you're on the outside as a reader, but also it allows you to see how she has been forced to reach this way of rationalizing.

There was some stuff here that was a bit tropey for me. Like, the love interest coming in through a window in the middle of the night. Or some of the little conversations that happen between Grace and her best friend, Luca. It only happened occasionally, and really only at the beginning rather than the end, but those moments would frustrate me. Obviously these aren't terrible, but they would pull me out of the story when they happened a bit.

This was a really lovely contemporary. It hit all the right notes with a romance. It did a lot right in talking about unhealthy parent-child relationships. The external support system Grace had was excellent and I really loved them all. They all felt like real characters that exist out there in the world. And even though we didn't see as much of it, I thought Eva's grief was shown and discussed perfectly. It also leads to her having a whole conversation with Grace about how the ballet world is incredibly white??? Excellent. More of that, please.

In fact, to summarize my feelings, I want more of all of this.
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,662 reviews5,144 followers
June 25, 2018
"I thought that was how every girl saw other girls - this mix between beauty and awe and curiosity, a thin layer of lust just underneath. Took until I was fourteen to realize that no, the way I thought about other girls was a little different."

Let me begin by saying that I am a total sucker for diverse reads, but especially those involving queer women. Being a member of the LGBTQ+ community who did not come to accept myself until far later in life than ideal, these coming-out stories resonate hard with me.

This book perfectly straddles the line between "tough topics" and "fluffy summer read". We get a taste of each, depending on who Grace is currently surrounded by, but it never leans overwhelmingly in either direction. Given that Eva's mother has recently passed, there is even a sense of underlying heaviness in many of the "fluffy" scenes.

All in all, I would call this a coming-of-age story more than anything: Grace must juggle coming to terms with her own sexuality, accepting her first relationship with another girl, and learning how to navigate the treacherous waters of her relationship with a neglectful and scatterbrained mother who ranges anywhere from merely problematic to downright abusive.

Grace's life has never been "normal", not since her dad died in Afghanistan during her toddler years. Her mother has never fully recovered from her grief, and so she drags Grace all over the small Cape town they live in, flitting from one place to the next (and one man to the next) as effortlessly as a butterfly. Few things are consistent in Grace's life: her best friend Luca, purple nail polish, and the inability to love anyone - including herself - with as much effort as she must expend just to keep her mother safe.

In comes Eva, family friend of Luca's mother; a beautiful, biracial dancer whose mother has just passed away, who eats peanut butter fresh from the jar, who lets people see her cry, and most of all, seems to seek something a little bit heavier than friendship with Grace. Can Grace look past the disaster of her home life long enough to allow anyone else in, or is she doomed to repeat the mistakes surrounding her?

Grace is a delightful narrator. She feels authentically teenaged, sassy and frustrated and moody, but she also has a weight to her soul that ages her tremendously and fits perfectly with the idea of any child forced to grow up too fast. She struggles constantly between wanting to demand that her mother be a mother, or wanting to protect her at all costs. I think anyone who grew up with problematic family members could relate really well to Grace's conflicts in this aspect.

EVA ➳➳
Eva is my favorite character in this book, by far. She is the perfect quintessential "quirky teen" who OWNS her race and her sexuality with pride. She offers a role of someone who has seen adversity and overcome it with a well of self-assuredness that I envy, even now. The moments discussing her recently deceased mother made my heart ache for her, but for the most part, she's a pretty constant source of entertainment.

The biggest reason why I fell so quickly in love with the story and the characters is the bi rep. My god, there were times that Grace was explaining her feelings and I swear, I was teleported back to my own teenaged brain, full of confusion and self-doubt and questions, and all I could think was, I wish I'd had this book ten years ago. Grace isn't quite 100% certain of herself, but she's accepted her sexuality enough to not be ashamed, and it was such a refreshing view point.

The quote I chose for the beginning of this review literally forced me to close the book and just breathe for a few minutes, because it rang so solidly true with me. I found myself thinking, on multiple occasions, that I wondered if Ashley Herring Blake herself is a queer woman, because she gets it (spoiler alert: I later found out she's a proud bi woman!). I just don't have enough good things to say about how authentic this representation felt, and I cannot wait for more of her writing, because queer gals NEED material like this.

I would recommend this all day, every day, to anyone who enjoys a good YA contemporary. If you're a queer woman looking for a character to see yourself in, read this. If you're straight as a ruler and don't understand bisexuality in the slightest, read this. If you're just a human being looking for a good way to spend an afternoon, read this.

Thank you so much to the folks at HMH Books for Young Readers for this gorgeous ARC! All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
Profile Image for may ➹.
481 reviews1,957 followers
June 29, 2018
me with the books I read for Pride: I probably won’t cry over them
me: [cries over them*]

me, with this book: I probably will cry over it
me: [does not cry over it]

I’m confused but I also don’t care because this was beautiful and gay and everything I expected from Ashley Herring Blake. it didn’t hit me as much as I thought it would, most likely because I have luckily never experienced what Grace had to and I know this book was written for the people who had, but I’m so glad this book exists

*this is a slight exaggeration I only cried over four and teared up over two
Profile Image for Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen).
423 reviews1,628 followers
June 25, 2017
4.5 Stars


“If you really want something, the stars won’t help you. You have to reach out and take it.

I just inhaled this in a few hours and I’m so impressed.

I came here for the bi rep and was captivated by this mother/daughter story. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much. Both the cover and the synopsis scream typical summer contemporary.

And in some ways it was… but it also was so much more?

Focusing on Grace’s summer on the Atlantic coast, this story covers her relationship with her immature mother, her friends and the new girl, Eva. Especially when her mother moves them in with her ex-boyfriend’s family.

I received an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to HMH Books for the opportunity!


The main character is a bisexual girl, and it’s not sexualized. She shuts down threesome jokes and takes her relationships seriously. It’s honestly so rare to see bisexual representation, especially one done this well. Grace doesn’t feel compelled to ‘choose’ or have some crisis of sexuality, she’s secure in her identity and it’s great.


Not to say there’s no sex, because there is. One scene in particular sets this firmly on the more ‘mature’ side of YA. But it was one of the healthiest depictions of a sex I’ve read about. Consent is ongoing. Both characters continually communicate with their partner.

The love interest is a biracial lesbian who isn’t wholly defined by either of these traits. She was a free-spirit who’d suffered a great loss and I loved her character and the representation.

