Book Review: Hello Stranger by Katherine Center

I love a book that brings all of the warm fuzzies and Hello Stranger by Katherine Center is a contender for her sweetest love story yet!

In a recent Instagram Reel, Center shared her perspective on love stories. She spoke about the concept of hope within a love story. That knowing there will be a happily ever after isn’t a spoiler or predictable, but rather allows the reader to experience a rare emotional bliss of something to look forward to, hope. You can check out that reel right here.

Center is a master at creating stories that evoke hope. Huge thanks to her for sharing her joy with me and send an early copy of Hello Stranger my way!

Need another example of Center being the queen of love stories? Of course, you do.

Check out my book review of her 2022 novel The Bodyguard here. Spoiler Alert: I loved it so much that I made Katherine a custom embroidery. #fangirl

You can order these books and all of my other favorites from the Books list in my Amazon Storefront!

Before I dive into my review, check out the synopsis of Hello Stranger below:


Sadie Montogmery has had good breaks and bad breaks in her life, but as a struggling artist, all she needs is one lucky break. Things seem to be going her way when she lands one of the coveted finalist spots in a portrait competition. It happens to coincide with a surgery she needs to have. Minor, they say. Less than a week in the hospital they say. Nothing about you will change, they say. Upon recovery, it begins to dawn on Sadie that she can see everything around her, but she can no longer see faces.

Temporary, they say. Lots of people deal with this, they say. As she struggles to cope―and hang onto her artistic dreams―she finds solace in her fourteen-year-old dog, Peanut. Thankfully, she can still see animal faces. When Peanut gets sick, she rushes him to the emergency vet nearby. That’s when she meets veterinarian Dr. Addison. And she’s pleasantly surprised when he asks her on a date. But she doesn’t want anyone to know about her face blindness. Least of all Joe, her obnoxious neighbor who always wears a bowling jacket and seems to know everyone in the building. He’s always there at the most embarrassing but convenient times, and soon, they develop a sort of friendship. But could it be something more?

As Sadie tries to save her career, confront her haunting past, and handle falling in love with two different guys she realizes that happiness can be found in the places―and people― you least expect.

My Spoiler- Free Thoughts:

It was a total five-star read for me! Sadie struggles with stubbornness, difficult family dynamics, and a traumatic brain injury that reveals the need for immediate brain surgery. After discovering that surgery has led to (hopefully temporary) prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness, she’s understandably struggling to make sense of her new way of life. We see her experience anger and frustration, determination, sadness, hope, and, yes, more stubbornness. 

While we get to walk with her through this process that the doctors say is temporary, she’s also found a new love interest in her dog’s veterinarian and friendship in her once obnoxious neighbor. The only problem? She has no idea what either of them look like. 

This book felt like a hug. It felt like coming home to a book that you know will be safe and fun, playful and memorable, and wrap up with a happily ever after no matter where the pages take you. It’s a welcomed escape from stress, fears, and anxieties. 

I tried holding onto this book for as long as I could before reading it to enjoy my own sense of having something to look forward to, but that lasted a whole three weeks.

It publishes 7/11/23, so plan accordingly! This is the perfect story to accompany you by the pool this summer or pack in a carry-on and enjoyed on summer vacation. 

You can order your copy here and have it in your hands as soon as it’s published. Be on the lookout for a Five Star Cocktail in honor of Hello Stranger on my Instagram page soon!

Want more Five Star Cocktails?

Strawberry Basil Margarita for The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand

Strawberry Bourbon Smash for Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Spice Pineapple Margarita for I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

French 75 for Atomic Habits by James Clear

Spicy Passion Fruit Margarita for The Reunion

Large Batch Strawberry Margaritas for Maame by Jessica George

What are your thoughts on Katherine Center’s books? Do you have a favorite? Looking forward to Hello Stranger? 

Leave a comment below and let’s chat!

10 January Books that You Should Pre-Order Now

Happy New Year! 

If you’re feeling anything like me, you’ve been bouncing back and forth between holiday hangover and extreme motivation to get 2023 rolling. Wherever you’re at with this new year, I hope you’re taking strides to prioritize reading!

