* USA TODAY Bestseller * Cosmopolitan September 2017 Pick * Goodreads Best Romance of August 2017 *
Hello Giggles “17 Books We Can’t Wait to Read” *
Charlotte has spent her twenties adrift, searching for a spark to jump-start her life and give her a sense of purpose. She’s had as many jobs as she’s had bad relationships, and now she’s feeling especially lost in her less-than-glamorous gig at a pie-and-fry joint in Los Angeles, where the uniforms are bad and the tips are even worse.
Then she collides—literally—with Adam, an intriguing, handsome, and mysterious painter. Their serendipitous meeting on the street turns into a whirlwind one-night stand that has Charlotte feeling enchanted by Adam’s spontaneity and joy for life. There’s promise in both his words and actions, but in the harsh light of morning, Adam’s tune changes, leaving Charlotte to wonder if her notorious bad luck with men is really just her own bad judgment.
Months later, a new relationship with Seth, a charming baseball player, is turning into something more meaningful, but Charlotte’s still having trouble moving past her one enthralling night with Adam. Why? When she searches for answers, she finds the situation with Adam is far more complicated than she ever imagined. Faced with the decision to write a new story with Seth or finish the one started with Adam, Charlotte embarks on a life-altering journey, one that takes her across the world and back again, bringing a lifetime’s worth of pain, joy, and wisdom.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Let me start off by saying that I never leave a review for the books I read. I mean never! I know I should, but I’m just so eager to pick up another book and just never make the time to do so. Well this time, I am. In a way I feel like it will be a way for me to grieve and give me closure to an absolutely incredible story. If I could give this book 10 stars, I would! I am still raw from reading this book last night. I finished the book at 2 AM and struggled to fall asleep. I woke up with tears in my eyes and thinking about the characters and wondered how I would go about my day. Really, I am that affected by this book and I have never felt this way about any book. Sure, there have been books that I have read where I feel like I want the story to continue and missed the characters that I connected with, but this one truly slayed me. I will admit that when I first started reading it, I struggled with the beginning and connecting with the characters. It really wasn’t like her other books where I was captured from the very start. If you are reading this and you find yourself having that same problem, push on, because it’s so incredibly worth it. If you don’t, you will miss out on the best book you will probably ever read. I could write for hours on this book, but I’m still struggling with all my feelings and I just don’t know how I can put them on towards at this point. Perhaps I will come back and do that. Just know that the story is beautifully written and will have you laughing out loud, but also have you bawling your eyes out to the point where you have to put the book down just to gather yourself and then look for a Costco sized tissue box. Renée, you write so beautifully I haven’t found a book of yours yet that hasn’t touched my soul. I dreamed of Adam last night, and I have never once had a dream of any book, or characters, that I have read out before. I feel like Adam and Charlie will forever have an imprint on my heart. Thank you for that!!
Touches all the feelings
This author writes beautifully and I always grab her books and then let them sit for a bit waiting for just the right time so that I can spend time with it because I know that I will want to devour and consume it. This one night stand turns into to a life experience and leads the way to an emotionally richer life. Loved it.
Phenomenal story telling
The title of Renée Carlino's newest book makes you think of a pretty postcard: some sort of Chamber of Commerce photograph that makes you instantly want to be wherever this image was taken.
Yet the "wish" and the "here" are not physical places. Rather, they are emotional, psychological, and spiritual.
Charlotte, your heroine who tells you this beautiful story, does not know where she is. At all. She has tried several careers and currently works as a waitress in a place whose best feature is a bottomless bowl of tortilla soup. She's trying cosmetology and failing, a somewhat symbolic attempt to prettify the blandness encompassing her. She lacks - and dearly needs - color, or at least color aside from her childhood best friend and roommate Helen.
When Charlotte stumbles into Adam one night, she discovers that missing color. He brightens everything for her. Champagne tastes better. Chinese takeout contains more flavors. Sex ignites a prism of passion. They share the sort of night and connection that you dream about having. For the first time, Charlotte feels present in her own life. And then the next morning, it's over. Adam kicks her out.
The problem with experiencing color is that you spend the ensuing days and weeks and months wishing that it were here with you now. Charlotte meets Seth, a sweet and attractive baseball player, and he begins to bring color back. He begins to make Charlotte feel present again,
But Adam. Those hours she spent with him are an amorphous, misty place to which she wants to return. She wants to be there, and she wishes she were. Charlotte is self-aware enough to know that she can't commit to Seth until she has closure with Adam. That path to closure, though, will take her places she cannot possibly anticipate.
Carlino uses a sailing motif to underscore how the places where we wish people would be change over time. What you need today may not be what you need tomorrow. You change. Your desires change. What completes you changes.
And that soul mate who helps you fully realize who you are? That friend you thought was your person? Those can change, too. Sometimes they have to change.
This book made me cry copious tears. It made me think about connections. Carlino made me remember my close friendships from college and my twenties and how those women (who are still my best friends) and I had to adjust our relationships when we met our romantic partners. Carlino also made me think about my parents and how their relationship affects my marriage. She made me think about my relationship with my brother. (To some regard, Charlotte's relationship with Chuck is the defining one of her life. It is also HILARIOUS.)
Renée Carlino is one of my favorite authors. Her books are automatic one-clicks for me, and Wish You Were Here is a gorgeously written, emotionally affecting, testament to why I adore how she tells a story.