A story about love, loss, and finding joy on purpose.
The newest from Katherine Center!
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.
Watch Katherine read an excerpt from the book!!
From Katherine: “WHAT YOU WISH FOR is all about joy—noticing it, savoring it, and making it happen! And so . . . we put flowers on the cover page so you can paint / color / doodle on the book itself and make your own joy!!! When your copy comes, I hope you’ll give yourself permission to take a little time to do this! And if you do, post it somewhere and tag me! I want to see!!”
"I read it in one sitting ... canceling all plans and social obligations ... lol. I just adore the way Katherine Center writes her characters. She always elicits such emotion ... I rarely cry when reading books but she always gets me. And she writes a male love interest like no other. I am always madly in love with them."
"This is one of those books that you are so very delighted to read and so very sad to be over! And the moment I finished the last word, I instantly wanted to start all over again!"
"This book is extraordinary. I expected it to be, I adore everything Katherine Center publishes, but this exceeded my expectations . . . I ADORE Ktherine Center."
I adore Katherine Center’s writing. It’s so down to earth, joyful, witty, and relatable! She has an uncanny ability to tap into human emotions and translate them into amazing stories.
"It’s a feel-good, addictive, astonishing, entertaining, inspirational book about love, happiness, second chances and personal growth with memorable characters.”
"Her writing is as beautiful and vibrant as she is, filling the pages with beautiful hope, stories of resilience, and characters that you will never forget."
STARRED REVIEW from Kirkus!
“Even when dealing with traumatic events, Center manages to evoke a sense of comfort that is a pure pleasure. 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.”
An Indie Next Great Reads Pick for July 2020!
“A lovely novel about moving through grief and choosing to find joy wherever you can.”
—Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX
A People Magazine BOOK OF THE WEEK!
“This charming, often lighthearted novel touches on serious issues and celebrates the power of joy to trump fear and despair.“
“What You Wish For is a bona fide explosion of happiness packaged in book form. A compassionate story of grief and resilience, it is also a vital reminder that joy is not just something that happens to us but also something we have the power to choose. As Max always told Sam, we must “never miss a chance to celebrate,” even when things get tough. Center has created for her readers a quirky confection that celebrates life in all its imperfect glory and delivers a much-needed dose of optimism.”
A RealSimple Top Pick for What Should I Read Next?
An “uplifiting love story” that shows “even in hard times, joy is at our disposal.”
—Kristyn Kusek Lewis
What You Wish For Tops SheReads’ List of Best Beach Reads of Summer 2020!
School librarian Samantha Casey loves her life and job. But when a man from her past, Duncan Carpenter, shows up at the school where she works as the new principal, things quickly turn to chaos.
Parade’s 30 Best Beach Reads of 2020!
What You Wish For by Katherine Center: Samantha Casey loves her job as a school librarian, but when a man from her past becomes the school’s new principal, she quickly notices he’s different than in her memory.
Now available as a Book of the Month Club edition!
Need a pick-me-up? Here’s your dose of optimism, served up as a school-staff romance with sugar sprinkled on top.
A Library Reads pick for July 2020!
Voted one of the top ten reads of the month that Librarians across the country love!
BEACH CRED from Publishers Weeky!!
“[A] fast-paced tale steeped with whimsical plot points. This is one for the beach bag.”
A “Desert Island Keeper” at All About Romance! GRADE: A
“What You Wish For is the first book I’ve read by Katherine Center, and it pretty much knocked my socks off. By turns funny, sad, introspective, and joyful, it was like opening a box of chocolates and realizing I actually liked all the different flavors. And like a good box of chocolates, I devoured this book in just one day.”
“Looking for a hopeful novel in troubling times? Texas author Katherine Center is known for her cheery and heartwarming stories, and her latest book continues in that vein . . . “What You Wish For” has Center’s signature sprightly style and is a bubbly tonic to chase away the blues.”
POPSUGAR: The 30 Best New Books to Dive into This Summer
“Katherine Center excels at writing gentle, beautifully crafted romances, and What You Wish For seems poised to continue her streak. School librarian Samantha loves her job and her school family, but there was a time when she felt invisible. When the new school principal ends up being a face from her past, Samantha must overcome her youthful insecurities to help him save her beloved school.
“Sometimes—perhaps especially during the summer of 2020—you just want to give in to a desire to read for pleasure, to open a book that can be enjoyed in a single afternoon on the beach (or a backyard hammock) and will leave you feeling a little better about the world and the people who inhabit it . . . Katherine Center’s new novel, WHAT YOU WISH FOR, might be exactly what you’re, well, wishing for. Sweet, charming and funny, with just enough glimpses of tragedy to keep it grounded in reality.”
REFINERY 29’s list of Brand New Beach Reads for Summer 2020
“We’ve narrowed down the list to a handful of titles you’re going to want to read through as fast as possible, and then talk about with whoever will listen.”
What You Wish For tops the list of BOOKISH’s July 2020 Must-Reads!
“We’ve rounded up ten of the buzziest books coming out this July—no matter what genre you’re interested in. You’ll want them on your TBR!”
“Katherine Center’s book is a gentle but powerful reminder that we possess the power to seek out joy, if only by force of will. Love, true love, Sam tells us, “is only for the brave,” and she would say the same thing of joy. As we watch Sam and Duncan fight for love and joy, they inspire us to do the same ourselves. If you’re in the pits, if you’re feeling lower than an ant’s belly, or if you just want a good story filled with light rather than darkness, pick up a copy of What You Wish For.”
—Jeff Minick, The Smoky Mountain News
“This book is the book that we all need to read right now. It’s about facing your fears, even when the world is full of scary things . . . It’s a story of the power of fear, the power of love, choosing joy, and moving forward. We’ve had the honor of hosting author Katherine Center & I can confirm that she is one of my favorite people of all time. Joy radiates from her and leaks out onto the pages of her books. And it’s just the best feeling ever.”
