In exchange for an honest review, I read the advanced readers’ copy of What You Wish For, by Katherine Center, courtesy of St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley. This may be one of Ms. Center’s best books yet. How she weaves so many important issues into one book is both amazing and entertaining.
Samantha “Sam” Casey is a school librarian at a charming school where children are loved and nurtured. After the untimely death of their principal, the one person Sam wants never to see again – Duncan Casey – is hired as principal.
Sam knows Duncan from her last school where she fell in love with him, but felt invisible to him – to everyone, in fact. When Duncan arrives, he is not the man Sam remembers. Stiff, dictatorial, and unmoved by the faculty’s ideas and pleas, he insists on turning the school into a prison for the protection of the kids.
It’s pretty clear he has had a traumatic experience since Same last saw him, but she can’t figure him out. While the faculty is trying to get him fired, Sam works to find out what changed him. It takes a near-tragedy to bring him around.
What You Wish For explores epilepsy, self-esteem, relationships, gifted children, school shootings, fathers who are so absorbed in making money, they ignore their children, even saving whales. This is a book you don’t want to miss.
What made The Grumpy Book Reviewer grumpy?
- Most importantly, the incorrect use of the phrase, “begs the question” when “raises the question” fits the dialogue. They do not have even close to the same meaning.
- Using a word that doesn’t actually exist: “preventatively”. It should be “preventively”.
- Confusing “further” with “farther”.