While there is a romance (and I really loved the romance) I would argue this story predominantly focused on the relationship between Grace and her mom. And I found it to be extremely well-written.

Grace’s mother is not a cartoon villain. She’s not vindictive. She doesn’t call her daughter names and swing her fists. She honestly loves her daughter. But she is abusive. There was such a strong undercurrent about discovering agency and the ability to stand-up for yourself, even with loved ones.

FRIENDSHIP. YES. F/M friendship without a forced romance!
Luca is Grace’s best friend, and doesn't exist just to motivate her. Their friendship was treated seriously and I loved their banter

Something about this was just incredibly captivating to me. I don’t know if it was the writing, the characters, or the story itself—but I was completely sucked in. I read this in one sitting, completely immersed and sad when it was over.


Grace’s mother begins dating Grace’s ex-boyfriend’s father. Which is crazy and totally should have impacted the plot more than it actually did.

Instead of being treated as real character, Julian instead is set up your stereotypical douchebag ex-boyfriend. He has rare moments of humanity, but his character was never as developed as others.

In Conclusion:

There are several elements of this that still match your typical summer contemporary—the beachy location, summer setting and hazy romance. But there’s also a really important and complex discussion of family and friendship here.
Profile Image for Lucy Tonks.
488 reviews717 followers
September 22, 2021
I haven't been this mad at a book in quite a bit. I recently read another book by this author, Girl Made of Stars, which I really liked and I rated it 4 stars so I was expecting to actually like this. But in the end I was disappointed. A lot of people seem to love this book. I have seen so many
great reviews and that makes this book even more disappointing.

Seventeen year old Grace Glasser just wants a normal life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for more than once and doesn't have to be the one giving the money she earns to pay bills. But Grace is trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie. She tries to focuse on her best friend and upcoming audition in New York instead of the problems her mother causes for her. Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva. Grief stricken, Eva pulls Grace on midnight advantures and their worlds open up. But because of their losses, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie, something that won't end up being good for either Grace or Eva.

This book started out very strong. I was reading to give it 4 stars, but as I read more, it started getting worse and worse. Everything that I liked in the beggining wasn't really there in the end or the author has somehow managed to ruin it.

I have a very important question for this book:

Where the hell was child protection?

So many people knew the state Maggie was in and the life that Grace had, yet no one, not even her best friend's mother who was this responsable adult and that didn't really seem like the kind of person to let this situation get so bad, called child protection. One simple call and Grace wouldn't have been in this situation.

I really did not like any of the characters and when I don't like them it's very hard for me to actually enjoy a book. Grace wasn't a very interesting character to follow. Her only character trait was that she had mommy issues. Nothing else. Nothing to make her interesting or stand out. No personality whatsoever. Eva recently lost her mother before the start of the book and I appreciated the way it showed her dealing with her grief, but I also think that it could have been done better. I don't think we were shown enough of Eva either. When I think of book characters or characters in general, I like to come up with some personality traits that I noticed tehy had, but with these characters I cannot even come up with one trait for each character.

I really liked the friendship between Grace and Luca in the beginning. This was something that in my opinion the author has managed to ruin in the end. Everything was going so well between them until Eva and Maggie came along. It was like the world was revolving around them and Grace and Luca haven't been best friends for years. I just wanted to see a nice friendship between them but I guess I didn't get my wish.

I didn't care about the romance. Eva and Grace had no chemestry at all. They randomly meet on a beach and then Eva just shows up in the middle of the night at Grace's window. What the hell? What kind of person does that? Also they instantly become friends? Has the other ever been a teenager? Well let me tell you that these kind of friendships where they trust actually eachother don't build up overnight. And the worst of all, like two or three weeks after they meet they are in love *unimpressed*

The ending piseed me off the most. I could have done without it honestly. Maybe some people will find it nice and sweet, but not me. Maggie was such a bad mother and a necklace shouldn't be what makes Grace go back to her.

I regret reading this book, but honestly after Girl Made of Stars I was expecting to like this just as much. In the end it was not meant to be.

Happy Pride Month! In honor of Pride Month, I plan to only read books that have LGBTQ+ representation this month. I always try to read more books with queer representation so this month I will be trying to find new favourites and underrated reads.

1. Girl Made of Stars: 4 ★
2. They Both Die At The End: 2 ★
3. Darius the Great is not Okay: 3 ★
4. Every Heart a Doorway: 5 ★
5. How To Make a Wish: 1 ★
6. Felix Ever After: 5★
7. The Song of Achilles: 3 ★
8. Clap When You Land: 4 ★
9. Last Night at The Telegraph Club: 4 ★
10. The Falling in Love Montage: 2 ★
Profile Image for Romie.
1,075 reviews1,271 followers
June 25, 2017
Can someone hand me some tissues? Because wow this book wrecked me.
I've read this book in 19 hours - and during these 19 hours I slept 7 hours, cooked lunch/dinner/breakfast in this order and ate. Basically I've read this book pretty quickly because I just couldn't put it down. It was nearly impossible to say ‘Now is time to stop.’

Everything about this book felt so real it was like someone was driving a knife through my chest. Both Eva and Grace were me, I connected with them. They made me cry, laugh, and then cry some more because I could.

Grace's mom is abusive af without even trying to be. She is the absolute worst. Honestly, having Grace telling herself again and again that things were okay was breaking my heart, because no they weren't.

And things aren’t that bad. They’re not that bad.

That’s the thing. You keep making excuses for your parents because even though you know they don’t deserve it, you love them. You want to keep them safe, make them proud, so you keep trying to excuse their shitty behaviour. Again and again, until you don’t know anymore if what you’re saying is the truth or something you created to keep you sane. It’s hard to let go, because they’re your parents, and you keep hoping they’ll change and love you back.
Grace kept thinking her mom would change for her, and maybe in the end she did, maybe, but even if Maggie miraculously changes, it will never erased what she forced Grace to endure for 15 years. Never.
The truth is, Maggie doesn't want a daughter, she wants someone to take care of her and take away all her problems. But it doesn't work like that. A daughter should never have to beg her parents for some love and attention. Never.

“You’re just . . .”
I lean against his shoulder. He leans back.
“I’m just what?” I ask.
He sighs. “You’re just a kid who’s had to be a grownup way too many times.”