—KRISTEN BEVERLY, Half Price Books
“Sparkling dialogue, unforgettable characters, heart, hope, and humanity. It’s everything you’d wish for from the author of How to Walk Away.”
—Blue Willow Bookshop
“This is the lovely sort of book that makes you want to read everylittlebit of what the author writes just so you can feel all warm and sparkly again. I recommend this book to anyone who loves JOY and LOVE and BRIGHT things. I recommend this book to anyone stubbornly fighting for the LIGHT in the dark. Let’s do that always, always.”
“Finished What You Wish For last night and it was everything I expected in a Katherine Center book. It made me sigh and tear up and smile so hard that my cheeks were hurting. And of course, it made me fall in love again. A gorgeous book about second chances not only in love but in life as well.”
—USA Today BESTSELLING AUTHOR Falguni Kothari
“What You Wish For is a story full of heart. The characters are so real you will feel as though you know them. Katherine Center never fails to take her readers away on an emotional journey and then bring us back home with tears of joy. In fact, finding joy in life is an integral part of this engaging story. If you’re already a Katherine Center fan, you’re bound to love What You Wish For.”
—LAURA JAY, Book Club Reporter
Houston Matters Interview • Houston NPR
(go to about Minute 43 to hear Katherine!)
Thoughts from a Page Podcast • Cindy Burnett
Unabridged Podcast • Teachers Take on Books
Turn The Page Podcast • Syosset Public Library
“This book is simply stunning. Devour it, turn yourself over to it and strap in for the ride because it is a heartrending journey that will give you all the feels. Every single feel.“
“Five stars for what is easily my favorite book of 2020. I was instantly drawn into this novel—the characters and the island setting are charming—and I read this all in one sitting. What You Wish For was fun and quirky and had me both laughing and crying. The writing was beautiful and it was the perfect book to get lost in for a day.”
“I have always had great respect for Katherine Center’s emotional intelligence. Not only is she a gifted writer, but she understands what makes us human’s act and behave the way we do – and then turns it into an unforgettable novel . . . I highly, highly recommend this funny, sometimes sad, but downright joyous story about people trying to overcome their life altering tragedies, and move back towards life.”
“Katherine Center, man. I love her books so much. Her characters are vibrant and real and, as cheesy as this sounds, she writes them in such a way that they seem to jump off the page and be ALIVE…people you want to get to know and grow to care about. I couldn’t tell you exactly what it is, but her stories just draw you in and surround you. It’s impossible not to be immersed and invested.”
“This novel is all-around awesomeness.”
“Do you know that feeling when you read a story and it feels more like a gift than merely a reading experience? That’s how I felt about this beauty of a book . . . I really don’t know what it is about this author, but she writes stories absolutely unlike any other author that I’ve ever read before. Her writing is both witty and poignant. It’s conversational, but also quotable. She makes you think deeply about things that are so pertinent but you’ve never really considered thinking deeply about before. I don’t know how it’s possible to make a reader feel every conceivable emotion in one story, but she does it, time and time again.”
“I absolutely loved this book that brought tears to my eyes, made me laugh out loud and just gave me a lift in general.”
“This book carries a strong, solid message that has really touched me. I read voraciously so for me to take the time to say it touched me really means it touched me deep inside to the core. Choosing joy on purpose sounds like such a simple theme for What You Wish For, but it is interwoven in a beautiful story with rich, deep characters that linger long after I have read the last page. For me, that is worth much more than 5 stars! Well done, Katherine Center!!”
“Happy and joyful, that is what I’m feeling after finishing “What You Wish For.” Whenever I finishing reading a Katherine Center book I just lay in bed and instantly feel fulfilled. She has a magical way of writing stories where the characters and plot are so well developed, full of life and charisma it’s impossible to put down.”
“I laughed (literally. Out loud. And had to read a couple scenes to my husband) cried, and straight up cringed (in the best way – I LIVE for embarrassing moments) while reading this. The main characters have both been through some STUFF. One has learned to find joy in the every day and the other has reverted to drowning out all possible joy in the name of safety, both emotional and physical. These two find each other and . . . it’s magic.”
“This one is just perfect in every way.”
“I read Things You Save in a Fire and How to Walk Away last year and couldn’t believe how good they were. I have no idea how Katherine Center keeps topping herself, but her books keep getting better and better with each release. What You Wish For is a poignant, beautiful story of loss, grief, and learning to let others in that everyone should have on their TBR this summer.”
“‘Joy is fleeting. Nothing lasts. That’s exactly what courage is. Knowing all that going in—and going in anyway.’ In the midst of this anxious scary COVID-19 pandemic, this book is JUST what I needed. The perfect antidote. It’s all about finding joy and facing fears, and then just keeping on. Of course, Katherine Center is a marvelous storyteller with characters who jump off the page and into your heart.”
“Katherine Center knows how to tug on your heart strings while making you laugh. This is definitely a book I didn’t want to end.”
“THIS is how contemporary romance books should be! Hooray! I loved it so much! I loved everything about it, from the characters, to the plot, to the complicated love story. I laughed out loud many times. Duncan was swoon-worthy even when he was being evil-Duncan, and although I figured out the reason for his transformation prior to its reveal, it still left me reeling. And teary-eyed. I’m NOT a fast reader, by any means, but I finished this book in just a few days. I could not put it down.”
“Katherine Center has written another home run. I devoured the book in one day. As usual, with her words, Center makes you feel all the feelings the main characters do. It was funny, heartwarming, and sad at times.”
“This book was the perfect read for right now. It was sweet but packed an emotional punch. It teaches all kinds of lessons about finding and creating joy, hope, resilience, and love. I love the way Katherine Center has the ability to write about pain and darkness while also writing a story full of love, joy and light.”
