Wednesday, July 15, 2020

What You Wish For by Katherine Center

What You Wish For
Happy Wednesday!  I hope your week is going well.  From Beer to Eternity by Sherry Harris is out on July 28 along with Tea & Treachery by Vicki Delany and Romancing Nadine by Amy LillardAcross the Winding River by Aimee K. Runyan releases August 1.  Plenty of new books coming out to keep us busy since traveling is unwise this summer.  
Planning a trip to Galveston Island, Texas? Here are 14 not to be missed things that you should add to your itinerary!
Galveston Island, Texas
What You Wish For by Katherine Center has Samantha Casey working as school librarian at the Kempner School on Galveston Island, Texas.  She loves her job where creativity is encouraged, and learning is made fun.  Sam has organized the sixtieth birthday party for the school’s beloved principal, Max Kempner.  Max is having the time of his life dancing with his wife, Babette.  But then Max collapses and the paramedics are unable to save him.  A week later, Kent Buckley (chairman of the school board) announces that he has obtained Duncan Carpenter as Max’s replacement which stuns everyone.  Sam remembers Duncan from her last job in California.  She has a major crush on Duncan and remembers him as a lively man who took fun to another level.  Sam is surprised to see Duncan wearing a boring gray suit and his introductory speech focuses on security.  Duncan then proceeds to make changes that soon turn their happy school into a prison.  Sam knows something needs to be done before the place she loves is changed forever.
Things to do in Galveston - Besides the Beach
Galveston Island Ghost Ship
What You Wish For by Katherine Center is not what I expected from reading the blurb.  I was looking forward to reading something light and entertaining (I wanted a change of pace).  I thought it had a rough beginning where I felt I was plopped into the middle the book instead of the beginning.  Samantha “Sam” Casey is the librarian at the Kempner School on Galveston Island, Texas.  Sam loves her apartment, her friends, the staff, students, and her job.  Max and Babette Kempner founded the school and have become surrogate parents to Sam.  She lives in the apartment in their carriage house.  I did not like Sam.  She is an insecure woman who rattles on endlessly. She has an eclectic wardrobe.  What You Wish For is told in the first-person so we get to know Sam’s every thought.  The reason Sam left her last job was utterly ridiculous.  There was a great deal of repetition of information (I lost track of how many times we are told Duncan is goofy, she had a crush, Tina did not like her) and there is foul language as well.  I believe the book is supposed to be humorous, but it missed the mark.  Samantha’s full name is not mentioned until the fourth chapter and I thought all the characters lacked development (they are not fleshed out especially Sam’s friend, Alice).  There were two scenes that went on way too long.  One is the dance party which could have been cute if it had not felt like it lasted five hours instead of five minutes.  The other is a touching scene with Clay Buckley (the sweetest young man) near the end.  I did appreciate the epilogue that wrapped up What You Wish For.  There were some areas that could have been humorous with a little tweaking.  The main themes of the book are to find joy in your life and find reasons to celebrate. We all need happiness and hope in our lives.  The author did touch on serious subjects which were PTSD, bullying, and school safety.  I struggled to finish What You Wish For because I wanted to dump the book after reading the first chapter.  I found the story to be cheesy which resulted in eye rolling and me yelling at the book. I did, though, enjoy the descriptions of the Kempner School which is in a beautiful building and of Galveston Island.  I suggest you read a sample to see if this book is what you are looking for.  What You Wish For was not a wish come true for me.
Beach Pictures: View Images of Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
What You Wish For can be purchased from Amazon*.  You can find Katherine Center's other novels here. From what I understand from other readers, What You Wish For is not the author's usual type of work.  They have suggested I try How to Walk Away. Thank you for joining me today.  I truly do appreciate it.  Tomorrow I am featuring Jane Darrowfield, Professional Busybody by Barbara Ross.  It is the debut of the Jane Darrowfield series.  I hope you have a happy day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
'Femme en barque' ('Woman in a Boat') (c.1885-88) by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925). Oil on canvas. 50.80 x 68.58 cm (20 x 27 in). Private collection. // Found by @RandomMagicTour ( - Sasha Soren - Book trailer: - Browse (Kindle/print):
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