Grace is just so pure. She's bisexual and the way she describes what it meant to her to identify as bisexual made my heart happy, and I was like ‘Honestly same, Grace, same.’ It's hard to find this one character you perfectly see yourself in, but Grace is my character. She deserves the entire world and more. I loved how her best friend Luca was like ‘You're a little baby bisexual’ he didn't make things awkward for her, he just accepted her for who she is, and truly bless him! Bless this sunshine.

For a long time, when I was a little younger, I thought that was how every girl saw other girls - this mix between beauty and awe and curiosity, a thin layer of lust just underneath. Took until I was fourteen to realize that no, the way I though about other girls was a little different.

Then we have my precious biracial gay baby Eva. Tbh I love Eva, and I want her to be the mother of my babies. Simple as that.
She just lost her mom, the one person she knew she could always count on, and she thrown into this family who wants what's best for her but they don't know how to let her breathe.
Sure I was pissed off when she spent so much time with Maggie, but I don't know if I was angry at her or Grace for not telling her how fucked up her mother is. I know Eva needed someone to talk to, some who could understand her loss, but honey, this person ain't Maggie. Maggie lost her husband and became the shittiest mom you could ever find on this planet. You, you lost a pure angel, and trust me, you don't want to become like Maggie.

I mean, I’ve had crushes on a few girls, but they were all straight. Let me tell you how fun that was.”
I feel you, Eva, the struggle is real.

Tbh I loved the relationship between Eva and Grace. It was just . . . easy. Effortlessly. Natural. You take one look at them, and you know they belong together. They deserve each other : someone who loves you unconditionally but is not afraid to tell you the harsh truth when you messed up.
The thing is, they made sense. There was never a moment I felt like they were weird together. Not one. Even the sex scene wasn't awkward - because yes there is one + masturbation scene, give me a hourrah - like you knew they felt safe with each other, and understood.

“You and me,” I whisper, “we’re sandy spoons and fireworks, lighthouses and wishes and peanut butter.”

Trigger warning : Grace’s private messages - okay sext messages - with her ex boyfriend were posted on Tumblr by him when she broke up with him. Grace’s was then treated differently by everybody else, they made suggestive comments, but of course nothing happened to Jay - the ex boyfriend.
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
916 reviews13.9k followers
June 16, 2021
4.5 stars

damn, this book made me miss being a teenager.

i didn't anticipate i would read and finish this all in one night, but i just could not put it down. it contains smart, palpable characters. the relationships, both between friends, lovers, and family, were so well written. the vibes of this book in general had the perfect summery, beachy setting. it balanced the serious themes gorgeously with light and airy moments, and now i just really want to eat peanut butter from a spoon on top of a lighthouse.

i literally can't wait to read everything else from ashley herring blake
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,052 reviews49.2k followers
October 23, 2018
break my fucking neck

now that i have your attention, this book was good. fun back story time: i have way too many books but i was craving something new so i finally got a library card and grabbed 5 books that i knew little about and went home and immediately started this one.

i knew that this had a f/f relationship but pretty much nothing else. and it took me by surprise. it's about a girl named grace with an irresponsible & alcoholic mother who is just trying to get through her senior year. a new girl comes to town, they fall in love, bad shit happens.

i genuinely enjoyed how this was written. it was musical and lyrical without being too purple. the emotions that blake describes are ones that i've actually experienced.. especially in relation to romantic feelings. too often, i feel like authors try and make things pretty and in doing so they make a character's emotions and physical feelings way too difficult to connect with. not this one.

i also appreciated the way that side characters came into place. it felt very slice of life. no one was there to provide big life lessons or help grace figure her shit out, she had to do that on her own.

the only thing i didn't like about this book was how grace handled her mother. i have never been in a situation where my parent is codependent on me and also emotionally manipulative. so i can't say that i think grace made stupid decisions. but it was really painful to watch grace put up with so much bullshit, especially near the end of the book when she had a support system, outside of just her mom, to turn to

overall, this book was sincerely beautiful. i think this is the first FF i've read in at LEAST 2 years and i'm so glad this one was the first book i picked up from my stack. give it a try, it's a nice quiet read and even though it's set in the summer it's perfect for fall.
Profile Image for Monica.
Author 4 books268 followers
July 11, 2018
Las frases de la contraportada me atraparon y al leer la sinopsis completa no estuve segura de que fuera a gustarme, y la verdad es que no estaba equivocada.
La historia es buena y estaba muy bien narrada, es solo que el tema no es mucho de mi gusto pero tengo que admitir que los personajes están muy bien elaborados y tienen muchos matices al igual que la trama, que toca puntos densos y situaciones complicadas que te logran sacar más de una emoción al meternos en la piel de quien narra la historia.
La vida aveces es dura y sin sentido y tenemos que valernos de nuestros propios medios para ir comprendiendo lo que ha sido de nosotros y lo que será, aunque nos cueste encarar lo que este por venir.
Profile Image for ;3.
395 reviews815 followers
December 30, 2019
u know when a character resonates with u so much and u weren’t expecting it and it’s overwhelming and u just burst into tears? yeah.
Profile Image for Andrea.
334 reviews101 followers
December 28, 2018
How to Make a Wish is about two girls. Grace is dealing with her upcoming audition to a music school in New York and the fact that she now lives with her ex-boyfriend. And then there’s Eva, a girl who is struggling with her grief over losing her mom.

I am so glad this book exists. F/f romance is so rare in YA, and to have a book that portrays it so beautifully is such a gift. Also it was extremely refreshing to read an LGBT+ YA book that doesn’t deal with “coming-out.” There was never any worry of anyone finding out about their relationship or if they wouldn’t be accepted by their friends and loved ones. (Honestly though this is so much more than a romance story.) And there’s also a biracial love interest, so..!!!!!

I loved everything about this book, the characters, the setting, the story. All the characters were so three-dimensional, the MC’s and the supporting ones. This is an extremely character-driven novel, each one complex and well-rounded. So don’t really expect a lot to happen plot wise, as it’s the relationships between all the characters that makes this book so amazing. Not only Grace and Eva (though they were too cute), but also Grace and Luca, Grace and her mom, and much more.

This book captured my attention from the first chapter. Grace’s story with her mom felt so real. Her anger, sadness, and feelings of helplessness, the way she described how she realized she was bisexual, felt so authentic, honestly it hit a little too close to home. It’s actually kind of creepy how much I related to this. And I know there will be a lot of people out there who will be able to relate to Eva as well.

