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What You Wish For

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  22,638 ratings  ·  4,701 reviews
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 sch
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 14th 2020 by St. Martin's Press
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Jenn Palm This is a book for adults, although I would not say there is much in terms of explicit content. Some swearing, some kissing, and there is a trauma rel…moreThis is a book for adults, although I would not say there is much in terms of explicit content. Some swearing, some kissing, and there is a trauma related reveal. (less)

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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  22,638 ratings  ·  4,701 reviews

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Katherine Center
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I tried not to click on the stars this time. I really did. But HOW CAN I NOT click on them?

They're just lined up there, all sad and empty, just . . . LONGING to be clicked.

I blame the stars.

And now I've just found the title of my autobiography: I Blame the Stars
Nilufer Ozmekik
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What you wish for? I wish to read this book ASAP and I’m really thankful to my lucky stars and witchy powers. Here I am. I devoured it at one sit. I’m personally in love with those amazing characters. I’m giggling like imbecile teenager (so happy you haven’t met with my 13 years old version, you would like to punch me to wipe my ridiculous smile) seeing the vivid colors of the world that wash my heart with pure joy (See! I started to talk like Anne from Green Gables! This is side effect of readi ...more
Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February)

If circumstances were different right now, I probably would be ripping this book apart. The characters are a little bit much and drove me crazy. The cheese factor is through the roof. However, it has a lovely message about finding joy, which is much needed right now. Overall, it served as a pleasant escape during these difficult times.
This was just dreadful. The author is my go-to for a heartwarming, lighter read with substance, but this book was so silly and over-the-top I thought my eyes would roll out of my head.

I'm sorry I wasted my time. This was a buddy read with my friend Marialyce and we were both disappointed.

*I received a digital copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I almost don't know how to rate What You Wish For. I've been reading so many thrillers, full of gruesome body counts, so making the transition to a book with no murders, just a death by natural causes, seems a bit awkward to me. On one hand, it's an awesome change of pace but on the other hand, I think I almost died of a "too sweet and silly" overdose. I do think it was good to venture off the bloody reading path I've been on lately

Elementary school librarian Samantha Casey (call her Sam) left h
3.5 rounded up

You know that song by Lee Ann Womack called “I Hope You Dance” ? 💃🏻

This book reminds me of that song...

It may not be the “love story” you are expecting when you pick up the book.
It’s not steamy and sexy...(though in a way that was refreshing!)

Sure, it has Samantha Casey...a quirky librarian you will want to root for.

And, it has Duncan Carpenter, the new Principal and her potential love interest.
He is also a character that you have met before in one of her earlier novels,
Sep 16, 2020 rated it liked it
quirky school librarian + stuffy school principal = classic romcom shenanigans.

yes, this story is cute. it has everything you want from a story about two people trying to both grow and help each other. but its very over the top, like all romcoms are.

also, the fact that sam is sooo determined to change duncan kind of rubbed me the wrong way. there are a few lines here and there that are meant to make the whole situation a little more kosher, but its still a little problematic for me personally. t
Jul 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Finding butterfly at a time....

Samantha (Sam) Casey is an elementary school librarian on the island of Galveston, Texas. When the school tragically loses their principal, she finds that his replacement is her crush from a former job, Duncan Carpenter. But Duncan is not the Duncan she remembers, he is tough, and on a mission to make sure that the school is safe and secure, butterflies but damned. Fearing that Duncan is about to take away everything that she loves, she decides it is tim
Susanne  Strong
The Underlying Message here is: Choose Joy!

Life. It Goes On.

Living on the Island of Galveston, in Texas, Samantha Casey’s life is perfect. That is, until the day that her former crush, Duncan Carpenter walks back into her life. Samantha is an Elementary School Librarian. Duncan is the school’s new principal. Samantha would love to run and hide, but alas, she doesn’t need to because Duncan doesn’t remember her, even though they previously worked together for 3 years. What Samantha notices howeve
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Having recently finished Happiness For Beginners I couldn't wait to dive into this latest release by Katherine center. I grew quite fond of some of the characters and was excited to learn they would carry over into this book.

With the sudden death of much beloved school principal, a close community is reeling! No one could ever replace a fine man like that in their hearts and minds. For Samantha it was even a tougher blow, as she lost not only her boss, but a close friend, and father figure.
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

Good lort. This whole dang book tried to hard. And failed.

