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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.4 out of 5
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  • Fun and Entertaining!

    "What You Wish For" by Katherine Center is a fun and entertaining book. It totally held my interest and made me laugh out loud and giggle several times. Who doesn't need that during these trying times in our country? If you want a book to get you out of your head, this should be your next read. You won't be disappointed. There is some predictability to her story but, it is okay because the dialog, situations and the characters make up for it. The author made me love and care for her characters and what they were each dealing with in their lives. There were a few heavy subjects in the story but the way they were handled with empathy and humanity gave me hope. I love a story that teaches me a few things and because the narrator was a librarian, there are some interesting things to learn. One of her friends was a math teacher and has a lot of cute little math jokes. So, I learned something new with this book. Katherine Center is new author for me and I am excited to read more from her. If you haven't read any of her books yet, give her a try. You might find a new author to add to your list of favorites. I know I did! I received a copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review.

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  • Memory Fail

    This is my second read of the amazing writing talents of Katherine Center. "What you Wish For" is an amazing telling of characters that are struggling with their own demons but through JOY and the support of others overcome them and grow into positively COLORFUL Beings. Past Present and Future are used to tell of a school in Galveston TX with a team based goal to enlighten the children in their charge. Samantha Casey is the librarian who must deal with the appearance of Duncan Carpenter who she remembers differently than the way he is now. My favorite character is a young student Clay Buckley who dreams of becoming a maritime archaeologist and leads this story to its eventful ending. "A copy of this book was provided by St. Martin's Press via NetGalley with no requirements for a review. Comments here are my honest opinion." THE NUMBER OF REVIEWS SHOULD CONVINCE YOU TO NOT MISS THIS ONE.

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  • Inspirational, romantic, and incredibly absorbing!

    What You Wish For is a moving, intimate tale that sweeps you away to Galveston, Texas and into the life of Samantha Casey, a young, school librarian who after finally finding her groove, confidence, and a place to call home has her life unexpectedly turned upside down when her former colleague and old crush, Duncan Carpenter moves to town and takes over as the new school principal with an obsessive focus on safety and security and none of the joviality he was previously known for. The writing is tender and fluid. The characterization is well-developed with a wonderful cast of characters that are kind, caring, eccentric, and endearing. And the plot is a lovely blend of heart, hope, angst, and drama. What You Wish For is, ultimately, a story about life, love, expectations, loss, trauma, grief, trust, forgiveness, friendship, community, second chances, and discovering one’s true self. It is a whimsical, addictive, immersive read by Center that does an exceptional job of highlighting the importance of always finding a little joy in everything you do and is a wonderful reminder that there’s no perfection in humanity, we are all wonderfully flawed.

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  • Love is Only for the Brave

    4.5 stars I have loved every Katherine Center book I have had the pleasure of reading. The characters are so endearing and often wonderfully adorkable. They encounter relatable issues and obstacles that will have readers rooting for them from the start. What You Wish For is no exception. After reading Happiness for Beginners (you can find my review here), I was so excited to learn that loveably goofy Duncan would be getting his own book. I dropped all my other reading commitments and dove right into What You Wish For. Though it's not necessary to read Happiness for Beginners prior to this book, I do recommend it because it's wonderful and I think it will really enrich the experience. I loved the overall message of choosing joy, even in the face of fear and adversity. The book deals with some very serious, but timely topics (TW: school and gun violence), that may be extremely difficult for readers. It sometimes felt too in your face, but at the same time I can understand why the author chose to show these two extreme sides to the issue. I enjoyed the contrast between bright and sunny Sam and doom and gloom Duncan, especially after seeing him so dramatically different in Happiness for Beginners. Yes, they both make some poor over the top choices, but I could understand that for the most part, their hearts were in the right place. It was fairly clear from the start what Duncan's history would entail, but it didn't take away the impact of his past when all was revealed. Sam and Duncan have a lot of emotional scars to process and deal with, but I loved how they ended up helping each other (and the entire school community) heal. It's a slow burn, second chance-ish romance between them and I have to say that one of my favorite parts of the book is when Duncan is high on pain killers ("The opiates never lie." LOL). I really enjoyed Sam's inner monologue/voice. The story is told completely in her POV, but her little jokes and quirks were so endearing. Her friendship with Alice was the best and I loved all the math jokes and connections. One of my favorite parts of the book however, was when a few familiar characters popped up during a beach scene. I couldn't wipe the HUGE smile off my face and I may have let out a contented sigh. It really was the tiny bit of epilogue my heart needed for those characters. Another highlight was Chuck Norris and the few easter eggs/nods to Happiness for Beginners. Overall, this was another fantastic read by Katherine Center and is sure to be one of my top reads of 2020! *I voluntarily read an advance review copy of this book*

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  • Chose joy! Another masterpiece from this author.

    What I wish for is that Katherine Center will just keep on writing amazing books like this. The blurb describing What You Wish For sounds so average, just a normal love story about choosing joy. But come on, the author is Katherine Center after all, so you know you will get something more than that. But a few chapters in I had the “Aha!” moment again as I always do with one of this author’s books and started to realize just how much more I was getting – and it kept on like that, one more amazing thing after yet another amazing thing. I was oh so hooked. Katherine Center populates her novels with people that are unusual, uncanny, quirky - but quirky isn’t really the right word. Somehow she makes them seem average so that we are able to connect with them, to feel their pain, and their joy, but at the same time they are so much more than average. They are everyday people in everyday circumstances but they’re not. Turns out they are just the most amazing characters you’ve ever met, with traits and behaviors and qualities, and yes, quirks, that keep revealing themselves layer after layer, like peeling back that proverbial onion. Samantha is a young woman who is bright and sunny and happy and bold and quirky, loves her job as a school librarian, loves the kids, loves the principal and his wife. Samantha loves life, except some of that is a façade and she works hard each and every day to be sunny and bright. Duncan could have been the love of her life except that he didn’t know it. She remembers him from her previous school as bright and sunny and happy and bold and quirky. She left that school when Duncan got engaged and used him as her inspiration to be bright and sunny and happy and bold and quirky, to choose joy even when her heart was breaking over Duncan. So when tragedy strikes at Sam’s school and she learns Duncan is to be the new principal she believes that that might be the silver lining in the tragedy of the death of the former principal. But this Duncan is not her Duncan. This Duncan is rigid and harsh and seems afraid to break any rules. What happened?? There is tension – and a mighty attraction – between them every single time Sam and Duncan are on the page together. The chemistry jumps out at you. What Samantha has been through in her life, and the huge secret she keeps, and what Duncan has been through and is afraid to reveal, and what’s in store for the school and its already joyful children is a wonderful story skillfully crafted by the author. There is always a point in one of Center’s books when I am almost overwhelmed with sadness, both for what has happened to these people I’ve come to love and also for what I’m afraid is about to happen – or won’t happen – to them. What You Wish For is just like that. The characters are strong, deep, surprising and the plot so smoothly and flawlessly developed that you turn page after page after page, enjoying every word, looking forward to and afraid of what will happen all at the same time. Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of What You Wish For, and thanks even more to author Katherine Center for writing another marvelous book that I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend without hesitation. Read this one and everything else she has written. Note: All opinions are my own.

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