I feel like this review is kind of a mess. The only thing that matters is: read this!!!! It’s skillfully written, raw, and amazing.

**Thank you very much to Netgalley for sending me an e-ARC.**
Profile Image for prag ♻.
588 reviews587 followers
April 27, 2017
No one really expects a wish to come true.
Do they?
I may or may not be in love with this book and it's characters. (read: Luca) (WHERE’S MY LUCA MICHAELSON??)

Not the encompassing love I have for Becky Albertalli or Victoria Schwab, sure. But it comes pretty damn close.

It’s not a very good or original story, per se: but I wanted a cute contemporary. And I got more than that. I got a cute contemporary that I finished in one sitting. I got a cute contemporary that made me feel, that made me think.

The romance: It gave me butterflies in my belly and a smile on my face. Yes, it’s that cute.
“You and me,” I whisper, “we’re sandy spoons and fireworks, lighthouses and wishes and peanut butter.”
The relationships and character development: Although this is more or less advertised as a romance, the protagonist’s relationship with her mother is a huge part of the book. I won’t say much about this because it goes into the direction of WAY TOO SPOILERY take it from me, it has some of the best character development I’ve ever read.

LUCA MICHAELSON: I’m sorry, did I mention I love him? Honestly, #bestfriendgoals

● It’s honestly so good you need to read it

● I don't have much to say about it?? but it's an important book and you should check it out when it releases

I was provided an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for emma.
152 reviews569 followers
April 20, 2018
For a long time, when I was a little younger, I thought that was how every girl saw other girls— this mix between beauty and awe and curiosity, a thin layer of lust just underneath. Took until I was fourteen to realize that no, the way I thought about other girls was a little different.

I know this is usually recommended as an f/f romance, but I want emphasize that How to Make a Wish is primarily centered around the main character, Grace, and her relationship with her mother, Maggie. Over the course of a summer in their coastal New England town, Grace is finally beginning to confront how unhealthy their family dynamic is, and Blake does such a stunning and heartbreaking job of portraying that complex situation. When you really love someone, when you’ve grown up with them and spent your whole life loving them, it’s incredibly hard to reconcile that attachment with the knowledge that they’ve hurt you. That if you keep telling people you’re fine, they will continue to hurt you. At its core, this book is about coming to terms with having an abusive and neglectful parent, and understanding that you deserve better.

On a lighter note, this book also has one of the SOFTEST f/f romances I've ever read. Also, I still can’t believe Grace realized she was bi because of that one summer when she had a crush on a hot female lifeguard because……I had almost exactly the same experience. (I have a very vivid memory of all of my friends complaining about the lack of male lifeguards and how sad it was that there were no cuties to check out while we were swimming..……meanwhile young “straight” me was daydreaming about pretending to drown so that this one pretty girl could save me??)

In addition to the romance, I really loved the friendship between Grace and Luca! Strong platonic m/f relationships that never become romantic in any way are the content I stay hydrated for!!!

Diverse rep: bisexual MC, f/f, black biracial lesbian love interest
CW: parental neglect/abuse, alcoholism, sex, car accident

This review was also posted on my blog.


I can't believe it's taken me so long to read this but !! I'm excited!!!

br with Mina and Elke 💕
Profile Image for Maggie ☘.
534 reviews654 followers
August 13, 2017
*3.8/5 stars*

“Why do you keep doing that?” she asks, her voice small and low.
“What . . . calling you Mom?”
She nods.
“Because that’s who I need you to be.”

This was such an amazing and important book! It's also my first book featuring bisexual main heroine with f/f ship that is not just on the sidelines of the book. We need more f/f romances in books, honestly. Am I the only one who noticed most famous books (both fantasy and contemporary) feature more m/m ships? I love them, don't get me wrong (hello, The Raven Boys and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda..) but we need more of f ships as well.



This book is wonderfully diverse, yet it's also about so much more than the romance - the family dynamics are the most prominent theme in this book. The diversity is simply there and it feels very realistic, it's not one dimensional or there just for the sake of diversity, it's there so readers can connect with Grace and what she goes through. God knows YA genre needs more romances like this one!

“My mind slows and retreats to three years ago and Natalie Fitzgerald, the sixteen-year-old lifeguard at the cape’s community pool. All the boys fawned over her, brought her sodas, and offered to slather her back with SPF 40. Girls got to the pool early so they could see her arrive and catch a glimpse of what en vogue outfit she had on over her red one-piece.
Me? I was somewhere in between. Always had been with girls. For a long time, when I was a little younger, I thought that was how every girl saw other girls—​this mix between beauty and awe and curiosity, a thin layer of lust just underneath. Took until I was fourteen to realize that no, the way I thought about other girls was a little different.”

I absolutely loved Grace and Eva. Both of them were a wonderfully crafted and complex characters with their own pasts, ghosts and hardships. And together they made such a dynamic duo!
This book explores sexuality, the theme of grief, loss and abandonment. Teenage daughter being the parent for her mother instead of the other way around. Being the one responsible from young age. Yet despite all her faults, Grace's mother is not portrayed as some one dimensional villain of the story. Yes, she is emotionally abusive, without even realizing it, but she does love her daughter, though not in a healthy way.

Family plays very large part in this book. Both Grace's mother, with her constant moving from one place to another, from one man to another. Grace's best friend's loving, responsible mother who is more of a parental figure to the heroine than her own. And also Eva's recent loss of her mother. The relationship between Grace and Maggie, her mother, was also done in such a painful and complex way. Both Grace's immense love and hate of the way her mother approached everything, her need to take care of Maggie and the need for someone to take care of her, was so palpable.

“I don’t understand.”
My lower lip jumps all over the place and my throat aches. Never has anything my mother has said been more on point than those three little words. They hit like a punch in the gut, real and raw and oxygen-sucking.

This is not just some happy rainbow-and-unicorns summer book (like it may seem from the cover). This book has some serious themes and is not just a simple fluffy read. I seriously loved all the relationsips here - well, except for the one betwen Grace and her mother. I loved how realistic and complex it felt but it was not exactly the most lovable relationship - and the book as a whole, even though it tried to rip my heart out just a little.