Samantha is the librarian at her dream school. She ran away from her last one because her crush didn't know she was alive. I mean the woman packed her shit and left. I can not even. I'm not even going to rant on this. Let's move on.

So miss thang is at her dream job and her beloved principal/substitute parent passes away and they find out his replacement at the school is her crush. *insert surprise face here*
Samantha is all excited bec
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a romance/chick lit. The narrators (Katherine Center and Therese Plummer) where really good. I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. I listen to audiobooks at a higher speed then the normal speed because I have listen to audiobooks for years now I a found the higher speed works for me. The overall story I really liked. This is the second book I read by this author. I found there is some things happen in this book that was close to the other book. I really loved the ending of this b ...more
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
What You Wish For (Katherine Center) review—May 27, 2020

4.25 stars rounded to 4 stars

I love this author. Her books make me happy. My all-time favorite continues to be Happiness For Beginners, but I really enjoyed this one too.

Sam Casey is hiding something. And she is also pining for someone. But the two are mutually exclusive. How in the world can she find joy with this spiritual albatross around her neck? What to do? Duncan Carpenter is guarding a secret too. He also has his eye on someone. Aga
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

This is another one of those books that I hoped I would love. I’m a big fan of “Things You Save In A Fire”, but that was a much stronger book with more to keep me interested.

This novel starts very slowly as we get to know Sam, Samantha Casey, just at the time that the principal of her beloved elementary school passes away. He wasn’t just the principal, he and his wife were the life and breath of the school. All of their ideas from many years poured into the school.The
Holly  B
After loving Things You Save in a Fire, I was looking forward to this one.

I was expecting a beach read, but found this novel a bit of a miss. It was predictable and the characters weren't particularly interesting or memorable.

I found the school setting and happenings very unlikely and unbelievable. I liked that Samantha was a teacher and searching for joy, but this premise didn't add up or make for an inspiring story.

Seems that the author was reaching for the stars, but just didn't catch the spa
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
'Never miss a chance to celebrate.'

Katherine Center's latest novel, like all her novels, is utterly delightful. While I ultimately preferred Things You Save in a Fire, I still stayed up until 3 AM finishing this story. Once it gets going, it's hard to put down.

The theme, choosing joy, really resonates. It's a lesson we should all take to heart. Told entirely from Samantha's perspective, she's a quirky character trying desperately to come to terms with several life-altering events. Enter Duncan-
Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️
1.5 Stars

I have read two other books by Katherine Center and really enjoyed them, so I was really looking forward to this one. I put it off for a bit though because I saw that reviews were somewhat mixed. And now I definitely understand why as this just completely missed the mark for me.

I'm not trying to be scathing here as I really did appreciate the message of joy the book was trying to send, but...holy quirky sugar overload, folks. If you've been following my reviews for a while, you might k
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full review on my blog.

One of the things I love the most about Katherine Center is her unique way of writing characters that are always relatable, lovable, and full of joy and zeal.

I ended up reading the book in one sitting, during a time when concentrating on new books has become quite hard. What You Wish For was an easy and fast read. Thoughtful. Emotional. Enjoyable. It was a novel about loving yourself as you are, finding the joy in small things, and enjoying life to the fullest.

Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

We didn't fix everything for each other--but we didn't have to. We just made a choice to be there. Which counted for a lot.

I love Katherine Center’s books so much. There is something about them that make me so happy. This book had a mantra of sorts- ‘choose joy’, which is appropriate since Center’s books always seem to bring me joy when I read them.

What You Wish For follows Samantha Casey, school librarian. Her school radiates joy and she loves her job so much. When sh
Katie B
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Some books just hit all the right notes. I don't know if I've every used the term "swoonworthy" in one of my reviews but I'm going to bust it out now. This was one of those reading experiences in which I caught myself multiple times with a big, cheesy grin on my face because I loved the characters and their chemistry. Other than a teeny, tiny part of the ending I thought was unnecessary, this was a perfect read.

