Friday, June 9, 2017

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen

Title: Once and For All
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication date: June 6, 2017
Pages: 358
Source/format: ARC from Emma of Missprint as part of the ARC adoption feature

Rating: ☆☆☆ 

Synopsis (from

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

M Y  T H O U G H T S

Louna is your average high school senior but she helps out with her mother's wedding planning business. However, it's ironic how Louna does not believe in true love. With all of these weddings that she helps plan, she tries not to express her feelings about what she thinks about love. With newly hired Ambrose, Louna is rethinking the principles of love. Ambrose is the complete opposite of Louna. He is spontaneous, carefree, a serial dater and a bit arrogant. Louna is organized and hasn't had much of a love life. Ambrose and Louna makes a deal to challenge one another about love, commitment and relationships. 

I haven't read all of Sarah Dessen's novels but I have to admit that Once and For All took me awhile to get invested with the story plot line and the characters. I felt like the plot was a bit slow at first. I did enjoy reading about the inside scoop of weddings. Learning more about the planning side of weddings and how the emotions gets tangled with the wedding planning made the story unique. Also, planning weddings as a teenage must be rough too. Louna was very invested into wedding planning to help her mother out. 

I liked how Dessen touched upon Louna's background history about her family and how the family dynamics worked. With the shaky relationship between her parents and then the loss of her father, Louna's view on love might have been shaped from a young age. Louna becomes a bit more open minded when it comes to love by the end of the book. Loss is a big theme in Once and For All from loss of a father to loss of a significant other.

Dessen adds a sense of humor to the contemporary novel and of course has Once and For All situated in Lakeside and surrounding areas, just like her other novels. If you are looking for a summer contemporary read, Once and For All might be a book for you to pick up.

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