Blogmas Book Review: How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

GoodReads Summary:
Margaret Jacobsen has a bright future ahead of her: a fiancé she adores, her dream job, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in one tumultuous moment.
In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Margaret must figure out how to move forward on her own terms while facing long-held family secrets, devastating heartbreak, and the idea that love might find her in the last place she would ever expect.
How to Walk AwayReview:
How to Walk Away was a beautiful story. Margaret has a fear of flying. So, her boyfriend surprising her with a plane ride shortly before he was supposed to test for his pilot’s license is like her worst nightmare. She agrees to the ride despite her fears. He proposes while flying, but instead of a happy celebration they had planned, the plane crashes as they’re trying to land.
This story focuses on Margaret’s time in the hospital after the plane crash as she’s recovering. Everything she had planned for her life has changed. I can’t speak to the accuracy of what Margaret goes through as I’ve never been through a traumatic life altering event like her. But as an outside observer all of the things Margaret was thinking and feeling seemed realistic. She has ups and downs, feels good some days and despairs others. I think the writing was well done and really made me feel what Margaret was feeling.
I didn’t expect this to turn into a romance, but I’m not mad about it. I really liked that this story continued after her time in the hospital. We learned about the plan she had for herself, but then we got to watch her figure out what to do next, to think about what she really wants from her life. I liked seeing her get as better as she was going to get and doing what she needed to do to create a new plan for her future.
Overall, I enjoyed this story was more than I thought I was going to. It was a beautiful story about finding a new path, and maybe finding love on that path. I will definitely be reading more books by Center.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

What You Wish For by Katherine Center

GoodReads Summary:
Samantha Casey loves everything about her job as an elementary school librarian on the sunny, historic island of Galveston, Texas—the goofy kids, the stately Victorian building, the butterfly garden. But when the school suddenly loses its beloved principal, it turns out his replacement will be none other than Duncan Carpenter—a former, unrequited crush of Sam’s from many years before.
When Duncan shows up as her new boss, though, he’s nothing like the sweet teacher she once swooned over. He’s become stiff, and humorless, and obsessed with school safety. Now, with Duncan determined to destroy everything Sam loves about her school in the name of security—and turn it into nothing short of a prison—Sam has to stand up for everyone she cares about before the school that’s become her home is gone for good.
What You Wish ForReview:
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me this eARC in exchange for an honest review. I’ve heard great things about Katherine Center’s books so when I saw this one up on NetGalley I thought I’d give it a try.
I absolutely adored this book. I love books about people that love books. So, following an elementary school library in her quest to try and save her school. She tries to make her library a safe place for the children and teach them to love reading. I just loved that. But when beloved principal and founder, Max, dies, someone new is brought in to replace him, someone that Sam knows already. But she doesn’t know this new version of him. He’s trying to change everything she loves about her school, the place she’s made her home. And she’s not going to let that happen. I loved the community aspect of this book. The town comes together because they care because they love where they live. They come up with fun and funny things to make Duncan do and I loved it.
Duncan is a man with a past, but Sam is missing the part of his past that has caused such a big change in him. So, until she learns his history, she’s determined to make him leave the school. But when she learns of the trauma, he’s experienced she decides to help him become his old self. I loved his story. He’s a man that’s been through some serious things and it shows. But once he starts opening up, he starts to heal.
I really loved that this was more than a romance novel. There was romance in the best way. Two people that made one another better, that helped heal one another. Their relationship was full of conflict but was handled so well and so sweet. I absolutely adored this book and I will be reading more of this author’s work.

Quotes:

“I took him to the library. Where else? My beautiful, magical, beloved library…home of a million other lives. Home of comfort, and distraction, and getting lost—in the very best way.”

“It was the best way I knew how to turn them into readers: to catch those little sparks when they happened and turn them into flames.”

“I wasn’t a stranger to grieving, to the way it drowned you but didn’t kill you—only keep you submerged for so long you forgot what air and sunshine even felt like. I knew that grief set its own timeline, and that the only way out was through.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda