I was kindly sent an e-arc of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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.
How to Make a Wish is a seemingly sweet summery read with diverse characters along with undertones of darker themes.
This book really shines with its diversity in that the main character is bisexual (ownvoices) and there is also a biracial LGBTQ+ main character. I found the representation in this book to be fantastic, I love how the other characters didn’t even blink an eye when they discovered two of the characters to be LGBTQ+, it was perceived as nothing but normal, and there didn’t seem to be any homophobic main characters, which is fantastic! This book also discusses being biracial and the hardships that may be present, but it explains how these can be overcome. There was also a prevelant unhealthy mother and daughter relationship, where the usual roles are switched. The mother is quite unstable and reckless while the daughter has to alway keep an eye out for her mother, this is explored more in depth throughout the novel. Along with this, majority of the characters only have one parent (or none), as I have lived the majority of my life with one prevelant parent, I found this to be very relatable.
With all these important topics and themes being discussed in this book you would think that it’s a very dark intense read, but I actually found it to be quite the opposite. It had a light summery feel to it, similar to other YA Summer contemporaries, just with undertones of intense topics. The romance was very sweet and adorable, which added to the fluffy feeling. This book is a short quick read, a book that you could easily read in one sitting!
Quotes have been pulled from arc and are subject to change
“Such a loaded word – live. It could simply mean existing. Heart pumping blood, lungs taking in air. Or it could mean settling for something. Being a part of what’s around you. Investing.”
“You’d think having a white dad and a black mom means I have three legs and feathers. I’m biracial, not some rarely spotted species from some barely populated island.”
“Here’s the thing about wishes: They’re always changing on you. They’re either dying out or they’re realized, and then they’re not wishes anymore. They’re only truly alive in their anticipation.”