I've just read this great contemporary, character driven story about a girl who falls for another girl. There's people of differing colours too as well as elements of child neglect so if you're at all sensitive either of these subjects, this book probably isn't for you. I'd say this book is for aged 14+ because of the slightly more adult subjects brought up. There's also a love scene, it's not described in great depth, but it's there.
I read this for the LGBTQIA+ read of the Summer Reads challenge on Facebook as well as for NetGalley, who sent me an e-arc copy to read and review here so thanks to them for that!
Grace is the main character of How To Make A Wish. We follow her POV. I enjoyed reading the book from her perspective, as I've never read an LGBTQIA+ book from first person POV before. It was good to read from the point of view of someone who was actually the lesbian/gay or bisexual in this case.
Grace's mother isn't really present as a mother. Maggie is more trying to be her best friend rather than her parent and she's okay with that. Grace however, is not.
"I got tired of that script around the time I turned twelve and mom decided I was old enough to hear about her one night stands in between boyfriends, which wasn't really something that I Girl who hadn't even had her first period needed to know"
this is what Grace says to show how Maggie really just treats her as a best friend and not her daughter. This thread carries on throughout the novel.
"I glance up, half hoping Mom is levelling me a worried look. She's not. She's buried in her phone slurp-slurping away"
is a further example of how Maggie doesn't seem to care about her daughter. However, Maggie does care about Eva so much so that she makes her a necklace that Grace wanted from her mother.
"So making a necklace for zero profit—even if it is for her own daughter—isn't likely"
is what Grace says before Eva even comes into the story, so when this happens,
"Yes, the necklace, I'm making it for Eva", Grace is upset that her mother is making a necklace for someone else for zero profit, even if it is to help Eva, a girl who has just lost her mother feel more at home.
As I said above I read this book for the LGBTQIA+ part of the Summer Flings readathon on Facebook because Grace finds out she is bi.
You know, I think there's a word for this...You're a baby bisexual"
Her best friend, Luca tells her this. She starts feeling different feelings when Eva, a black girl who's just lost her mother moves in with Luca. In the past Grace felt this same way about a Natalie, a girl at swimming.
"my 14 year old self, instantly enamoured by this older girl. How I watched her. How I couldn't breath around her"
Grace and Eva go up to the lighthouse to hang out and exchange thoughts and secrets, like the one above.
"I like that big world that Eva and I created at the lighthouse last night".
They go to the lighthouse at night and open up to each other there. They tell each other their secrets and dreams. Grace wants to be a famous piano player and Eva wants to be a dancer.
"Pianists are very important to dancers, you know"
this shows that Eva wants Grace to play for her. Eva is also trying to get Grace to admit how she feels about them as a couple. I thought the author did a good job in representing the LGBTQIA+ community. I'm a straight person but this novel has made me see how lesbians and gays struggle to see who they are sometimes, as people and find their place in the world. Grace is very unsure of just who she is and whether or not it's acceptable to be lesbian or bi.
The last point I want to make is how the title "How To Make A Wish" plays into the story. Grace and her Mum make wishes on their fingers. Maggie has this obsession with purple coloured nail varnish. As Grace was growing up, her Mum would paint her nails different shades of purple and make a wish on each finger.
"More than that she promised over and over again to drive me to New York". This trip to New York was the main wish. They both knew that Grace had a talent playing piano so Maggie has always promised her they'd go to New York so that she could audition for music school, there. But we've already established that Maggie is an unreliable mother so this doesn't work out for Grace.
Also, when Grace comes out to Maggie as bi towards the end of the story Maggie, at first can't accept it.
"Never has anything my mother has said been more on point than those three little words"
Grace's reaction to Maggie's "I don't understand" after she's just come out as bi shows just how frustrated she is by how much Maggie doesn't care for her to the same extent as others. Maggie is a single mum so this might be why?
Does Grace ever get to New York to realise her dreams? Does she fall in love and stay with Eva? You'll have to read to find out...
I really enjoyed "How To Make A Wish". I would recommend it to someone who wants a very character driven story or someone who wants an introduction into what being LGBTQIA+ is like. I'm giving the story 5 stars because there wasn't much else I was looking for in it. It did everything that I was expecting it to.
Stand by for my next read coming soon...