Review and Release: Wish You Were Here by Renee Carlino

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.

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3 Star Review

I feel like I am the only person who has read this book so far that wasn't moved to tears. Normally, I would say that it's because I am so tough when it comes to emotions while reading. I don't think that is all it is with this one.

I have been a huge fan of Carlino's since she published her very first book. She has been a go-to author when I want a romance story. Her writing is phenomenal, and she is able to tell a story with complete expertise.

In the beginning of the story, I was totally jiving with it. I was on board. Then, the book took a turn. I began to loathe Charlotte. I couldn't shake my disdain for her character. In my eyes, she was selfish. No matter what, she had a tough time redeeming herself to me.

I can see where and why people were brought to tears while reading this book. The disconnect  for me that sets me away from those readers is my inability to feel any form of empathy or sympathy for Charlotte. I felt for the characters she affected the most around her, but not her. 

By the time this book ended, I still just didn't like Charlotte, but I was happy with the final result of the story, even though I didn't feel Charlotte deserved it. 

Carlino's writing is spot-on like it always has been. After reading my thoughts above, it might not seem like it. This just wasn't a story that I totally got into.

Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women's novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including Cosmopolitan Magazine, USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, Publisher's Weekly, Redbook, Sunset Magazine, Coastal Living and the Union Tribune. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their new puppy, John Snow Cash. When she's not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. Learn more at