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Book Inspired Recipe & Book Review: What You Wish For by Katherine Center

Thank you to The Book Club Cookbook and St. Martin’s Press for the gifted copy.

I loved this book from start to finish and I thought it was so charming to have it set in a school. This made me nostalgic and think about all my school years. And it reminded me of school food. One of my favorite lunch days was spaghetti day. So, I decided to make some and use tomatoes from my own vegetable garden for the tomato sauce. Here is my recipe:

  • 1 package of spaghetti noodles
  • 2 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 cups of water
  • salt (to taste)
  • garlic (powder or gloves)
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • Italian seasoning (to taste)
  • 1 package of ground beef
  1. Add the 4 cups of water, salt, and Italian seasoning in a pot and boil
  2. Once your water is boiled add your pasta. Bring to another boil, then lower heat and continue for another 7-8 minutes.
  3. In a separate pan, add your butter and melt.
  4. Once butter is melted add garlic , olive oil, and salt. Saute for 2 minutes.
  5. Add your tomatoes and cook for 4 minutes. Continue to stir.
  6. Once your tomatoes are soft, mash them. Keep on low heat. Take off when starts to simmer.
  7. Cook your ground beef in a pan. Remove grease when cooked.
  8. Combine sauce and cooked meat. Add to your cooled and drained pasta and serve.

Title: What You Wish For
Author(s): Katherine Center
Release Date: July 13th, 2021
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre(s): Romance, Contemporary, Fiction

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. 

My Review:

What You Wish For is a charming and hopeful romance. Katherine Center dazzles readers with her fascinating characters and engrossing dialogue.

Sam is a librarian at her perfect school. She loves the students, the staff, and the community. Texas feels like home and this is the only place where she feels hopeful. The death of a friend/father figure brings about so much change that she isn’t necessarily ready for. Max used to be the principal and when she hears that a former colleague, Duncan, is going to fill in the position she is both excited and nervous. She used to have a huge crush on him and loved his personality so she knows this will be a good thing for everyone.

Duncan is a striking man that commands attention. When he walks into the school to hold a meeting, he isn’t like Sam remembered. His happy and goofy attitude is gone and replaced with a strict and stuffy persona. He not only seems to not remember Sam but he is trying to change everything about the school making it seem more secure like a prison.

Sam and Duncan butt heads so many times and when Sam has her breaking point they are both faced with a huge decision. Do they go on ignoring each other or do they open up and try to understand one another?

I am blown away by this book. It is so special with its brilliant mix of tender and vulnerable moments along with the sad and tearful ones too. Katherine’s characters are magical and make the story so enjoyable. I feel like readers will fall in love with Sam and Duncan and even get emotional when they learn more about their struggles. The supporting characters were perfect too. Max brought so much joy even after death, his widow Babette gave everyone hope, and a star student’s kindness and innocence gave Sam the happiness she needs in some of her toughest moments. The writing continued to bring me joy with every chapter because it showed the ups and downs of life. We all face struggles but we can choose to be happy every day no matter how hard it may be.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I give What You Wish For 5 stars. It is by far my favorite book of Katherine’s. This is a heartfelt read about hope, love, loss, and living life to the fullest. The character development is fascinating. I guarantee that you won’t be able to put this book down. It will captivate you and pull at your heartstrings.

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