“Luca never made me feel weird about it. Never questioned when I dated guys. Never cocked a suspicious brow when I looked a little too long at some pretty girl. He let me be. And I knew the word fit me. It felt right. Not as a label, really, but more as a way to simply understand myself.”
Profile Image for Dahlia.
Author 19 books2,404 followers
April 30, 2017
I blurbed this book. I love this book. I hope every girl, every person who needs this book finds this book. If you have any - any - interest in f/f YA and/or bi YA at all, this should be the very top of your to-read list.

"A beautiful story about love's paradoxical ability to be the most difficult yet most effortless thing in the world. Ashley Herring Blake breaks your heart for these girls and then stitches it back together with starlit magic."
—Dahlia Adler, author of Under the Lights and Just Visiting
Profile Image for lov2laf.
714 reviews1,045 followers
September 13, 2020
“How to Make a Wish” is a reminder to myself that young adult fiction is sometimes so much better than books written for adults.

The character depths, interactions, and rich, tightly written storylines. ::Chef’s kiss:: This author knows what she’s doing.

From the very first paragraphs, I was hooked.

“SHE WAITS UNTIL WE’RE DRIVING OVER THE BRIDGE TO TELL ME. This is a strategic move. Wait until your temperamental daughter is suspended over the Atlantic Ocean to drop the bomb, thereby decreasing the chance that she’ll fling open the car door and hurl herself over the edge. My mother is many things. Beautiful. Annoyingly affectionate after a few drinks and mean as a starving snake after several. Quick-witted and hilarious when her latest boyfriend isn’t turning her into some sycophantic sorority girl. But a fool? No. My mother is no fool.”

Now that’s how you open a book. So much is said in just a few sentences and I buckled up.

“How to Make a Wish” is about Grace, a seventeen year old girl, living on a small island off of Maine, grappling with her dysfunctional mother, their codependent relationship, and her growing romantic feelings for a new resident on the island, Eva. Refreshingly, the falling in love with a girl part is the straight forward storyline offering lightness, depth, and nuance. As for the mother, I had to wonder what the author’s background was in psychology or personal relationships because she nailed the complexity of having that type of mother and relationship dynamic in one’s life, especially viewed from a teenager.

The book is brilliant. It builds upon itself chapter by chapter in such a way that I didn’t want to put the book down and would look up to realize that hours had passed. I nearly read it all in one sitting.

For any kids out there looking for a bisexual lead or a wonderful romance between girls, this is stellar. For any adults pondering if they should bother, absolutely do. Even though I’m in my forties, sometimes reading a young adult book that I never would’ve imagined existing when I was a kid, is all that much sweeter and a gift of sorts.

In short, I loved it. 5 stars.
Profile Image for Mia Rose.
239 reviews91 followers
March 8, 2023
Asking me to collect all feelings for this masterpiece and write a review is like asking a Musicophile to explain the charm of listening to the same music over and over. It is personal, it is sacred, it is home and it understands you like no one else - that's what this book was for me. I definitely cried while reading this book, it's ink and paper and the magic Ashley Herring Blake pulled.

“Teen me needed this book, even though she didn’t know it at the time. Adult me? I still need this book for a lot of different reasons.”

It's a direct quote from author's Acknowledgements, and I TOTALLY get it. It was a long warm hug, the kind Emmy gives, wrapped in a book and I am immensely happy to have read it. I needed this book in past, I needed this book now, and I am so grateful to the author that I can't put it into words just how much this book meant to me on a personal level.

Okay, aside from my HUGE thanks to Ashley, let's get in on all my thoughts!

For Dahlia, Ami, Tehlor, Sara, Jenn, and Tristina, who helped me see myself a little clearer

I knew I was going to love it from page one; Dedication.

This story is about Grace, who's not have had a "normal" experience growing up. After the death of her father, when she was really young, her mother couldn't cope well and became slightly unhinged. She never recovered from the trauma and grief of her husband passing away and took up alcohol and partying as her coping mechanism. Grace has always had to act like the adult, more understanding, more responsible, more hard-working, more more more than a normal kid of her age and her own mother. It's a toxic abusive relationship but with so much more complexity than "my mom is horrible".

“She loves that word. Just. Everything is just. It’s just one drink, Grace. A birthday is just a day, Grace. It’s just sex, Grace. My entire life is one gigantic just.”

“But Mom needed me. How could I say no? How could I leave her?”

Other than that, Grace's life consists of Luca, her best friend and piano.

And then Eva enters the picture. She's the girl new in town. She has recently lost her mother and is taken under guardianship by the Michaelsons, Luca's family. She meets Grace and you know what happens?

“Every night our bodies wrap each other up, secrets are whispered, breath is shared— it’s like the world’s longest make-out session without ever actually kissing.”

You guessed it right, ROMANCE OF THE SANCTUARY!


Now, the romance isn't the main plot of the book, but it's a major bi-plot and I want to take a minute and talk about how beautifully Ashley has written about YA LGBTQ characters. It's so natural and healthy, it almost blew my mind.

“I guessed I was queer for a long time before I really let myself just . . . be queer.”

And then there's this beautiful boy-girl friendship without any romaticization which had me crying happy tears! They were wholesome, believable best friends who cared about each other, loved each other and were so supportive of each other's dreams.

“Luca would commit legit murder for you and you’d do the same for him.”

“You get hurt every single day. And usually I don’t say anything because I know that’s not what you want, but that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking it.”

Down to the central theme of the book, the mother-daughter relationship which is effed up. I as a reader, felt every single emotion of being pulled this way and that, always somewhere in between that she's her mother and she can't just leave her alone is distress, because she knows her mother can't survive alone, and that she needs to understand just how toxic their relationship is and she's only gonna get hurt if she continues to stay and pack her bags everytime her mother gets kicked out of another boyfriend's house. It was a mess and a mess written so well that it emotionally shattered me.

Each bubble eventually burst.
Each firework fizzled out.
Each lens got stripped away, and each girl saw the world like it was, all nakedness and reality and live action.
Where love gets all mixed up with duty and scared and lonely and no way out.

Lastly, the hopeful bitter-sweet charchter arc. With the kind of growing up Grace had, it had a huge impact on her. The realisation that she deserves better and so does her mother and the people who want to help them is honestly healing to me.

From this,
It’s easier like this.
No one to love.
No one to lose.

