What You Wish For: Book summary and reviews of What You Wish For by Katherine Center

What You Wish For

by Katherine Center

What You Wish For by Katherine Center X
What You Wish For by Katherine Center
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published Jul 2020
    320 pages
    Genre: Romance

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel full of heart and hope.

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.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Even when dealing with traumatic events, Center manages to evoke a sense of comfort that is a pure pleasure. The story's message, that people should choose joy even (and especially) in difficult and painful times, seems tailor-made for this moment. A timely, uplifting read about finding joy in the midst of tragedy, filled with quirky characters and comforting warmth." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"The cast of eccentric supporting characters adds to a fast-paced tale steeped with whimsical, yet sometimes outlandish, plot points. This is one for the beach bag." - Publishers Weekly

This information about What You Wish For was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Betty Taylor

Thoroughly delightful
“…you can decide to do something joyful. …You can hug somebody. Or crank up the radio. Or watch a funny movie. Or tickle somebody. Or lip-synch your favorite song. Or buy the person behind you at Starbuck’s a coffee. Or wear a flower hat to work.”

I loved Center’s two previous books, “How to Walk Away” and “Things You Save in a Fire,” and was not disappointed with this one. (And I adore the covers of her books – so colorful!)

“What You Wish For” has awesome characters that drew me in and made me care about them as though they were my friends. Chuck Norris was the absolute best! I loved the positivity, so sorely needed right now. I loved the celebration of family, community, and friendship. After personal struggles, librarian Samantha Casey has learned to find the joy in life. But now the guy she had a major crush on will be the new principal at her school. But Duncan Carpenter isn’t the goofy, lovable, “never miss a chance to celebrate” man she used to know. He is now a heartless three-piece-suit bureaucrat. What happened to him? Can Samantha and Duncan overcome the fears that hold them both back?

The story was somewhat predictable. I suspected almost from the beginning what had happened to Duncan to turn him into such a different man. But I still found the story delightful. There were several laugh-out-loud moments. And I really needed a happily-ever-after story.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Katherine Center

Katherine Center is the New York Times bestselling author of over a half dozen novels, including Things You Save in a Fire and How to Walk Away. Katherine has been compared to Nora Ephron and Jane Austen. The Dallas Morning News calls her stories, "satisfying in the most soul-nourishing way." Katherine recently gave a TEDx talk on how stories teach empathy. Her work has appeared in USA Today, InStyle, Redbook, People, the Atlantic, Real Simple, and more. She lives in Houston with her husband and two kids.

More Author Information

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more romance...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Moth
    Moth
    by Melody Razak
    On August 15, 1947, India gained independence from the United Kingdom, and on that same day the ...
  • Book Jacket: All the Lonely People
    All the Lonely People
    by Mike Gayle
    Mike Gayle's charming novel All the Lonely People introduces us to Hubert Bird, an 82-year-old ...
  • Book Jacket: Perish
    Perish
    by LaToya Watkins
    It's a commonly cited fact that many perpetrators of sexual abuse, particularly men, are victims of ...
  • Book Jacket: Afterlives
    Afterlives
    by Abdulrazak Gurnah
    Afterlives, from Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah, begins in late 19th century East Africa in ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Ways We Hide
by Kristina McMorris
From the bestselling author of Sold On A Monday, a sweeping tale of an illusionist recruited by British intelligence in World War II.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Natural History
    by Andrea Barrett

    A masterful new collection of interconnected stories, from the renowned National Book Award–winning author.

  • Book Jacket

    The Family Izquierdo
    by Rubén Degollado

    A masterful debut that weaves together the lives of three generations of a Mexican American family bound by love, and a curse.

Who Said...

A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas--a place ...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Y Can't G H A

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.