“Extraordinary!!! Her writing is superb!”
“I always give Katherine Center’s books a hug when I’m done with them because they just fill me with so much joy. The way she writes romance gives me butterflies. My favorite thing about her writing though is that she manages to start her books with broken or sad or lost or traumatized characters and have them come out the other end joyful, loving, open, self actualized people that still have trauma but have found the love and support to deal with it. Her characters often go or have gone through horrible things, but she makes the exploration of those traumas and the recovery process seem so full of love and care and camaraderie that recovery seems manageable despite being painful. Her stories go down smooth and warm you from the inside out. That’s a five star read to me.”
“Reinforced the idea that she will be an auto-buy author for me forever.”
“Another amazing book by author Katherine Center. I swear I had a smile on my face for 90% of this book. As soon as I downloaded the book I started reading it and was all consumed until the very last page.”
“Katherine Center is absolutely a gifted writer. Her storytelling is phenomenal. Her character development is a thing of beauty.”
“Katherine Center’s latest novel has a strong theme of choosing joy even when times are tough, and I’m not sure I could have picked this up at a more appropriate time. This book was exactly what I needed in these dark days! Center has become a must-read author for me . . .”
“Katherine Center has become one of my favorite authors. Her writing just flows and characters are just loveable. What a great story!”
“We live in such a chaotic time right now and Center’s new novel, What You Wish For just hits the mark of a great novel. Read it. Just read it. Read all of her novels. There. Just do it . . . The main reason I loved this book is because it reminds readers to find joy in all the simple moments of life. As one of the character’s motto implies: find a reason to celebrate. And I am here for it. There was romance, drama, and just normal life. The beautiful thing about Center’s writing is just that: she writes about normal life, but you are left feeling like you read about something completely incredible.”
“When you need hope and to choose joy, read Katherine Center.”
“Wow. Just wow. What a compelling, feel-good read. Katherine Center takes some difficult topics and sprinkles them with love, hope, optimism and strength.”
“Oh Katherine Center, how I love thee. I’ve never been let down by ANY of her books. This one may take the top spot as a favorite. Or maybe it was How To Walk Away. Wait, this one. Nope, too hard to choose.”
“Perhaps I’m a wee bit biased in this review. You see, I have fallen in love with Katherine Center’s writing style and tend to feel all gushy when I read her books. That said, What You Wish For continues my winning streak with Center’s storylines. Best of all, I loved the positive message that it imparts on the readers….. To choose joy.”
“Can I please just live inside Katherine Centers head so I can be with her characters all the time?!? I loved this story and these characters! So much heart. I laughed out loud a bunch, too. I love how Center’s books always have life lessons that inspire you to live more fully and choose joy in the face of darkness.”
“This book has it all! Love, love, loved it! 5 stars!”
“One thing I love about Katherine Centers writing is that no matter what heavy topic she may be writing about, she ALWAYS finds a way to bring you hope, joy, and love. She is a writer of emotion and I truly believe it is something that sets her apart from other authors. I have loved EVERY single book I have read by her and What You Wish For was no different.”
“This book is all about choosing joy despite our circumstances and I think we could all use that reminder right now! It was the perfect escape from reality for me this week.”
“I absolutely adored this book, it was fantastic and so well written. It has a great balance of heart, humor, and tragedy. At its core, I think this book is about choosing joy despite your circumstances (which is so incredibly fitting for this moment in time) and not letting fear or trauma overtake you.”
“Katherine Center simply knows how to tell a story!! This was a fantastic remedy to the craziness in the world today. I wish I had an infinite number of books like this one.”
“I wish to read this again and again! The theme of choose joy, choose love, choose to celebrate, is consistently written throughout without being heavy-handed. It’s such a perfect book to read while everything in the world is uncertain . . . I read this so quickly and adored every sentence. Katherine handles difficult topics with finesse. This feel-good book will not disappoint.”
“I love all of her books but this one is BY FAR my favorite . . . The best part of her books and worst part is that they’re read too soon and just are never long enough.”
“This book was both funny and sad at times and the romance and chemistry between Sam and Duncan were an incredible slow burn, which I LOVE. Even though Sam had a huge crush on Duncan in the past, I really liked that the author didn’t try to make this an insta love kind of thing. I loved that these two characters actually got to know each other and that they learned to trust each other. This was such an emotional and delightful read.”
“I loved this book. It’s exactly what I needed, because the world is a scary place right now, but this novel made me feel comforted.”
“I feel like I always start my reviews for Katherine’s books by saying “Katherine Center has done it again” but I mean it every single time. I adore everything she writes and What You Wish For was no different. I simultaneously wanted to finish it and also never ever, ever wanted to be done with it. The story of Sam and Duncan, with all of their people and their trauma, is a beautiful reminder that joy is a choice that we can choose. Needless to say, it was the perfect read for all of this “social distancing”. I’m going to go re-read it right now (no, I am not joking. I read How To Walk Away three extra times before checking it back into the library).
“A great, breezy, feel-good romance. It was so addictive, I was able to read it in one day.”
“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 its characters at a deeper level. This one is it. I read this book in one sitting.
Katherine Center’s 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.”
“My love runs deep for Katherine Center and this book may be my new very favorite of hers. It is so beautifully written with wonderful character development. Read in 24 hours because I could not put it down. HIGHLY recommend”
“I had no idea how much I needed this book until I read it. It filled me with so much hope and joy. It made me laugh and cry (but mostly laugh). It had a kind of innocent pure joy that leaped off the pages.”
“Katherine Center has a way of writing books that feel as if they were meant to be written and then read. This story packs in so many themes and thoughts and ideas that sometimes I had to stop and take stock of where I was. I started it this morning and finished it this evening. I couldn’t stop!!”