To this,
I’m not going to push people away because deep down I’m incapable of caring about them. And I’m not going to push them away because I do care about them. I’m going to love— love boldly and carefully.
Starting with myself.

It is one of the personal books I have in my collection. Ashley Herring Blake pulled out a big chunk of my heart and the emotions I am familiar with all too well and put them on the pages of this book. I am not complaining. Everything about it, from the writing, to plot (and sub plots), to themes, to characters (and side charchters) and just the honesty - I love it all. Years from now, I would be reading this book, reliving some of the hardest times of my life and feeling naked and seen.

Honorable mentions to all the side charchters I loved, Emmy (One of my favorite fictional mothers ever), Jay (the "he-deserves-better" jock who sometimes does jerky stuff), Patrick (we got rarely any scenes with him but I find him adorable), Pete (he exceeded my expectations), and lastly, Mrs. Latham (and her nasty gnomes!).

5 stars. ❤️ Heart.

P.s. Ashely Herring Blake is officially one of my all time favourite authors and I am gonna read every single thing she has written and will write in future. For more thoughts, check my Blog Post
Profile Image for ambsreads.
656 reviews1,395 followers
July 7, 2017
TRIGGER WARNINGS: parental neglect & alcoholism.

Another book shooting straight to my favourites?

You bet.

I'm crying. My heart has been ripped out my chest and stomped on. I can't believe just how incredible this novel is.

I'm not sure I can ever write a full review to this. So many scenes I can't speak about and I, overall, can't speak about how much you need to read this book. Just wow.
Profile Image for Fadwa (Word Wonders).
547 reviews3,542 followers
January 2, 2019
Full review originally posted on my blog: Word Wonders

I received a copy of this book from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review

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. 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.
Profile Image for enqi ༄ؘ 。˚ ⋆♡.
319 reviews622 followers
September 17, 2019
it's the dreaded "what do i say for a 3 star review" time again 😭 i feel like i'm the only person who didn't enjoy this book. all my gr friends kept talking about it, giving it stellar 5-star ratings and raving reviews, and you know i don't really read books when they're in the hype because it might influence my thoughts. but after reading this one i really, really thought it was mediocre at best and i don't see what the hype around it is all about :-/

to clarify: i didn't think it was terrible. then again, i didn't think it was spectacular. the characters felt so flat to me (with the exception of Grace because we were in her head all the time) and i didn't see the point of characters like Kimber, Macon or Janelle, for example. i think i can immediately classify the characters into ones i cared about (Luca, Grace, maybe Jay) and ones i could give a damn about (everyone else). occasionally it felt like the whole book dragged. a lot, and to the extent it was boring.

let's just cut to the quick and talk about the rep: i saw so many reviews praising the representation in this book. yes i 100% agree that it's amazing and accurate. i'm not bisexual like Grace chooses to label herself -- i'm pansexual, and my queer experience will definitely be different from the author's. but reading the sentiments in the book about liking girls, having crushes on them, not really choosing to label it for a while, not sure whether to make a move since they could be straight -- i related to that a LOT. and i really admire the author for capturing that and putting it into words so well for many readers out there, including myself. however, the relationship between Grace and Eva progressed too fast or wasn't well developed enough in my opinion. i just couldn't find myself rooting for it and i could have cared less where they ended up.

and Grace's relationship with her mom? i think my biggest issue was i really couldn't emotionally connect to it. i've never had abusive parents, emotionally or otherwise. i'm sure other friends might have had personal experiences that were depicted spectacularly in the book, but i just didn't feel any emotion whatsoever throughout when i was reading. i don't know if i'm in the right headspace at the moment with finals and all, but Grace and her mom's weird push-pull dynamic didn't make me feel whatever i was supposed to feel. i will say that i really, really admire Grace though, and i can see her responsibility and maturity. it practically shines and i'm a sucker for mature responsible characters oof

i would've given this book 2 stars but i'm adding a star because it's great representation and god knows we need more of that in YA. also because i love girls and girls loving girls. you see? i am extremely biased.
Profile Image for Ava.
264 reviews315 followers
July 26, 2017
Everyone must read this book. The bi rep is the most beautiful thing I've ever read, and the story as a whole is wonderful.

Do you like:

- complicated mother/daughter relationships
- gorgeous writing
- stories about family, friendship, and romance
- fantastic bi rep
- excellently written characters
- the! best! romance! ever!
- on-page f/f sex

If you like any of the above things, read How To Make A Wish. PLEASE.
Profile Image for Kristy.
1,027 reviews143 followers
January 15, 2019
Grace has had to grow up too quickly, thanks to her unpredictable mom, Maggie. So when Grace returns from piano camp and realizes that the flighty, alcoholic Maggie has forced her to move in with yet another of her boyfriends, it feels like the last straw. Even worse, his son happens to be Grace's ex--the same ex who posted their sexts all over Tumblr after their breakup--and Maggie has no clue. It feels like the last straw. But then Grace meets Eva, who has moved in with Grace's best friend's family after her own tragedy. Eva and Grace form a fast friendship, and Grace feels her world shift slightly when Eva reveals to her that she's a lesbian. But there's still Maggie to deal with, and her erratic behavior. Grace feels tied to her mother above all, but those ties are preventing her from happiness. Can Grace find the strength to choose herself for once?

Ashley Herring Blake's HOW TO MAKE A WISH was one of the best books I read in 2018. It was gorgeous and heartbreaking and amazing. This book certainly had some echoes of that one; Blake is a wonderful writer, and I will be continuing my quest to track down all of her books.

So Grace is a tough character. I felt for her immensely: she's living the life of adult, basically, trying to care for and worry about her mother, who is a real piece of work. By doing so, she's essentially paralyzed and unable to live her own life. Grace is a talented pianist who dreams of moving to New York to study at a conservatory there, but she lives in fear of living her mom behind. Her mom manipulates this fear, leaning on her daughter at every turn. (She was really a terrible woman; I couldn't make myself feel sorry for her, even though she'd lost her husband when Grace was small.) Still, there were times when I wanted to shake Grace: you have a group of people who do love you and care about you! Go to them, use their support, stop defending your mom, you're not a child anymore! I took this as a sign of Blake's excellent writing abilities, as I was totally immersed in the book to the point that I was frustrated with and in love with her characters.

"I can't leave her. She's my mom; I'm her kid. We belong together."

