“…that’s the funny thing about wishes—only when one comes tru do you realize the full scope of that wish. What you really wanted. The beauty of it. The complexity. The cost.”
My tbr has been steadily taken over by #ownvoices reads and I honestly can’t complain. When I got approved on Netgalley for this novel I was so excited because I had heard nothing but wonderful things about Ashley Blake’s writing and her inclusive and respectful rep of the LGBTQAIP+ community.
How to Make a Wish narrates the story of a girl named Grace, a bisexual teen with a difficult mother and an equally difficult lifestyle thanks to her mother’s chaotic whims. She dreams of one day playing the piano professionally and hopefully find her place in the world. Enter Eva, the new girl in town that flips Grace’s life around and shows her what it really means to love in the most beautiful and heartfelt way. Together they must learn what it means to deal with grief and face the ghosts of their mother’s.
What I loved most about this book was that it was a contemporary romance featuring two girls falling in love with one another without the whole story revolving around their coming out. In fact, both teens are already out, at least to their friends and it honestly isn’t a big deal. You don’t know how refreshing that is; to have them out in the open like this, to be able to relate so much to them. Grace is openly bisexual while Eva is mostly open about her being a lesbian. Eva is biracial as well; a dancer, a lover of peanut butter and coloring books and a grieving daughter.
While the romance is pretty strong, I feel like this story deals with plenty of elements besides romantic love. Grace’s life has been nothing short of a mess thanks to Maggie, her mother and in this book we see how Grace must come to terms with the fact that her mother, as she is right now, might not be what’s best for her happiness and her future. It’s a story about learning to let go, about how even family members who are supposed to love you unconditionally can sometimes fail at their “job” and hurt you more than you know. Its also about choosing one’s family.
Luca (Grace’s best friend) and Emmy (Luca’s mother) were two of my favorite characters of all time in a contemporary novel. They’re both incredibly supportive and emphatic towards Grace’s issues and best of all, they forgive her no matter what and want her to succeed in life. They’re the support system every teen should have and I’m glad to have met them.
The romance is incredibly intimate, with no glossing over the fluff. There’s plenty of trust between them and their conversations are everything to me. This book felt like falling love, it’s the best way to describe how easy it was to love the characters and their relationship. I found myself tearing up a lot during their scenes together and I felt this sense of relief and happiness at seeing two girls be happy together on text.
It was wonderful and beautiful and incredibly emotional for me and I thank the author everyday for giving me Grace and Eva; for giving the community Grace and Eva.