“I love Katherine Center. That’s all there is to say. But really, I sink into her stories so easily and feel such an immediate love for her characters . . . I always learn and grow a little with each book Center writes and end up pressing them into everyone’s hands. Thank you for another great read. I loved it.”
“There isn’t a slow moment in this book. You’ll fight for the characters, and want to experience the story with them.
Do yourself a favor, and read this freaking book!”
“I really enjoyed this smart romance.”
“I went into this with HIGH expectations. I’m a teacher, like the protagonist, and I loved Things You Save in a Fire. I opened this novel up, expecting the best, and was not disappointed. I loved the self-discovery, evolution, and friendship at the core. All of the characters were complex and easy to root for. I found myself flipping page after page, and finished it in one sitting (a rarity for me, nowadays!). The story, though heavy at times, was sweet without ever becoming too saccharine. I recommend this book to EVERYONE — these are crazy times, but this book is soul-soothing.”
“I love this story, this writer, and the journey this book took me on. 5-stars!”
“Absolutely delightful. Katherine Center only grows stronger with each book and “What You Wish For” is the ultimate in feel-good, self-discovery books from a genre that demands a resurgence and Center heard the call.”
“Katherine Center is a truly amazing author. Her writing sucks me in from the very first pages and I can almost never put her books down.”
“Every time I think I can’t love the simplicity of Center’s writing more than I did in her last book, she surprises me again . . . I read it in two days. I wanted to cry. I cheered. I loved. The characters are sweet, but not sappy. And the story is lovely. Center will always have a fan in me, and I can’t wait until her next one.”
“Katherine Center’s latest novel, like all her novels, is utterly delightful.”
“WOW!!! WOW, WOW!!!
I absolutely devoured this book. My sister is a teacher, I work in a library and it is set in one of my favorite places in Texas. Not only is this just a great little read, but it addresses subtly some of my biggest gripes with education today. Absolutely beautiful gem of a book!!!”
“Katherine Center did it again. How do her books keep getting better and better?”
“Oh my goodness. Katherine Center does it again. Every story that she writes is so wholesome and so cute and I love them all. I could not put this book down. I stayed up way too late at night just dying to find out what happens to the characters. It was amazing and incredible and I 10/10 recommend to anyone who just wants to read a happy book. The entire theme of the book is choosing joy and you are choosing joy if you choose to read this book.”
“I did not want this joyous story to end. If you want to feel uplifted, this is a must read.”
“Katherine’s way with words just transfers you in this imaginative world you wish you were a part of.”
“Katherine Center’s latest novel What You Wish For is one of those must read books. It really is. I have come to love her writing and when I was able to get an advance copy of this one I loaded it up on my Kindle and sat down and read it in one sitting only taking time out for dinner . . . I laughed out loud several times and her characters were so fun and vivid that I felt like they were in the room with me. Great writing and a story that was just what I needed to read to escape this afternoon.”
“My expectations for What You Wish For were SO. BEYOND. EXCEEDED! Once again, in that voice that feels like you are sitting down with Katherine Center and a glass of wine while she tells you a story. The story line was brilliant, the way she used Galveston was smashing, the one liners that make you snort-laugh…all there!”
“A wondrous story of love, grief, bravery, loss, and above all a lesson to embrace and celebrate all the joy you can find in life—even as you leave this book a teary-eyed mess!”
“Katherine Center is back and has once again knocked it out of the park. There are many people who can tell a story well. There are not many people who can tell a story so well you feel as if you know the characters personally and are rooting for them all. One thing I love about her stories is they are everyday people living lives full of problems, insecurities, losses, and joy. You will cry, you will laugh and you will come away having learned more than one valuable lesson!”
“This book was fire. It gave me all the feels. It is definitely my favorite by her.”
“This was SO GOOD. It’s about love, and chosen families, and belonging, and facing your fears, and choosing joy not despite the realities of life but because of them.”
“Fans of Katherine Center’s books will adore this one, I’m sure. I really, really enjoyed the ending, and of course, the epilogue, but there are lines throughout this that I want to underline and remind myself of daily . . . This book was inspiring, hopeful, funny, realistic, heart-wrenching, beautiful, and so special. I can’t recommend it enough. :)”
“OMG. I. LOVE. THIS. BOOK . . . It will be in my top reads for this year.”
“This book made me laugh, cry, and long for more. I read it in less than 24 hours, and I will probably pick it up again in the future. I would definitely recommend it!”
“This is one of those books that you are so very delighted to read and so very sad to be over! And the moment I finished the last word, I instantly wanted to start all over again! . . . Honestly, Katherine’s books bring me so much joy and laughter! They are a gift to read and I devour them while blocking out the real world, because her fictional worlds are just too good! Her books lift me up and make me want to live more fully.”
“I laughed, I cried, i laughed while crying.”
“Whenever I see the cover of a new Katherine Center book, I smile. They are bright and cheerful, yes, but I also know there will be complicated characters who look for deeper meaning, deeper gratitude and deeper joy than from any other author.”
“I have loved all of Katherine Center’s books but I think this was my favorite. I read it in one night; I couldn’t put it down! So many things resonated with me – the characters, the struggles, the romance and the storyline.”
“I’ve only recently discovered the greatness that is Katherine Center, and I’m loving every single one of her books.”
“Well, I got insanely lucky and received an ARC for Katherine Center’s latest and, as usual, it did not disappoint. I just adore the way she writes her characters. She always elicits such emotion … I rarely cry when reading books but she always gets me. And she writes a hero like none other. She writes relationships for real and makes the couple’s journey important and sweet. In short, I wish Katherine Center was my best friend.”
“I absolutely loved this book.”
“Katherine Center always knows how to reach the right tone—the story is at turns sweet, eye-opening, soulful, tragic, and hopeful . . . Every year, I wait with anticipation for Katherine Center’s new book. What You Wish For is a fantastic read that will bring you joy and keep you up all night!”
