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.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
REQUIRED READING FOR FICTION LOVERS
Ah! Let’s start with the fact that I loved this book! I was so nervous yet excited to read it because I adored Happiness For Beginners. (If you didn’t know, this book is a stand alone book but it is a companion to HFB with some crossover characters). I love love loved this book! It was a warm cup of coffee, a cozy sweater and the perfect playlist wrapped up in the impeccable writing of Katherine Center.
There were SO many quotes throughout this book that I made a note of. I read an advanced readers copy so I can’t quote it for you. But you’re going to have to trust me that the writing you expect from Katherine Center does not let down in this book! In fact it lets you up …okay so that’s not a thing, but it should be.
Remember in HFB, that I raved about it being a fiction book to support my gratitude lifestyle? What You Wish For also keeps up with the theme of gratitude. (If you want a reprisal of my love for all things gratitude then read my review for The Gratitude Diaries). Seriously I love this theme so much – the characters in Katherine Center’s books do not have perfect lives, but they search to see the best in their circumstances. It was a very compelling theme to read in this time of coronavirus. It left me feeling hopeful. What a gift!
Did I mention that I was smile reading throughout most of this book? By chapter ten or eleven I knew that I did not want to put the book down without finishing it. There were a couple of roller coasters on the way to the ending. (You know, that feeling that an event in the book must be the climax, only to continue reading and think that the following events must be the stories climax). I was happily along for the ride the entire way.
If I could change one thing about this book, it would be that I want a bonus chapter from Duncan’s perspective. Specifically when he has to assume the caretaker role. That’s all I’ll say.
Here comes my content warnings (previously called trigger warnings) if you find these to be spoilers then don’t read the next line:
Content warnings include: gun violence, school shootings, loss of a loved one.
Dress: In your favorite outfit featuring bright colors and/or fun patterns
Do: Go to a carnival. Well… this is kind of a lie from me because I hate carnival rides. But if you’re into them then you should totally go while reading this book.
Eat: chocolate chip cookies. This has nothing to do with the book but they make me happy.