REVIEW: Wish You Were Here by Renee Carlino



“I promise to love you forever.  As long as there is love in this world, we will be a part of it.”


Charlotte has spent her twenties adrift, floating from interest to interest, job to job, and guy to guy, searching for a spark but never quite finding it. All she knows is that she won’t discover it working as a waitress at a pies-and-fries joint in Los Angeles or living with her fun but aimless best friend in a tiny apartment in the Arts District.

Then Charlotte collides with Adam, a gorgeous and soulful painter who seems just as lost as she feels. Their instant connection turns into a midnight drink… and a whirlwind night of champagne, Chinese food, and the kind of conversation that only happens in romantic comedies. But the next morning, Adam gives Charlotte the cold shoulder, leaving her confused and hurt—and wondering if the few odd moments between them the night before were red flags in disguise.

Months later, Charlotte hasn’t been able to shake Adam, so she decides to find out what happened the morning after their magical night together. This fateful decision rewrites their wild love story, but what Charlotte doesn’t know yet is that the ending has already been written.

Last year, I pre-ordered Renee Carlino’s book Swear on This Life.  I liked the cover, and I had heard that if you enjoyed Colleen Hoover, you may also enjoy Carlino’s novels.  It came in the mail on a Tuesday.  I was working, and bullshitting with April.  It was a slow day, and I picked it up to read just the first few pages.  What a mistake!  Needless to say, I wrapped up my work stuff as quickly as possible that day, and April didn’t hear from me for several hours while I tore through the pages of the book.  I was an instant Renee Carlino fan, and I’ll seriously read anything she writes, even if it’s on the side of a cereal box.

Wish You Were Here was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017.  I’ve been not so patiently waiting for it to arrive in my mailbox.  It actually got here a day early, but we were out of town seeing my brother, and I had to wait until Wednesday before I even got a chance to pick it up.  It was pure torture.  But once I was able to start, I couldn’t stop reading.  I finished this one in two sittings, which is quite the feat with three little ones, a full time job, and a husband.

A heartbreaking journey through one woman’s love life, Wish You Were Here will leave you worn out and emotionally drained in the best way.  It is a story about love, in all forms, and about life.  If one thing this book teaches you is to not live in fear, but make the most of the life you were given, because we only get one.

Charlotte, our main character, is a frazzled waitress, working a dead end job, and floundering at life.  She lives with her best friend, has a rough relationship with her parents and brother, and thinks horribly of herself.  After one of Helen’s breakups, the two go out for drinks and on the way back to their apartment they meet Adam.  Charlotte immediately feels a pull towards Adam, and despite her fears, she leaves Helen and goes to have a drink with him.  They end up at Adam’s loft, where Charlotte discovers that he is an artist.

Adam is not without his quirks.  He’s forgetful, a little odd, and gives no fucks about things that Charlotte thinks really matter, like the pile of parking tickets they find on his car.  Instead, he’s spontaneous and looks for adventure and fun.  Charlotte finds herself falling for him rather quickly, until the next morning when he abruptly kicks her out of the loft, feeding on Charlotte’s already damaged ego.

Months later, Charlotte meets Seth on, but finds herself hesitant to let him because in her heart,  as she still loves Adam, even though it was only one night.  Seth is persistent, and peruses Charlotte until she can’t say no.  But things become even more complicated when Adam returns, causing Charlotte to question everything she’s ever really believed.

This book is an emotional rollercoaster at its finest.  It’s much more than just a love story.  The characters, the plot, the setting is all in place to teach us about taking risks, living in leaps and bounds, and not letting fear hold us back from truly living.  Adam is a prime example of this, and the lessons he teaches Charlotte are lessons I think anyone can benefit from.

Also, don’t let the fact that this is a “love triangle” persuade you from reading this one.  It’s much more than that, and the love triangle honestly doesn’t play that big of a role in the story.

I highly recommend Wish You Were Here, and I haven’t stopped thinking of it since I finished the final pages yesterday.  It’s highly worth your time, so, get reading!


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