Review: Wish You Were Here by Renée Carlino

This was a complicated book filled with complicated feelings and complicated story arcs. That’s the only way I can describe it. I didn’t hate it. I fully loved the concept of it and the direction that it could have taken.

Charlotte’s life isn’t perfect. She hates her job waitressing and hasn’t been lucky in the romance department. One night, while her and her best friend are having a night out, she meets this guy name Adam. Adam and Charlotte spend the rest of the night together. The next morning, Adam is acting weird and he disappears. Many months later, Charlotte has a new guy in her life, Seth, however, she can’t seem to stop thinking about Adam and their special night together. She eventually finds out why Adam was behaving so strangely and it hits her hard- emotionally.

I think this Wish You Were Here barely touched the surface. What I mean is the story itself is supposed to be mysterious, heartbreaking, and intriguing all at the same time. Although it was a little predictable, the mystery was solid. It kept me wanting to keep reading. I will admit that I wish that the reasoning for Adam’s disappearance would had been revealed later on in the book. The event that happened after it was solved felt rushed.

The main problem I had with this book is that it was supposed to heartbreaking. The emotion was very tame or nonexistent. It didn’t get as deep as it needed to be. And I think that can be accredited to the lack of connection to the characters. You don’t care about them as much as you should for this story to be told.


Adam was supposed to be this charming guy, but in the end he felt too pushy at times and his strange behavior was off-putting. The whole story is built around Adam and Charlotte’s one night together, however, the one night felt a little cringe worthy and lacking chemistry. I wasn’t sure what made either characters as special as they keep making each other out to be. It was a tad bit too instalove.

Charlotte was just average, but if you asked Seth or Adam, she was amazing. This was a problem; there was a lot of telling instead of showing. 

Also, she was a little on the judgy side. Especially, when she judges her friend for basically doing the same thing that she had done months prior. Because of the lack of depth and development of Adam, his disappearance felt a little eh. Reader’s don’t know him that well before he leaves, so when he does, there isn’t a strong emotional attachment.

Final Analysis

Wish You Were Here could have and would have been great; however, everything good seems to be outshined by a weak love story and an inauthentic story.