“This book had so much heart and left me wanting more! This is the perfect beach read or anytime read. I already can’t wait for Katherine’s next book.”
“I absolutely LOVED this book and sat with a cheesy grin on my face the entire time. I adore Katherine Center’s writing. It’s so down to earth, joyful, witty, and relatable! She has an uncanny ability to tap into human emotions and translate them into amazing stories. The witty banter will have you giggling and the conclusion will warm your heart. As someone who works in a school, this book resonated with me on a deep level. It invigorated my love for my students and inspired me to add more color to their world. I absolutely LOVED this book and think it may be her best yet. I give What You Wish For the full 5⭐️.”
“Katherine Center does it again!“
“This book was phenomenal. It had poignant humor, emotional impact, hilarious dialogue, and fantastic characters. It’s everything I love about contemporary fiction–funny and impactful at the same time. The characters are well rounded, Center brings you right into the world of private school teachers, and you can’t help but care deeply about everyone. I highly recommend this book. It was a fantastic read.”
“I have enjoyed all the Katherine Center novels I have read before but this one was exceptional! I honestly could not put the book down. The characters were wonderfu and the storyline ADORABLE. It made me sad it had to end.”
“Katherine Center’s books are always magical. There’s just something about her writing that grabs you and makes you want to finish a book in a day or two. What You Wish For is no different. This is a touching story about love, courage, and mostly joy. It’s about finding joy in the hard times and seeking it out every day. It’s beautiful and so relatable. It’s the perfect lesson wrapped into the perfect story.”
“There is nothing more wonderful to read about than when brilliant characters come into their own.”
“We made a choice to do joy on purpose. Not in spite of life’s sorrows, but because of them.
This is one of those books that landed in my lap at the exact time I needed it. What a beautiful, wonderful book about creating joy no matter where you find yourself on life’s path. I loved everything about this book- from the writing, to the heartwarming story and endearing characters. I laughed, I cheered, I teared up (I mean that scene with little Clay on the beach about sent me over the edge….) I’m not a huge re-reader of books but i suspect I’ll re-savor this one again. Favorite Katherine Center book yet!!”
“I read this on one sitting. My 3rd Katherine Center where that happened.”
“What You Wish For is yet another heartwarming tale of tragedy, comedy, and happiness, what the reader should expect from Katherine Center — yet so much more! I honestly read it in one sitting — the story grabbed me from the start and didn’t let go til the very end. The message of finding joy — no, MAKING joy — every single day is one that will stay with me. And I’ll do my best to “celebrate” every chance I get. Thank you, Max and Sam (and Katherine) for that valuable reminder!”
“Katherine Center is Michelangelo of books. A true masterpiece storyteller who can create art with words that reach to your heart.”
“I am a huge fan of Katherine Center. She writes fantastic stories that touch me deeply. What You Wish For is another gem to add to her collection. This story is about overcoming fears. It is realistic, emotional, heartbreaking and uplifting.“
“I loved it! This author writes just the way I want an author to write—with depth to her characters and the story, while still maintaining a positive message, leaving me feeling uplifted.”
“This is the book the world needs right now. Katherine Center’s What You Wish For is all about choosing joy. Especially in the face of hardship. . . . It’s fun, witty, romantic, and just so full of so many amazing messages on the theme of choosing joy. The writing is so well done and kept me captivated the entire way through. What You Wish For is one of those books that was hard to put down and will stick with you well beyond the last word. Very highly recommended and a definite future re-read for me.”
“Words can’t explain how much I loved this book.”
“This was my third Katherine Center book and it just fueled my addiction for her writing. I so enjoy the manner in which she tells a story; like the narrator is talking directly to the reader. Her imagination in creating the characters and the school was astounding . . . Ultimately, this book radiated light, joy, and happiness. Katherine’s writing made me laugh, cry, get angry, and want to put on my craziest, most colorful outfit. As always, I couldn’t put her book down. I read during work, during breakfast, and at 2 am.”
“This was a JOY to read.”
“Another Katherine Center novel, another absolute gem. Katherine’s characters are brought to life so vividly you feel as if you’re an in-person spectator in her novels. You become so engrossed in the story that when the main character loses their breath, you do too. It’s an incredible feat of writing and this did not disappoint.”
“Katherine Center does it again. A book full of emotion and feeling that sucks you right in. A story of finding joy, manifesting happiness, and second chances.”
“This is exactly the book we all need right now to remind us to find the little joys in life, not to live in fear, and “Never miss a chance to celebrate.” I stayed up until four in the morning reading this story. I couldn’t put it down, and yet I woke feeling refreshed, happy, and lighter than I had in days. That’s what a good book can do, it can erase your stress and restore your faith and hope.”
“This is my favorite kind of book: real characters, real situations unfolding in real ways. I REALLY loved it.”
“I really enjoyed this book, so much that I couldn’t put it down and I read it cover to cover. I felt a connection to all of the characters, especially Sam. . . . Ms. Center has a way of writing about hard topics and hard characters that makes us want to see them heal and overcome the tragic events that have shaped their lives. She makes you feel for her characters, whether you want to love them, cry for them, laugh with them or even punch them in the face. I love it when authors have the talent to make me actually feel their characters. Well done!”
“It came along at the perfect time with its message of choosing joy throughout the story. I loved the setting, the idea of the school and all the quirky characters. It’s a wonderful book and one that is hard to put down. I read it in one day and hated for it to end.”
“I highly recommend this book! Katherine Center has done it again!”
“Katherine Center’s books are always like a big giant warm hug for me, and this one was no exception. Beautifully written with supremely likeable characters who are each on a journey to find happiness in their lives, this books message is just perfect: do more of the things that bring you joy!”
