What You Wish For by Katherine Center | St. Martin’s Press {Book Review & Giveaway!}

Katherine Center book

What You Wish For by Katherine Center


Book Summary:

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.

Publication Date:

July 14th, 2020


Contemporary Fiction

Purchase Your Copy:

Amazon Link | LibroFM Bookstore Link 

My Review:

read for joy

Just like Katherine Center’s previous novels, What You Wish For is a heartwarming story filled with challenges and also with hope. Like many, my reading during this pandemic has been all over the map. I have bounced around from escape reading engrossing thrillers to curling up with some engaging and lighter fiction. Center is definitely a feel-good author and reading her books feels like a warm hug and we all need a little of that right now.

What You Wish For introduces us to Samantha and Duncan, who’s lives intertwine once again, after a tumultuous ending years earlier. While Center’s books often include a love story, they also include the most important relationships we can have, the ones we have with ourselves. While all of her books have similar themes of personal growth and self-compassion, they are all stand-alone reads and don’t need to be read in any specific order.

“We made a choice to do joy on purpose. Not in spite of life’s sorrows. But because of them.”

Center has the unique ability to build multifaceted characters that we can connect with and also root for as they encounter relatable obstacles and challenges along the way. Her characters are quirky and unique and always have more depth than you initially assume and…and also leave you reflecting not only on the themes of the book, but also about how they relate to your own life.

“I wasn’t a stranger to grieving, to the way it drowned you but didn’t kill you – only kept you submerged for so long you forgot what air and sunshine even felt like. I knew that grief set its own timeline and that the only way out was through.”

This was the perfect book to curl up with on the couch and I already looking forward to what Center writes next! And if you haven’t read it yet, Things You Save In A Fire is my favorite Katherine Center book of all…and is currently a kindle book deal! You can read my full book review for Things You Save In A Fire HERE.



book giveaway

In honor of Katherine Center’s July 2020 book release, What You Wish For, I am partnering with St. Martin’s Press to share a copy (as well as a book journal designed by @katherinecenter!) with ONE of you!

To enter, head over to my Instagram @genthebookworm

*This contest ends tomorrow, 7.30.20, at 8 am EST. U.S. entries only due to shipping. This contest is not affiliated with Instagram or Facebook. Good luck!

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and author Katherine Center for a gifted copy. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. In addition, whenever possible, I will be including the LibroFM bookstore link alongside any other referral links. This allows you to purchase the book from your choice of independent bookstores.

3 thoughts on “What You Wish For by Katherine Center | St. Martin’s Press {Book Review & Giveaway!}

  1. I love her books, especially How To Walk Away and Things You Safe in a Fire – both were wonderful. I enjoyed this one as well, but it didn’t have the same emotional punch as the other two had. She has become a auto-buy author for me and I’m excited to read her next one.

I so appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts or feedback below! Please email me at genthebookworm@gmail.com to connect further.