How To Make A Wish
by Ashley Herring Blake
read in March 2017
publication date: 2 May 2017
I received an e-ARC from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!
I feel horrible for not absolutely loving How to Make a Wish. This book is everything I needed: a bisexual main character (written by a bisexual author!) and a not-so conventional mother-daughter relationship. Unfortunately, I didn’t connect with it as much as I should’ve. I blame my busy schedule: it almost took me three weeks to finish this, whereas this is probably a book you should read in one sitting. Trust me though: this is definitely a case of it’s me, not you.
To be clear: this is not at all going to be a negative review. There’s nothing I didn’t like about How to Make a Wish. Grace, the main character is bisexual and so is the author, so this is an #OwnVoices novel. I absolutely loved that the word ‘bisexual’ is used, because a lot of authors seem to be afraid to use that term. Eva, the love interested, is biracial (her skin is described as “warm brown”) and gay. She even explains why she hates being called exotic. On top of that, this book is very sex-positive. Jay, Grace’s ex, posted their sexts online for the entire school to see. Grace isn’t ashamed she did that, but she’s rightfully pissed that he broke her trust. Furthermore, female masturbation isn’t a taboo.
Ever since Grace’s father died, her mother Maggie has been unreliable. Though I wouldn’t call my mom as bad as Maggie, I very much related to their relationship. Since my parents’ divorce, my mother has become a completely different person. She loves going out, posts a lot of pictures online you never want to see of your mother, generally doesn’t know much about what is going on in our lives… Even though Maggie was so god-damn relatable, it was hard to read at the same time. I was afraid she was either going to be vilified or be forgiven for everything she did. Thankfully, the book dealt with this subject in a very good way. While you are reading the book, however, you naturally cannot predict it’s going to end that way. So that definitely got in the way of my enjoyment as well.
Like I said, I loved the final chapter and especially how things ended between Maggie and Grace. The thing is though: it’s sad those scenes always occur at the very end of a book. I want more books that focus on healing instead of the process and heartbreak leading up to it. Considering my mental health situation at the moment, those books are too emotionally draining for me.
Okay, enough about me and back to the book: I would definitely recommend this book! I plan on reading a finished copy of How to Make a Wish once I have some more time.
conclusion: Due to personal reasons, I didn’t love How to Make a Wish as much as I would’ve liked. However, I would absolutely recommend it, especially if you are biracial and/or bisexual! The bisexuality was #OwnVoices and as someone who identifies as bisexual, I loved the representation! I will certainly keep my eye on Ashley Herring Blake.