Speaking of prioritizing your reading, I recently released my 2023 Digital Reading Journal! It holds up to 100 books and is available in my Etsy shop along with some other fantastic reading trackers. Check out my Etsy shop here!

Here are 10 books publishing in January that you should pre-order now!

Think of these pre-orders as future presents to yourself. We know January can be a hard month, take care of your mind by lining up some fantastic reads! 

If you purchase any of these titles, I hope you’ll consider using my embedded links. I earn a small commission from sales at no extra cost to you. Using affiliate links is a fantastic way to support creators at no additional cost and it really does make a difference! 

1. Ms. Demeanor by Elinor Lipman

Love under house arrest?! This contemporary romcom has adorable hijinx written all over it. After a prudish neighbor catches Jane having sex on their apartment rooftop, she’s sentenced to six months of home confinement. Wouldn’t you know it, there’s another resident in the apartment complex who’s also rocking an ankle monitor. 

Read the full synopsis

Purchase your copy here

2. Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun by Elle Cosimano

This is the third and final installment in the Finlay Donovan series. It’s also one of my most anticipated reads of the year! See how the author-turned-hit-woman’s story ends! This is definitely one that needs to be read in order. Linking the first and second books here!

Read the full synopsis 

Purchase your copy here

3. Begin Again by Emma Lord

BIG FAN of Emma Lord’s over here! She writes the best YA titles! Her latest book, Begin Again, takes place at a community college. It has all of the found family, finding your own way, and Just Kiss Already vibes!

Read the full synopsis

Purchase your copy here

4. The Reunion by Kayla Olsen

Talk about SWOON. This book is getting tons of buzz and is sure to be one of the top contemporary romances of the year. The Reunion centers on two former child stars who reconnect and discover that their feelings for each other were not just scripted. Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne!

Read the full synopsis

Purchase your copy here

5. The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz

I LOVE wintery trapped thrillers. Something about the treacherous weather conditions and unreliable characters make me devour these novels. I’m extremely excited about Bartz’ newest release. I’ll be reading this one ASAP.

Read the full synopsis

Purchase your copy here

6. The Twyford Code by Janice Hallet

Strange markings inside a famous children’s book, secret codes, and an English teacher that disappears during a field trip… The Twyford Code takes us on a wild ride in this mystery thriller. Was she murdered? Was she mad? This book has my attention in a big way! 

Read the full synopsis

Purchase your copy here

7. All Hallows by Christopher Golden

If there’s a book that’s going to take away the January blues, it’s this horror drama! It’s got 80’s Stranger Things vibes and a group of children as the main characters. I’m in for this supernatural thriller!

Read the full synopsis 

Purchase your copy here

8. Jellyfish Age Backwards by Nicklas Brendborg

New Year, New You! If you’re looking to focus on more nonfiction reads this year, Jellyfish Age Backwards is a fascinating insight into how plants and animals already hold the secrets to immortality. From a 300+ year old shark to jellyfish that can literally age backwards and start their life process over again, this book feels like more magic than reality. 

Read the full synopsis

Purchase your copy here

9. The Villa by Rachel Hawkins

Hawkins is back with another twisty thriller! Two friends, both writers, take a writing retreat to an old villa turned holiday home. But, the Villa is holding onto secrets of its own. Inspired by Fleetwood Mac, the Manson murders, and the birthplace of Frankenstein, The Villa takes readers on a wild ride!

Read the full synopsis

Purchase your copy here

10. Locust Lane by Stephen Amidon

For fans of Mystic River by Dennis Lehane and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, Stephen Amidon’s Locust Lane is a taut and utterly propulsive story about the search for justice and the fault lines of power and influence in a seemingly idyllic town. Can anyone be trusted?

Read the full synopsis here

Purchase your copy here

I’d love to know if you read any of these titles! Leave me a comment or send me a message on Instagram or Facebook and let’s chat books!

Know some readers that could benefit from this list? Send them the link or share this post to your social media pages and tag me!

This post contains affiliate links.
Close Me
Looking for Something?
Post Categories: