Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Audio Review: What You Wish For by Katherine Center

What You Wish For by Katherine Center
Publication Date: July 14th 2020 by Macmillan Audio & St. Martin's Press
Pages: 320
Audio Book Length: 10 hrs 18 min
Narrators: Therese Plummer & Katherine Center (at the end in an author essay)
Source: Publisher
Link: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Audible |

About the book:

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.
My Thoughts:
Samantha has found joy in her personal and professional life, living on Galveston Island as the librarian for the legendary Kempner School, an elementary school that fosters creativity and learning in original way.

However, Sam hasn’t always had a positive outlook on life. She suffered from epilepsy as a child and later as an adult, which was the catalyst for her parent’s breakup. Also, she’s never been lucky in love. Years ago, Sam found her “person” in Duncan Carpenter, a fellow teacher at a previous school, but he never really noticed her, but now she embraces every happiness life affords. 

Sam’s life is turned upside down, though when Duncan is hired as the new principal of Kempner, and instead of the fun-loving, full-of-life guy she knew before, she’s greeted with Duncan 2.0, a gray-suit-wearing, joyless man intent on turning their quirky, happy school into a safe, prison-like habitat. But Duncan is about to have a rude awakening, because Sam is no longer the shy and meek librarian she used to be, and there’s no way she’s letting him implement the changes to her beloved school without a fight.

Loved how Katherine Center made Kempner School come alive. If only all our schools were so quirky and magical!

I just LOVED What You Wish For so much! It was very much a hate to love romance which at times filled me with anger and I wanted to slap Duncan upside the head!  Don’t worry, I didn’t hate him for long, and soon I loved him! Finding out what changed Duncan from the goofy, whimsical teacher into a carbon copy of one of the ‘Borg twisted my heart and made me really feel for the guy!

Sam had her own issues Lingering self-esteem issues from how she was treated by her father and others in the face of her medical condition. It broke my heart.

The slow burn romance between Sam and Duncan was so utterly lovely! I was moved by the deeper subjects tackled, but the story was lighthearted and funny, too. What You Wish For was a 5-star read for me, definitely one of my top five favorites for 2020!

I alternately listened and read What You Wish For, and I have to say the audio was perfection! Therese Plummer is one of my all-time favorite narrators! Her female and male voices are spot on, and her performance enhanced an already fantastic story!

Katherine Center also narrates at the end, reading her essay on reading and writing, and it was amazing! She describes how special it is when a writer can make a reader step into the shoes of a character and story and feel!

5 Suns


  1. This review has me wanting to visit Kempner. Thank you.

    1. Me too! It sounded like such a lovely place to learn!

  2. This sounds so good, and I'm really curious what made Duncan change so much. Thanks for the lovely review.


    1. Thanks! I had an idea that proved right. I think you'd enjoy this one, Lauren.

  3. YES! This was a win for me too. Center has earned a place on my go-to list. The theme of choosing joy was so timely for me, as these are some trying times we are living it. Glad you enjoyed it so much

    1. I loved the message here, too! I need to read a couple of her back list, but I loved Things You Save in a Fire as well.

  4. Can't wait to read this one. It sounds awesome! :D

    1. I think you'll love this one, Lark! Hope you do, anyhow, lol. :)

  5. I really enjoyed this too! Fantastic review. She's a favorite author of mine in this life fiction genre.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  6. The fight for keeping the school fun and a second shot at a romance sounds great.

  7. fantastic review. i love when an author throws a little something extra after the story is read. gives us a peek into their world
    sherry @ fundinmental

  8. Wow, it's so apparent how much you loved this one! I like how the setting was so well done - it sounds like an amazing school! And I'm already curious what brought about the change in Duncan. Wonderful review, Rachel!