“I loved this book. It had a little bit of everything and told a great story.”
“I have yet to read a Katherine Center book that I don’t absolutely fall in love with, and “What You Wish For” continues that trend. Center tells love stories that put normal people in extraordinary circumstances and watches them shine. “What You Wish For” is the sweet and thoughtful story that touches on everything from unrequited love, overcoming trauma, fighting for what you believe in, and personal growth.”
“I will be rereading this book a million times in the future. I love her work!!!”
“Katherine Center has an uncanny ability to take difficult, heart wrenching topics and turn them into the most heart warming lovable stories. Center’s writing is also just so devour-able (is that even a word? I don’t care it’s accurate!) that you just can’t help but want to hang out with her stories all day. Her writing and characters truly come to life off the page. This book was just what I needed to read right now.”
“Do you know how when you especially love a book you want to read really fast to find out what happens next, or even skip ahead a few pages, but at the same time you want to put the book down so you can savor and slowly reread the author’s words? This is such a book.”
“This book has my feelings all over the place. Sad, happy and angry. I was turning the pages so fast to find out what happened. I couldn’t out it down. You will absolutely fall in love with Duncan but also hate him at the same time. Katherine delivered another brilliant read.”
“Katherine Center has a way of making the awful things that can happen in one’s life a beautiful thing you can learn from. I just love her writing.”
“This is one of those books that you are so very delighted to read and so very sad to be over! And the moment I finished the last word, instantly wanted to start all over again!”
“The book will forever go on my favorites shelf and although I don’t reread books, I think I will when things get dull, scary, or tough. So I can remember to have courage and to make a difference. To make ‘joy on purpose’!”
“This book was brilliant in ways I just can’t describe. It’s poignant, heart-warming, funny and full of great joy. I absolutely adored all the characters, especially the main protagonists, Sam and Duncan. There’s even a whale rescue. If I say anything, it’s this—READ THIS BOOK.”
“I loved every page of this awesome book by Katherine Center. Every page of this book was better than the previous one.”
“This was so moving,so appealing, so beautifully written that you can’t help but fall in love! Excellent choice for anyone in need of getting away with a hearty book full of choices, chances, and hope during these trying times. Highly recommend!”
“Katherine Center’s books always have such a great balance of bitter and sweet.”
“This is now my favorite Katherine Center novel, and I did not want it to end. It is the perfect book for the times that we are living in right now as it consistently reminds the reader to live life and to choose joy. The characters are relatable, and the story is set around a close knit community full of hope and love.”
“When you open one of this author’s books it’s like you’ve stepped into the warm and cozy kitchen of your best friend. No matter who they are, honestly. You’re drawn right in, given a nice cup or glass of something to drink, and there’s a golden retriever at your feet. The characters are all so lovely. They’re perfectly and beautifully flawed. And they love. They love in a way that makes me wish I lived in one of these books.”
“Best Katherine Center book I’ve read yet!”
“I LOVE Katherine Center! She’s absolutely one of my favorite authors. Her books are the ones I set aside for vacations and special occasions because I know that reading them will make me happy.”
“This is my first Katherine Center book and I AM HOOKED . . . Trust me, this book is swoon worthy and will leave you feeling wonderful. Katherine Center does a fabulous job at creating a love story that incorporates trauma, healing, self-discovery, trust, companionship, and a sense of community.”
“This was the quarantine book I needed!”
“Center has done it again only this time you are going to be flipping pages so fast to find out what’s happening next, the book will be over before you know it. Her books are never long enough for me. I highly recommend this 5 star read. You won’t be able to put it down.”
“Katherine Center knocks it out of the park again!”
“Reading a Katherine Center novel is so much more than enjoying a finely-crafted plot with memorable characters—when you are reading any one of her books you are LIVING it, and FEELING it—becoming completely involved in all that happens.”
“The sweetest book I’ve read in years, possibly decades . . . What You Wish For is simply a beautiful and uplifting novel. What you should wish for is this book on your shelf.”
“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.”
“I have read two of Katherine Center’s books before this, and she is now one of my favorite authors. I honestly didn’t know what this book was about, but when I saw saw it was Read Now on NetGalley, I immediately requested it. I read this book in a day; I could not put it down . . . This was the perfect book to read during this crazy time of uncertainty and self-quarantine for me.”
“This story draws you in and unfolds several surprises along the way. I found this book thoroughly delightful, and I am looking forward to Katherine Center’s next book.”
“I loved loved loved this book! . . . It was the perfect read at the perfect time for me and I could not be happier to have read it. I can’t even say enough good things about it; the writing, the characters, the storyline were all spot on perfect. Five out of five solid stars!
“Katherine Center is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. She handles a serious topic but weaves it into a beautiful story with a great ending.”
“I read this in one sitting. I thought I’d start with a chapter or two before bed (midnight) only to find myself finishing the book at 3 am. This was my first time reading a Katherine Center book and it won’t be my last! OMG was this just the most feel good book I’ve read in awhile.This book will have you closing the last page with a HUGE smile on your face! I bawled my eyes out and laughed so hard my husband told me to turn off the light and go to bed.”
“An excellent, poignant and heartwarming story that made me smile and think. I loved the storytelling, the style of writing and the great characters.
“This is a book about joy and MY GOODNESS, what a joy it was to read!”
“Center has unique a way of telling a story that is authentic through examining all facets of emotion including grief and tragedy as well with the beauty found in the human experience.”
“This might be my new favorite Katherine Center book. I loved the Happiness for Beginners tie-in. This was the perfect book to bring me a smile and some joy. Center just has a way about her writing that I adore. Her characters are so relatable and lovable. I loved this so much that I read it in approximately 24 hours.”
“This is another great book by Katherine Center. She just keeps writing books that you can not put down.”