I really, really loved the Grace/Eva relationship in this book. I mean, what is there not to love? For one thing, Eva is a biracial lesbian. Can we say hurray representation?! I adored this sweet, fragile, yet incredibly tough girl. She was so funny and real to me. And then we have Grace, who was such a realistic bisexual. It's just so heartening to see well-done bisexual relationships portrayed in YA books. Oh my goodness, I wish I had this to read when I was struggling with my bisexuality as a teen. And it makes me so happy to think about teens today reading this and seeing this representation as completely normal.

"But... well, I like who I like. I like the person."

This book definitely sucks you into the characters' lives. It's quite well-written, and I really liked the supporting characters, especially Grace's best friend, Luca and his mom. He's a good friend. These poor kids are dealing with a lot, and your heart goes out to them, watching them struggle. At the same time, Grace and Eva's relationship is so lovely.

"I know a lot of people on this godforsaken waste of space and a lot of people know me. But no one really knows me... I've had a handful of friends here and there, but with the ebb and flow of my existence, it was easier to keep my world as small as possible. Less explaining. Less lying to cover up why I'd moved again. Less worrying about what totally messed-up situation I'd encounter when I brought a friend home."

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It features intricate characters and a great relationship in Eva and Grace. It's sweet, funny, and heartbreaking at times. 4 stars.

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July 4, 2018
"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."

How to Make a Wish surprised me. It surprised me by its simplicity among all the difficulties, by its fluffiness among its harshness. I was expecting an easy summer read, but as life isn’t easy, this book wasn’t either. This book is the story of two girls falling while both living the worst time of their lives and somehow they manage to get better because they met. Grace’s mother keeps being her abusive self, dragging Grace from guy to guy; from shitty to shittier home depending whom she is dating. Her latest whim? She settled with the father of Grace’s ex-boyfriend who humiliated her when they broke up. Eva just lost her mother making her an orphan; she just moved in Grace’s town and desperately need someone that would be there for her. Even though the romantical relationship is taking a big part in this book, the friendship and the mother-daughter relationship are as much important.

Grace is a solid main character. She is so complex and I totally relate to many of her facets. She is strong and tries her best to fight against life miseries but she is also soft and forgiving toward her mother even though she doesn’t deserve it. Indeed, Grace’s mother is one of the most well-written shitty parents of all time. Yes she is no Mother Gothel, but by her abusive behaviour and by putting herself and her needs before her daughter’s she is dragging Grace in a non-healthy life, forcing her to grow up too soon. And Grace keeps making excuses for her mother, because it’s her way to protect herself as a child. She puts her on a pedestal, keeps forgiving and hoping that it’ll get better, but it never does. Grace wants inherently to help her mother but she doesn’t know how
“Why do you keep doing that?” she asks, her voice small and low.
“What . . . calling you Mom?”
She nods.
“Because that’s who I need you to be.”

Grace is also bisexual. I loved how the bisexuality is handled here, Grace is so comfortable with her sexuality that she doesn’t feel like she has to choose a gender to love more than the other or to define herself heterosexual or homosexual, she is okay with herself and how she feels toward people and that was so natural and very refreshing. She feels so at ease with her sexuality that she doesn’t hesitate to throw around threesome jokes and I loved it, and she also had conversations about bisexuality that were incredibly well written, as well as sexuality in general. Hell, the use of the word bisexual itself won me.

One of the things I liked the most in this book is that there is no big coming out, however I have to say that the fact that we didn’t see any functional and lasting heterosexual relationship is bugging me (except Luca’s brother and his GF but to my opinion they were hitting each other way too much)
Speaking of Luca, I absolutely LOVED his relationship with Grace. I mean, a platonic relationship between a boy and a girl, that never evolves as something else than friendship. This is something to cherish. I also loved his mother and how she gave Grace something resembling normality. Last but not least, all the main teenagers were smart and talented in some way, boys and girls and I really loved that! Grace has piano, Eva has ballet and so on. I’ll keep this book in my memory as a lesson that it's perfectly okay to be not okay (as Sunny perfectly wrote it)
“If you really want something, the stars won’t help you. You have to reach out and take it.”
Profile Image for Enne.
718 reviews112 followers
March 2, 2018
"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."

4.5 stars
read full review here
*full reviews include favorite quotes and a spoiler section

The Writing
I feel like I say this in every review, but the writing just fit, you know? It clicked. And it added so much to Grace's character. Like we didn't need people to tell us she liked to swear to know that she liked to swear. And just the way her thought process worked was really fascinating and I found it to be a great help in understanding her. I love it when books are written in first person, aaahhh!!

The Pacing/Plot
So, I wasn't completely hooked with this story from the first page. It took a bit of getting into. But around 100 pages in, I was hooked and I didn't want to stop! I sacrificed sleep for this book! Pacing wise, it was a bit rocky in the beginning, but eventually found it's way - I loved the fact that it was set during the summer, too.  As for the plot, I loved that it wasn't entirely romance based and that the story seemed a lot more focused on Grace and her mother and the plans Grace had for her future, although the romance was still an essential part of the story.

The Characters
Guyssssssssssssss. Everyone was so precious. I wanted to wrap them all in blankets and give them cookies and milk and make sure they got enough sleep. Especially Grace. And Eva.

Eva and Grace both felt so three dimensional and I related to the things they said on so many levels at some points that I just couldn't not hug this book to my chest and cry about it for 10 minutes straight. It's fine, I'm fine.

And I would also just like to quickly mention the amazing diversity in this book. We have a gay biracial girl and a bisexual girl. I just!! My heart stopped when I found out. A BISEXUAL GIRL, Y'ALL SOMEONE I COULD RELATE TO!! It was the best fucking feeling in the universe. That's all.

To Conclude
This book was amazing and gay and covered so many important themes. I would just like you all to go read this now. And if someone asks you for accurate bi rep, shove this in their face.

this book made me feel things. and I mean feel things. when I say I cried during this book, I mean I had a full out sob fest at half past twelve in the morning because of this book. I had to get myself some tissues so that I could keep reading, okay?? it was bad... but I also loved it!!!
So this book has a f/f relationship and is set during the summer time and is supposed to be a really fluffy contemporary. If you know me, you know I love all of those things, so I'm very excited for this one!!

