What You Wish For

A Novel

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Buy on Amazon Buy on BN.com Buy on Bookshop.org
*This page contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add kindle@netgalley.com as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 14 Jul 2020 | Archive Date 28 Jan 2022


"The story’s message, that people should choose joy even (and especially) in difficult and painful times, seems tailor-made for this moment. A timely, uplifting read about finding joy in the midst of tragedy, filled with quirky characters and comforting warmth."—Kirkus (starred review)

From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel full of heart and hope.

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.

With Katherine Center’s sparkling dialogue, unforgettable characters, heart, hope, and humanity, What You Wish For is the author at her most compelling best.

"The story’s message, that people should choose joy even (and especially) in difficult and painful times, seems tailor-made for this moment. A timely, uplifting read about finding joy in the midst of...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781250219367
PRICE $27.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)

Average rating from 2531 members

Featured Reviews

Wow! Katherine Center has done it again! I swear I do not like romance stories, but I love Center's books! She has a way of writing that sucks you in and makes you love the characters and the story so much that you don't want the book to end! I loved Samantha and Duncan's back stories--they were so real and had such depth to them. Center's books always have a lesson to them; this one taught the reader to find the joy in life and hold on to it. What a great reminder! Highly recommend this book! Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

Katherine Center has a way with words. More than the actual story, what I loved most about this book was the message: “Choose joy on purpose”. “Not in spite of life’s sorrows. But because of them”. This message resonated with me, long after finishing the book. The story follows an elementary school librarian named Samantha Casey. As she and her friends grapple with a huge loss to their community, more upheaval is on the way. The journey to happiness is not smooth, but it certainly is worth the ride.

Was this review helpful?

If I begin and end my review with a 5 star rating, it wouldn’t be enough.
If I preface my review by saying, it’s a must read, it wouldn’t begin to touch my feelings for this story. Rarely, you read a book and you connect with the story and it’s characters at a deeper level. This one is it. I read this book in one sitting.
Katherine Centers latest novel is a beautifully written drama based in Galveston, TX. This small coastal town is family-like. Prepare yourself to face love, death and rebirth. The changes that the town and its inhabitants will face will make you laugh, cry and believe in love again.

Was this review helpful?

Katherine Center is really the end-all, be-all for me. This book was so perfectly adorable, and an excellent way to bust a quarantine-influenced reading slump. Her most recent books have been my most-recommended titles, and What You Wish For will definitely follow suit.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: