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What You Wish For

Updated: Aug 3, 2020

An emotional and timely story of choosing love and joy.



Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family. She has a passion and joy for living. Duncan Carpenter is the new school principal who lives by the rules and is guided by the knowledge that bad things can happen.

Sam knew Duncan before—at another school, in a different life. Back then, she had a huge crush on him. But she was invisible to him then, he never noticed her. She ran away to a new school, a new job, and a new chance at living.

Fast forward four years and Duncan, of all people, gets hired as the new principal at Sam’s school, It feels like a good thing for the school—but not for Sam. The lovable Duncan she’d known is now a suit-and-tie wearing, rule-enforcing tough guy so determined to protect the school that he’s willing to destroy it. Sam may be the only one that can stop him by helping him remember the joyful man he used to be.


I prefer books with strong women characters that can serve as role models for us all. IN WHAT WE WISH FOR Sam is nice enough, but when it come to Duncan Carpenter she becomes...ditzy. No other word for it. Ditzy! She cannot complete sentences, she becomes flustered and she acts ridiculous. She even admits it and says she was the worst possible version of herself whenever she was around Duncan. While her character improves some later in the book, I found the initial characterization impossible to forget. Have you every read a book where a man is portrayed in such a overly-emotional manner?

Despite Sam’s character, Katherine Center’s writing is good and the story has a sweet choose joy over fear, over anger, over boredom and over sorrow. It’s a timely message for the current state of our nation. It’s a nice, light love story, good for a day at the beach

Author is a KATHERINE CENTER is the New York Times bestselling author of over a half dozen novels, including Things You Save in a Fire and How to Walk Away. Katherine recently gave a TEDx talk on how stories teach empathy. She lives in Houston with her husband and two kids.

Thanks to Netgalley for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher St. Martin’s Press

Published July 14, 2020

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