What You Wish For by Katherine Center

Rating: 5 out of 5.
White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text

You know how everyone talks about an author, and you’re like hmmm…I haven’t read this author, there must be a reason everyone loves them? Well….That was Katherine Center for me. I haven’t read any of her books, but she’s ALL over the book world! So, I was really excited that I managed to snag her audio and physical book, What You Wish For! And what I wished for came true, this author ROCKS!

What You Wish For is categorized as romance, and I would agree, there is definitely a romance element, but it felt like SO much more than that. There is hope, grief, inspiration, and friendship all mixed into this beautiful story!

The descriptions that are used to help the reader visualize the world are amazing. I bounced back and forth between reading and listening, and in both cases, the level of detail was still exquisite. There are so many moments where I felt descriptions were extremely important to the story, and Katherine Center nailed it each time! There’s a hat at one moment in the story, and it’s just a hat. But it’s so much more than that when you read the book, and without the lovely descriptions, that moment would have fallen flat for me, but instead, it completely warmed my heart!

The characters are fabulous. Each one is built with thought and detail to give them a full life, not just a moment in time during this story. Sam is so full of love, for reading, for children, for her school, and I could FEEL just how much she loved each thing. Especially her unrequited love for Duncan. Sam was someone I connected to immediately, and I loved her story. Duncan tugged at my heartstrings again and again. I literally cried during moments of his story because they were so filled with emotion. Amazing!!

Overall, I clearly loved this book. It was written beautifully and brought amazing characters to life. I cannot wait to get my hands on another one of her books!!

Content Warnings:

I need to add this content warning, but if you don’t care, nothing ever bothers you when reading a book, then skip to the “To Read or Not to Read” section please!! —— On to the spoiler/content warning – There is a character in this book that was involved in a school shooting. There are descriptions of their experience in the shooting, the injuries, the medical recovery, the mental and physical scars. This could be a trigger for some people.

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend What You Wish For to readers that enjoy falling into a character’s life and truly living their experiences and surroundings!

Where to Find This Book:

What You Wish For by Katherine Center is available at these sites.

Amazon ~ Kindle ~ Audible ~ Goodreads


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. 

Just the Facts:

What You Wish For by Katherine Center
Genre: Contemporary
Page Count: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pub Date: July 14, 2020


I was provided an advanced reader’s and listener’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

View all adult book reviews
View all children’s book reviews

One thought on “What You Wish For by Katherine Center

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s