“I immediately fell for the main characters and felt incredibly invested in their lives and the story as a whole. Her books are so much more than simple contemporary romance novels because they include great depth and emotion as characters struggle with traumatic issues, carrying their past burdens, and developing deep, meaningful relationships with one another.”
“Katherine Centers books always make me laugh, cry, smile and restore a bit of my faith in the world by the end.”
“OMG…..this story was just what I needed right now…..it was book nirvana.”
“There is so much to laugh about in this book—crazy antics, foot-in-the mouth comments, great, meaningful life lessons: ‘never miss a chance to celebrate;’ ‘pay attention to the things that connect you with joy;’ ‘love is only for the brave.”
“A sigh-worthy page turner. My favorite book of 2020 so far.”
“I loved the message of hope and overcoming your fears. This book will have you smiling, laughing, and even shedding some tears.”
“One of the reasons I love Katherine Center’s books so very much is because each time you read one, you are not only getting a wonderfully captivating story, you are being reminded of what’s important in the world. Katherine has quickly become not only a favorite author, but a mentor of sorts, because each time I read one of her books, I am changed for the better. Each of her books fill this world with beauty and reminds us all to choose joy on purpose”
“All the stars—my year has been made.”
“From the second this book hit my kindle, I struggled to put it down. It was exactly what I needed to pull me out of the book slump I’d been in. If you’re already a Katherine Center fan, you won’t be disappointed. If she’s new to you, start with Happiness for Beginners and then give this one a shot. I’m certain both books will make my year end top ten.”
“Another fantastic book from Katherine Center.”
“I had a lot of trouble putting this book down and ended up finishing it in 24 hours! It was a lovely read, with a few twists along the way that I didn’t expect, and enough humor to keep me chuckling and in a good mood. Exactly what I needed to read right now, and I’d highly recommend it to friends. I will definitely be looking for more of Katherine Center’s books!”
“This book was filled with characters that felt like my best friends and a story I couldn’t put down. This book was nothing but perfection.”
“Such a beautifully written story—perfectly paced, lots of slow-burn emotions, lovely descriptions. I was supposed to be working from home for five hours today, but dang, this book was too good; so I obviously HAD TO skip the work and read this instead. Worth every minute.”
“This book is a love story, a story of hope and fear and bravery and resilience all mixed into one. Another winner from Katherine Center.”
“This book was a Texas sized winner!”
“I really do enjoy Katherine Center’s storytelling. Her stories are more than just romance with a message or a message with romance. Her words paint a beautiful picture whether it’s a character or setting – a person you want to know or a place you’d like to be . . . My only complaint with Ms. Center’s stories is that I wish they didn’t end.”
“This was just the read I needed!”
“Center has a knack for creating wonderfully flawed characters who you simultaneously want to hug and to shake. Sam’s insecurities and actions are difficult to read about sometimes, because she’s so blind to how others feel about her; however, because of that, they feel really authentic. Center’s examination of Duncan’s trauma and how it changes him is also done in a compelling and sensitive way. There are various supporting characters who enrich the story and help give it life, even down to those who are barely peripheral. Make no mistake, this is mostly a drama, with some romance mixed in there. More importantly, it’s an examination and a journey into the lives of two people who feel like they’re all alone and how finding their joy helps redeem them.”
“I loved the book so much that I couldn’t stop reading! I literally read it in one sitting, that’s how good it is!”
“Filled with insightful, heart-wrenching moments it will live on in your thoughts for a long time after turning the last page. I will definitely be reading more from Katherine Center.”
“Another beautiful, touching story from Katherine Center!”
“I wished for a memorable read and it was granted . . . I fell in love with the characters, community and school. I couldn’t put the book down and finished the book within an afternoon. I longed for the characters to realize their dreams and for lives to continue beyond the final chapter.”
“This book was a love story but not just romantic love. It is about loving life, loving the family you create, the journey of childhood, but most of all loving yourself . . . It will make you smile and will make you think about life with a bit more compassion. I really enjoyed it and I know lots of people will be talking about this book when it releases this summer!”
“The author does a great job of keeping the reader engaged, entertained, and at times also deeply moved. I couldn’t put this one down and was sad when it ended.”
“I think Katherine Center’s books should be sold at the drugstore because they’re the best medicine for human souls. You laugh, you cry, you smile, you sigh and as soon as you finish it, the positive energy took control of your nervous system. You want to dance, you want to sing and you want to share your joy with your loved ones . . . I truly loved it so much.”
“I love Katherine Centers books, this one with the theme “Finding Joy” was spot on! I loved the t-shirt sayings, I loved the whimsical way of creating joy. Wonderful book!”
“Do yourself a favor and read this book.”
“This was such a treat to read. Katherine Center always provides stories with characters that you would love to know in real life. This book is no exception. Sam and Duncan came alive for me and I was rooting for them throughout. Kempner was so vivid in my eyes – I wanted the chance to sit down in Sam’s library and read for hours. This is one of those stories that I didn’t want to end. When the world was in a bit of chaos and upheaval this book was the perfect antidote. I can’t wait to recommend it to my friends.”
“This story touched my heart, made me sad, made my heart swell and made me smile. It reminded me to ‘pay attention to the things that connect you with joy.'”
“I’ve read Katherine’s previous books and was in love with them. What You Wish For was no different. A story about love, loss and finding joy on purpose. Finding ways to celebrate the moments that matter while navigating real life and the fear and uncertainty that goes with it”
“I don’t read many romance/chick lit books, but I make an exception for anything that Katherine Center writes!”
“Another wonderful book by Katherine Center! I guess you could call this a second-chance romance, but it is so, so much more than that. . . . Some of the themes are “ripped from the headlines”, others are emotion-packed, and still others are part of everyday life. When put all together by this terrific author, it becomes a book that causes you to laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time.”
“I always laugh out loud—literally!—at Center’s books, and this one was no exception.”