Recommended to me by the wonderful Kaylin
Profile Image for Natasha.
475 reviews378 followers
February 5, 2019
I received an arc from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I don't know how to express myself in this review other than typing 'I loved it' until I run out of room.

There's a lot of themes explored in How to Make a Wish. The first one is obviously Grace's relationship with another girl, subsequently falling in love with her. It's a very believable romance whilst also being a very sweet romance. It's a romance between a bisexual girl and a biracial lesbian and is one of the best parts of the book. They had amazing chemistry and is now one of my personal favourite f/f relationships. I also loved how the book let them have sex and wasn't at all ambiguous about it. I feel like this is a result of YA finally allowing their characters to have sex, and as sex between girls is practically non existent, the sex scene in this book was a welcomed surprise.

The biggest theme of this book was definitely Grace's relationship with her mother. Grace's mother, Maggie, is neglectful and dismissive, and the book makes it clear that this affected Grace. From her mother never lasting in a relationship, to dismissing how she may negatively be affecting Grace. Grace never unrealistically forgives her, nor is her mother ever excused. There's also no cop outs from Grace feeling at the end of the book that despite all that, she needs to love her mother and stick by her. The book makes it clear some parents are shitty and you shouldn't have to put up with them. I loved how something as small as nail polish plays a role in Grace's relationship with her mother, how that was something used to portray their connection.

I really liked the side characters too. I adored the love interest, Eva. She was a very likeable and compelling character. I loved Grace's best friend Luca. I love how he was supportive of her sexuality from the beginning, and I also loved how there was no subplot of him having a crush on her or anything of the sort, it let a guy and a girl be friends without anything else.

I highly recommend picking the book up when it's released. Definitely a new favourite.
155 reviews13 followers
April 19, 2017
Buckle up, children, because this is gonna be a long one. HOW TO MAKE A WISH is the best thing I've read in months. It's a wonderful, addictive novel, with characters that are both realistic and super likable, and just the right ratio of conflict & drama to romance.

Summary: Eva's a ballet dancer who doesn't dance anymore; Grace is a pianist who wants nothing more than to spend the rest of her life making music. Eva's mother died suddenly and tragically; Grace is struggling to cope with a mother who's not gone, but might as well be. The girls form the kind of giddy, enchanting friendship that involves midnight excursions to the top of a lighthouse and inside jokes on the beach beside a cold ocean. But Grace's relationship with her mom is messy and complicated, and the web only becomes more tangled when Eva enters the picture.

What it's about: Family, friendship, first love, duty, grief, questioning your future, going after the things you want, and freedom. It deals with some heavy themes, but the emotional beats are handled very well: the tension builds up in waves, ebbing and flowing, with moments of hope and magic in between, until the story finally hits a crescendo and everything comes crashing down - just in time to be rebuilt.

It is much more about family dynamics & making hard choices for your future than it is about romance (although the romance is a central part of the plot, too).

Why I loved it:
1. Multifaceted, flawed characters who grow over the course of the story. They have interests and distinct personalities; they make mistakes & say the wrong things to each other. Eva and Grace are sort of two sides of the same coin - from their artistic passions to their relationships with their moms to their experiences with romance - there's enough similarity for them to understand each other but enough difference for them to challenge & learn from each other. Their dynamic was SO well done; their friendship grows slowly into romance and it all happens in a way that felt natural.

As for supporting characters, I adored Luca. He's Grace's best friend and highly lovable. I'm always here for a strong, totally platonic m/f friendship. Even people Grace doesn't get along with are portrayed in a balanced way, not just one-dimensional jerks. I especially liked that (large spoiler for a minor subplot)

2. Family: There's more than just one familial relationship to talk about, and more than just one mom. But I'm gonna focus on Grace and her mom, Maggie. Maggie is, frankly, a shit mother, and Grace pretty much knows this, but she loves her. Family is never simple, and I know that sounds trite, but it's true. Even when that relationship is screwed up in every possible way. Grace's tangled, conflicting feelings for her mom are very true to life, and I think will resonate with anyone who's ever been in a similar situation. Both wanting and not wanting to get away from them; feeling guilty at the thought of leaving, even if you know it might be better for you; being furious with them for hurting you, until they do something right and all the love & childish adoration comes rushing back, only for them to let you down again; being as protective of them as you are angry. It's compelling and painful and real.

3. Diversity: Grace, the MC, is bisexual, while Eva is biracial. I can't speak to the biracial rep (this person can, though) but the bisexual rep is ON POINT. Both "bisexual" and "queer" are used on the page, which I'm happy about. The story also addresses issues of race in the dance industry, especially ballet, as well as slut-shaming (touched on briefly, but effectively) and the difficulties of single motherhood. None of these things take center-stage but they're part of the fabric of Grace & Eva's worlds.

4. Storytelling: Great pacing, lovely writing style. It took me just a few sittings to read the whole thing, because whenever I started, thinking "I'll just read a couple of pages," I'd have trouble putting it back down.

5. Sex positivity with a strong emphasis on consent. Enough said.

Now... normally, this might only be a 4-star review, because my 5-stars are reserved for books that truly affect me in some way - and contemporary romance is not really my genre, so that rarely happens with them. But listen. When I was a kid, pretty much the only f/f book I ever encountered at the library (that I could tell was f/f just from reading the summary) was "keeping you a secret." It was the ONLY ONE, which is why I recall it so vividly. And while that might be a great book - never felt the desire to pick it up, and still don't - everything from the cover to the blurb gave me the impression that it was edgy & unhappy. I love the idea that a kid nowadays might instead encounter HOW TO MAKE A WISH as they're idly browsing.

TL;DR: This is an important book. But it's also, yes, a fun and well-written one. If you're at all interested in contemporary YA and/or queer love stories - or if you just want a quick, light-hearted, escapist read with great messages re: family & friendship - then give HOW TO MAKE A WISH a shot.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Emma.
913 reviews870 followers
July 12, 2021
3.5/5 Stars

I was very looking forward to read another book by Ashley Herring Blake and overall it was indeed an enjoyable read.
I enjoyed reading about these characters and the interactions we got to see on the page were well-done, but I would have loved to see more of them, especially between Grace and Luca since they are best friends.
The book touches upon a lot of difficult topics but I think it managed to handle all of them pretty well.
The ending left something to be desired in my opinion but that's just my personal preference, I always like to see books end with an epilogue or something.
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