Thursday, August 13, 2020

Review: What You Wish For by Katherine Center

Title: What You Wish For
Author: Katherine Center
Published: July 2020, St. Martin's Press
Format: ARC Paperback, 320 pages
Source: Publisher

Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family with passion and joy for living. But she wasn’t always that way.

Duncan Carpenter is the new school principal who lives by rules and regulations, guided by the knowledge that bad things can happen. But he wasn’t always that way.

And Sam knows it. Because she knew him before—at another school, in a different life. Back then, she loved him—but she was invisible. To him. To everyone. Even to herself. She escaped to a new school, a new job, a new chance at living. But when Duncan, of all people, gets hired as the new principal there, it feels like the best thing that could possibly happen to the school—and the worst thing that could possibly happen to Sam. Until the opposite turns out to be true. The lovable Duncan she’d known is now a suit-and-tie wearing, rule-enforcing tough guy so hell-bent on protecting the school that he’s willing to destroy it.

As the school community spirals into chaos, and danger from all corners looms large, Sam and Duncan must find their way to who they really are, what it means to be brave, and how to take a chance on love—which is the riskiest move of all.

With Katherine Center’s sparkling dialogue, unforgettable characters, heart, hope, and humanity, What You Wish For is the author at her most compelling best.

My thoughts: Katherine Center has been a favorite author of mine for a while. I had read quite a few of her earlier books and then I hadn't read anything by her for a while, until her most recent releases...and for the life of me I can't figure out why I stopped reading her. She creates such real, relatable characters and is able to infuse humor into her stories at just the right time while still giving us little moments of truth.

I enjoyed this book as much as I expected I would. I adored Sam. I loved her quirkiness and the fact that she was a librarian in an elementary just warmed my heart. While she is not happy with the changes that occur in her school, I could not end up hoping, and guessing where the story was heading and while it did ultimately get there, the journey is what I always enjoy the most. And let me tell you, this journey is full of life. 

At its core, this book is about looking for joy even when all is not well. It's such a fantastic lesson, one that we could all use right now. 2020 has been quite the year for all of us and this book really puts things into perspective. Both Sam and Duncan have had things happen in their pasts that have impacted their life and they need to address this in order to move forward both for themselves and for each other.

Katherine Center is definitely an author I know I can count on. Her books all have little bits of wisdom peppered throughout and leave you with food for thought along with a great story to get lost in and I can't recommend them enough! If you haven't picked this one up yet, I definitely encourage you to do so!


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