“Pull up a chair and you’ll immediately be sucked into this wonderfully emotional read. I laughed and cried the whole way through and in the end smiled wishing good things for all the characters I got to know throughout the pages.”
“It was a twist of fate that I should pick up this book at this time of viral panic. The fear that we would never be joyful again, however Ms. Center’s writing brings us back to the center of life.”
“‘Pay attention to the things that connect you with joy.’ It must be said that ALL of Katherine Center’s novels connect me with joy, so I was beyond thrilled to read her latest novel, What You Wish For. If you have read and loved any of Center’s previous novels then you know the magic that she can create with words. This book is no different.”
“When I am feeling a bit down Center’s books are my go-to. Her novels are easy to read (perfect to curl up with on a weekend afternoon or vacation) but also have the perfect mix of real-life and imperfect characters.”
“What You Wish For is quite possibly the best book I’ve read by Katherine Center. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed every one that I’ve read, but this, this was different. What You Wish For is all heart and soul with people’s hopes, fears and challenges hanging out everywhere and it’s a fantastic type of hanging out everywhere.”
“What You Wish For by Katherine Center was amazing! Without a doubt a 5 star read!”
“I love Katherine Center’s books. Her characters, descriptions and dialogue pull you in and don’t let go. It feels sometimes like you are right there watching the story unfold as if happens—as if you might find yourself part of the conversations.”
“I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a feel good story of love and triumph.”
“I’m so happy I discovered Katherine Center’s writing in her previous novels because her books make me feel so good. I loved What You Wish For and read it in one sitting. She knows how to write romance without being cheesy – the story tugs at your heart strings and makes you care about the characters as if they’re people in your own life.”
“This is a wonderful, uplifting novel that I read in a day. It is a happy story that we all need! Katherine Center has done it again! Excellent!”
“I am such a fan of Katherine Center that I will automatically read anything she writes. That being said, this book was amazing. The main character was very in her head, but so witty and funny, yet compassionate. I felt like the author dealt with a very unfortunate issue of our time, carefully and thoughtfully, with no glossing over the hard emotional parts. This was an emotional, funny, heartfelt story and as with all of Katherine Center’s books, I turned the last page with a smile. I just love her positive energy and highly recommend this book!”
“I absolutely adored this book. I’m a teacher and this one hit a little bit harder because of the sensitive nature of this book. I love how real and raw it felt . . . I cried and laughed and found so much joy within these pages.”
“This story, as with all of Katherine Center’s books, reminds you that there is bad in the world, but it can be overcome by choosing to remain positive and look for the light. To celebrate successes and wins and take control over your happiness. I loved Sam and Duncan and I loved learning Duncan’s story . . . This book was such a feel good read! I can’t wait for everyone to experience it in July!”
“I read her last two books, which were stunning, and so is this one. Her books make you not just happy, but joyful, and give hope.”
“If you are looking for a book that will make you laugh, cry, and applaud in triumph, this book by Katherine Center is exactly what you’re looking for.”
“I was so excited to pick up this book every night! . . . It’s a must read for everyone looking for a pick me up or anyone who enjoys a delightful novel.”
“What You Wish For is filled with so much love, and of course sadness—but within that there was JOY.”
“Katherine Center just does something to me. Her books are like a balm for my weary soul. And my soul is especially weary right now. Her words just make me JOYFUL. And What You Wish For has a strong undercurrent of joy. Of choosing to do the hard thing, even when you have to fight through it to get to the sweet part. I adored the love story portion of this novel. Duncan and Sam just had the sweetest chemistry and you couldn’t help but root for both of them. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there is definitely a heartbreaking, trigger-warning worthy subplot. It left me more emotional than I expected, but that’s not a bad thing. The bitter was definitely worth the sweet. Katherine Center wins “Most likely to make my heart happy” and that’s just what I need right now.”
“I love the heart and emotion that Center captures in her characters and her stories. Readers feel right along with the Sam and Duncan as they confront their demons, face their fears, and follow their hearts.”
“This was exactly the book I needed right now. I have read a few books lately that let me feeling eh…. BUT NOT THIS ONE. It was so good I couldn’t put it down . . . This book made me laugh, cry and really think about how we approach each day. I have read Katherine Center’s 2 books prior to this one and I just can’t pick a favorite out of the three. If you loved ‘How to Walk Away’ or ‘Things You Save In A Fire,’ you will love this book.”
“I almost don’t know where to begin with this review because there was so much I loved about this book. You need to read it.”
“I loved Happiness for Beginners. So when I saw this book was about Duncan, I was so excited to read it. I love how all the characters are flawed but strong. I love that all of Katherine’s books have a life lesson to them. It was truly a joy to read this book.”
“Beautifully written, the author takes you on a journey through a love story that will lift your heart and make you smile
I couldn’t read it fast enough, it was so good.”
“I loved Sam and Duncan’s relationship dynamic. I was continually rooting for both of them as I learned more about their past and what made them who they were. After loving Katherine Center’s recent three novels, she is now an auto-buy author for me.“
“Guys, I don’t usually love romantic books, but this one was so freaking good. It has heartbreak, and romance, and . . . it was such a happy/sad read all at the same time.”
“A perfect summer read with friendship, love and some pretty good life lessons thrown in there for good measure.”
“Katherine Center can do no wrong.”
“I devoured What You Wish For just like I devoured How To Walk Away and Things You Save In A Fire. Katherine just has this way with words that just warms my heart!! Will be in my Top reads of 2020!”
“I loved everything about What You Wish For, from the characters to the theme of choosing joy and doing it in spite of your fears.”
“This author has a special way of creating flawed but admirable characters who discover themselves and grow through dealing with difficult situations—and writing in a way that keeps the reader turning pages, never knowing whether the next will prompt a chuckle or a tear.”