Review: What You Wish For (Katherine Center)

What You Wish For
Author: Katherine Center
Publication Date: July 14, 2020
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

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

Samantha Casey loves everything about her job as an elementary school librarian on the sunny, historic island of Galveston, Texas—the goofy kids, the stately Victorian building, the butterfly garden. But when the school suddenly loses its beloved principal, it turns out his replacement will be none other than Duncan Carpenter—a former, unrequited crush of Sam’s from many years before.

When Duncan shows up as her new boss, though, he’s nothing like the sweet teacher she once swooned over. He’s become stiff, and humorless, and obsessed with school safety. Now, with Duncan determined to destroy everything Sam loves about her school in the name of security—and turn it into nothing short of a prison—Sam has to stand up for everyone she cares about before the school that’s become her home is gone for good.


Katherine Center is one of those authors who manages to impress me with each new book she releases. Somehow, she is able to take the saddest, most serious topics and write an inspirational and upbeat story about them. That’s what she did with What You Wish For.

Sam Casey is someone who has been through a ton of crap in her life. She’s finally managed to get to a point in her life where she’s truly happy with her situation and then everything changes. I loved Sam’s positive outlook on (almost) everything and how she’s willing to take charge and fight for what is most important. Sam was quirky, but her quirkiness wasn’t odd or crazy. It was relatable in the way she explained herself. I loved how she accepted herself and her insecurities. I especially loved how she dealt with her feelings for Duncan, then and now.

There’s so much more to this story than just Sam’s life. There’s a huge part of this story that involves her school community. I won’t go into it because I don’t want to spoil anything, but I loved it. I loved how Duncan was woven into that, how Sam and her friends came together. It was all fun to read about.

I honestly am not sure what else to say about What to Wish For. It was just such a good reading experience. It shows once again how talented of an author Katherine Center is and why I will continue to reach for her books when they are released.

29 thoughts on “Review: What You Wish For (Katherine Center)”

  1. I’ve been seeing her books EVERYWHERE lately or so it seems like it, so I do have one on preorder. Hoping it’s good. 🙂

    1. I bet it will be! I loved How to Walk Away and Things You Save in a Fire along with this one.

    1. I can guess why there would be mixed reviews. It does go in a direction not everyone will probably appreciate.

  2. I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed this one! It is on our TBR and it sounds really promising. I am always thrilled to find an auto-buy author and it sounds like this one delivers. Great review! 🙂

  3. This book sounds good, but I’m afraid it might get too political for me. I’ll probably check it out anyway. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    Great review. 🙂

  4. You pinpointed the genius of Center’s work right there. They are upbeat and hopeful, and I think I love her storytelling, because they make me think there are good things on the horizon. Glad this was another solid book. I am just getting to some early June releases, and won’t read this for quite a while, but I am excited about it.

    1. You haven’t!?!?! You MUST read How to Walk Away! I did get this one from NG though, so you might still be able to request it!

  5. Great review! I’ve still only read one book by Katherine Center (Things You Save in A Fire) but I absolutely loved it. I knew I wanted to read this one the minute I saw the cover 🙂 Sounds like it’ll be another pleasing and heartwarming read!

    1. Oh, she’s women’s fiction gold. Seriously. I highly recommend all of them. Especially How to Walk Away.

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