Samantha Casey is a librarian at an elementary school. When the time comes t
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Katherine Center. I know when I pick up one of her books that I’ll put it down feeling better than when I started, and that was certainly the case with What You Wish For. Samantha is an elementary school librarian (which has to be a super fun job for a bibliophile!), living in Galveston, Texas. When her school principal is named Duncan Carpenter, Sam’s crush from years before, well, life gets very interesting for Sam, and not in the best of ways. Duncan is making ...more
Wonderfully whimsical! Another delightful story from Katherine Center. This was such an uplifting feel good story that just radiated joy! Samantha had a troubled past but she has now reinvented herself in Galveston as the quirky colorful school librarian. Due to tragedy the school is getting a new principal Duncan, and in a unlikely coincidence Sam has a pass connection to Duncan. BUT Duncan is no longer the fun-loving free spirit that Sam previously knew. He is now a uptight tie wearing safety ...more
Sheyla ✎

"choose joy on purpose"

Just what I needed during this time. A heartwarming and hopeful story! What You Wish For, It’s about conquering our fears and being accepted for we are.

Samantha Casey is the librarian of an elementary school in Galveston, TX. A few years ago, she moved to Galveston to escape an unrequited love. The man she fell for was funny, engaging, lovable but he had chosen another woman. Not that he knew how Samantha felt, so it wasn't really his fault.

Samantha is renting a g
Larry H
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Life can bring you down, but you have the power to bring yourself up.

In Katherine Center's new book, What You Wish For , Samantha is a librarian at an experimental school. She loves her job—the students, her colleagues, all of it. But it took her a long time to find that place in her life.

“Dude, I’m not happy because it comes easily to me. I bite and scratch and claw my way toward happiness every day.”

When the board of the school hires a new principal, Sam is shocked to find out it’s Duncan C
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Well once again I find myself having to use my "wish I had liked it more" file. I was so looking for a book that could provide me with the old "take me away" mode so needed in the climate we find ourselves in today. Thinking if anyone could do that, make me escape to fun times it would be this author. However, sadly, as much as I wanted it to do just that, it was disappointing.

I think for me it was all those joyfully foolish moments. People acting like clowns really in their everyday lives made
Amy Imogene Reads
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 stars

So so cute, so so positive, so so what we need right now. A quirky elementary school librarian in Texas meets her match in the new school principal.

Romance: ★★★★ 1/2
Setting: ★★★★★
Conflict: ★★★

So, let's start off with the fact that I'm extremely biased to love Katherine Center. Her past few books have become all time favorites, and her blend of romance, heartfelt healing, and memorable settings made me oh-so-excited to get to this one.

It did not disappoint!

What You Wish For follows Sam Ca
Jul 14, 2020 rated it liked it
I received an advanced copy of this book from Net Galley and the publisher in return for an honest review. The release date for this book is 14 July 20

I have a sweet tooth I won’t deny that, I love love sweet things but this book was just too much. I found the story to be predictable and sappy and overall just a little bit overboard with the sweetness. I am sure there will be loads of people that love this book but I’d just could not get past the sappy factor.
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-reads, 2020
3.5 Heartwarming Stars (rounded up)

This was my first Katherine Center book and it certainly won't be my last. It's clear message of choosing to live life with joy presented a pleasant and much welcome escape from our reality right now. This was a slow burn story, centered more of community than a love story - although it did have that too. The community at this school and all the secondary characters were what made the story special in my opinion. I was endeared to the quirky characters, especia
Debbie Oliphant
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This book was a nice surprise. The relationships with the characters were well thought out and you felt engaged throughout the book.

Sam loves her job as the librarian for an exceptional school. The owner of the school dies suddenly and a replacement is brought in to lead the staff and students. Sam realizes she knows the new principle as her crush from a previous job. She feels hopeful that Duncan will help heal the staff and students while they
Jun 12, 2020 rated it liked it
For me, What You Wish For had too much buttercream frosting on this layer cake.

Samantha Casey is a school librarian in Galveston, Texas. Over the summer she and the local community planned a special birthday celebration for the school's principal, Max. But tragedy struck on the night of the party and lives were changed completely.

We find Samantha preparing for the upcoming school year that Fall. But there's news that leaves her very unsettled. The newly named principal is someone that she knows
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Play Book Tag: What You Wish For by Katherine Center - 4 stars 4 12 Feb 17, 2021 09:20AM  

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Katherine Center is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away, the upcoming Things You Save in a Fire (August 2019), and five other bittersweet comic novels. Six Foot Pictures is currently adapting her fourth novel, The Lost Husband, into a feature film starring Josh Duhamel, Leslie Bibb, and Nora Dunn. Katherine has been compared to both Nora Ephron and Jane Austen, and the Dallas ...more

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