My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2017
Publisher: HMH BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary Romance, Mother-Daughter
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.
It’s very early for me to post my review of this book, seeing that it comes out in May next year, but I couldn’t help but read it the moment I received it. And when I finish a book, I immediately write my review of it.
So, this book. I enjoyed it a little more than the author’s SUFFER LOVE, which was her debut novel. This new book from her is completely different – one of the differences being it being much more diverse.
It’s the story of two girls who fall in love with each other at the right moment. Eva’s mother died, so she needs someone to be there for her. Grace’s mother is unpredictable and very hard at keeping her relationships. Her new conquest? The father of Grace’s ex-boyfriend who humiliated her after she broke up with him.
I found Grace and Eva’s romance sweet. Unlike it appears to be, HOW TO MAKE A WISH, is not mainly a love story. There is a huge focus on the relationship between Grace and her mother also.
Eva is a lovely character. I liked her right away. Grace is a strong girl who was forced to grow up too soon, thanks to her mother’s shameful behaviour and her lack of a good mother figure. She’s angry a lot. At her mother, mostly, but also at herself. She feels helpless, because she wants to help her mother but doesn’t know how. If I had to choose, I must say I preferred Eva’s character, because of her sweet nature, but I admired Grace’s strength.
Strangely, I remember liking this author’s writing a little more in her previous novel. I remember it being more lyrical. Her writing here is good, too, and there truly are some beautiful quotes worth highlighting, but the constant cursing cast a shadow on the writing, or so it seemed.
I absolutely think this is a book you should read, if you enjoy realistic LGBT books. There are some very adorable scenes. A lot of sadness too. Some characters are surprising – Jay! – and although Grace’s mom is anything but responsible, you can’t help but do your best to understand where she’s coming from, why she is the way she is. It’s clear she loves her daughter, even though her love is imperfect. I kept feeling like Grace had trouble seeing that her mother loves her, which irked me, because I thought Grace was more observant than that.
She said, towards the END, ‘‘I stare at my phone, flipping between the names of the only people in the world who love me.’’ Was her mom included? I had the impression that no, she wasn’t one of those names. I remember her saying something similar earlier in the story, too. It annoyed me, because she literally said that 20 pages before the end. But maybe I’m wrong and her mother’s name is one of those names. Let me know what you think if you’ve read the book.
Not a perfect book, but an important one nonetheless.
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