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WHAT YOU WISH FOR by Katherine Center

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.

Title : What You Wish For
Author : Katherine Center
Format : eARC
Page Count : 320
Genre : Women’s Fiction
Publisher : St Martin’s Press
Release Date : July 14, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ ★

Micky’s 4 star review

WHAT YOU WISH FOR was a quirky story, injected with good people and goals. Centered around school life, with teachers, pupils and other staff, this book reeled you in to feeling part of that family. This was a great character-driven story and it felt like something I hadn’t really read before.

The protagonist Sam, was a librarian in a school she loved, with staff that were like family. The death of her beloved mentor and head of school brought an old crush Duncan to the school. This was not a happy reunion and it turned into a semi-hate relationship.

One: Duncan Carpenter was really here, in my school, about to become the guy in charge. Two: I was not immune to the sight of him in any microscopic way. And three: he had no idea who I was. That last one smarted, I’m not going to lie.

It was quickly apparant that Duncan was not the guy she’d previously known. The Duncan in this story was a hard-skinned robotic type headteacher, immune to persuasion and with one goal. Sam tried and tried, but he was impermeable.

I couldn’t think of a polite way to tell her that her brother was a mural murderer-and that I had just decided he was my mortal enemy forever.

Actually what happened was an unraveling of Duncan’s character and it was delicious reading. There were a bunch of superb side characters in this book, especially Max, Babette, Clay and Chuck Norris.

The story included some well written elements representing living with mild epilepsy, I appreciated some of the insightful research that went into that perspective. Added to that, the story also dealt with some psychological trauma. The author did not shy away from inclusion of these areas and it enhanced the book.

Katherine Center always manages to leave you on a wow and with a case of the warm fuzzies. WHAT YOU WISH FOR has done just that, warmed me and entertained me. This is an ideal summer read.

Thank you to St Martin’s Press for the early review copy.