What You Wish For is a feel good, make you happy book written Katherine Center, author of Things You Save in a Fire. Unfortunately, it didn’t make me feel good or happy but, rather, bored and underwhelmed. Please note that I am very aware that I am the fish swimming against the current and that every female reader who I know has “loved” this book. You can read their reviews if you’d like.
Sam is a pleaser, you know the kind, the gal who wants everyone to happy all of the time and goes out of her way to make sure that you always have a smile on your face. The beginning of the story tells of her love of her job as a librarian in Galveston, TX (have you been to Galveston lately?) the perfect couple she is living with, her nerdy friend with math joke t-shirts, and her beautiful school where everything is perfect – the kids, the library where she works, just simply everything until the principal of the school and one half of the perfect couple mentioned above dies at the anniversary party Sam has planned. Whew. But, hey, no problem because Sam never allows anything to get her down and she will cheerfully take care of everyone, including the new principal who is who her old, once fun boyfriend who is now a curmedgeon set on “destroying” her beloved school. I will just stop here and say…. enough.
Here’s the thing. I have read hundreds of books since COVID19 began infecting the world. I understand that many readers want happy, go-lucky, cheerful books to keep their mind off of reality. This book, with one glaring exception, will hit the mark for you. It is, literally, made for television happy. But that is not what I needed or still need. I’m sick of overly happy, cheesy women (and men) who walk around with smiles on their faces when there is nothing to be happy about right now. I’m not a stick in the mud or bitter but I cannot do fake and insipid either. The fact is that library funding – school and local – is shrinking. Schools, especially in Texas, are not coping with the demands of the 21st century learning curves. They have taken science out of their science classes and facts out of their history classes so I’m a little cynical when I read about this perfect school set in a city where I know it’s a fallacy and all we need to do is make the principal remember how much fun he used to be. Right. But it’s fiction, you say. Sure, or maybe it should listed in the fantasy section. Regardless, I’m not going to write a review that says RAH RAH when I tried twice to read this book and couldn’t finish it either time. I read silly books. I read fun books. I didn’t find this to be either. Whether you read or enjoy it is totally up to you.