I just had the wonderful opportunity to read Ashley Herring Blake’s new novel early! I received an ARC in the mail, which is what my entire review is based on. Note that there may be changes between the two. Check out my other post for favorite quotes from said ARC!
No Spoiler Section:
This book was so cute! Yes, I know I say that about almost every contemporary, but I mean it each time. This novel was so wonderfully written, featuring two broken girls trying to piece themselves back together. The romance is very prevalent, obviously, but not the only thing happening with the plot. Dealing with Maggie, Grace’s mom, is very important in the book as well. Their relationship is a mess, and exploring it makes for a very interesting plot.
4/5 stars- such a fun contemporary read!
Official synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW!
How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake was absolutely amazing! Ashley’s talent is showcased in how immersed I became in this world, despite the fact that the characters lived very different lives than mine. Usually there are some relatable aspects, and though I was unable to find any, I fell in love anyway. Grace and Eva were such interesting people, such damaged people, but you ended up rooting for them regardless. Graces mom was The Worst™. She thought she deserved a prize just for sticking around and not abandoning her on the side of the road! I was really glad when Grace finally left her in that motel in Portland. Grace has so much potential and probably a pretty good shot at a scholarship to music school, but her mom was holding her back. It’s one thing be loyal to the ones you love, but another to stick with the person who repeatedly hurts you. Everyone around Grace saw how toxic Maggie was. I mean, even Grace saw it. She just didn’t want to admit that to herself. Grace had to raise herself from the start, and raise her mother at the same time. It was almost as if she never had a mom. Eva is on the other end of the spectrum. Her mom was always there for her, supporting her, and sharing a passion for dance. When she passes away Eva is crushed and doesn’t know how to cope. She finds solace in both Grace and Maggie despite everyone’s warnings to stay away from Maggie. Together, Grace and Eva find out what a healthy relationship contains, since neither has ever had one before. (This is Eva’s first relationship and Grace’s first one with a person she actually cares about.) I love how this novel portrays a real relationship. It’s not love at first sight, it’s definitely awkward at first, and there are struggles that cause the relationship to almost completely fall apart. Not only did Grace and Eva’s relationship almost tank, but so did Grace and Luca’s! Luca was such an important character, probably my favorite. He supported Grace through all of her mom’s antics, never calling her out for putting up with her mom for this long. They spent their holidays together, and he would visit her at all of her houses, and help her cope when the situation with her mom got too intense.
The whole book is struggle, struggle, struggle. Struggling with the new move, with her mom, with the piano, with Luca, with Eva, with life. But I feel like the ending makes it all worth it. Grace is living in a safe home, her mom is in rehab, she’s auditioning for her school, she’s close with Luca, the relationship is with Eva great, and so is life. After all the suffering Grace has had to endure, I could not be more excited for her to finally get a happy ending!