Book Review | Once and for All
Title: Once and for All by Sarah Dessen
Genres: Ya, Contemporary
Published by: Viking Books for Young Readers (June 6, 2017)
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.
What I Thought
When Sarah Dessen announced she was writing a new book, I was so excited! She is one of my favorite authors. I absolutely adore Sarah Dessen’s novels, and I am so happy to say it was no different for Once and for All!
Like all of Sarah Dessen’s books, the characters were so phenomenal. Louna was a very likable character for me, and I thought Ambrose, while definitely not perfect, was so sweet. I really loved watching the relationship grow. Jilly, Louna’s best friend was also such a great character. She was very confident, and a great and supportive best friend. I also want to say that while her family wasn’t in the story a whole lot, I really loved the positive portrayal of Jilly’s parents. They were very happily married, and loved all their kids, and that is something that really isn’t shown in YA enough, in my opinion. Personally, I would love to read a whole book about Jilly and her family and their food truck!
This story is a little heavy at times. It deals with loss and tragedy, and the flashbacks really broke my heart. While there is romance in this book, I feel like the real story is about Louna’s growth and learning to let others in.
Honestly, I thought the whole wedding planning theme was so much fun. I’m so glad I’m not a wedding planner though because, whew, they are such hard workers!! Another thing I found super fun was all the references from Sarah Dessen’s past books! I love little things like that, and it gave us a tiny glimpse into seeing how everyone is doing.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book! It was fun and light-hearted at times, but it also had its quite emotional moments. I loved the characters and the romance as well. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a good, contemporary novel.