Katherine Center is an auto buy author for me. Things I love about her books: they’re normally set in Texas and they always give me all the warm fuzzies. She’s definitely a comfort read and as always, I was stoked to get an ARC of Hello Stranger.
Sadie Montgomery, after hitting rock bottom, is a top 10 finalist in a portrait contest that could be her big break. On her way to celebrate her exciting news, Sadie is saved from almost getting hit by a bus and finds out she need emergency brain surgery. While the surgery goes off without a hitch, her recovery isn’t quite as smooth and has left her unable to recognize faces. Face Blindness isn’t great for her prospects of being a portrait artist, but at least her neighbor Joe and her best friend are willing to help her practice and hopefully save her career.
I really love the way Center crafts her characters. They tend to be extremely realistic, full of flaws, but ultimately, we see so much growth in them throughout the story. I really wanted to love Sadie, but I thought she was just an ‘Ok’ main character. I can’t put my finger on why, so it’s probably a ‘Me’ problem. Her relationship with her family was also a bit unrealistic and those two factors took this down a star for me. I could have done without the ‘wicked stepsister and stepmother’ bit.
On the positive side – Joe is such a great love interest. I loved his patience with Sadie and the way they interacted. I LOVED LOVED peanut. As a major dog lover, throwing in a dog who eats better than my own dog SADIE, just makes my heart happy. Lastly, you can always tell that Center spends time researching her books. The details and depicts of face blindness within the story was really well done. This is also the first story about face blindness (that I’ve read) that dives deeper into the different types, how it can be developed, and how people’s experiences can different.
Honestly, I just adore Katherine Center’s writing, and having met her a few times I also think she is such a joyful human. While this isn’t my favorite of her recent books, it’s still adorable and you won’t regret reading it.
Be sure to check out my reviews of other KC books below:
Hello Stranger comes out July 11, 2023! Huge thank you to St. Martin’s Press for my advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof.books.