Once and for All – Sarah Dessen


32078787Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Publisher: Viking BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

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.

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This is the perfect romantic summer read. It’s lovely inside and out.

I received a copy of this book yesterday morning and began reading it the same evening. I tried to resist, as I already have eight other books lined up, just patiently waiting their turn to woo me, but I couldn’t keep my eyes off this beauty. (Bonus: it smells really good.)

And guess what? I read it in one sitting. I haven’t done that in quite some time, if you don’t count graphic novels, which don’t take long to finish. This is a 360-page novel that I read and read and read without taking any breaks. That’s crazy when you think about it, since I read on average one page per minute, meaning that I spent 6 hours straight reading this. Oh my. Must get a life.

But I couldn’t not do that. It’s fantastic. It’s definitely not a story with happy-go-lucky kind of characters and an extremely light atmosphere. It’s pretty intense, actually. Louna’s past has some tragedy in it and the wedding planning business is a source of stress for everyone. Even I felt stressed out when something went wrong.

Oh but I expected that. This is my 5th book from the talented Sarah Dessen. I knew to anticipate a love story weaved into a family and friendship-centered plot with tons of lessons to learn from and inspirational quotes to ponder. Though I think this is the first time I like the secondary (however quite present) characters—Louna’s mother and her business partner—as much as I do the main ones.

Ambrose, the love interest, is the type of guy who lives life one day at a time. He is kind and funny as well as fun. You can’t get bored when he’s around. He pays attention and cares for others. Louna is not interested in a relationship after what happened to her ex-boyfriend, but that doesn’t mean she’s an Ice Queen. She’s open to friendship.

Their relationship evolves very realistically. In the beginning Louna misjudges Ambrose and finds him incredibly annoying. He’s a womanizer, that’s true, but he’s respectful and claims he can change his ways. He’s warming up to Louna by the day, though I must say I enjoyed their fights as much as I did their sweet moments.

A must-read for romance lovers and even those who only want a pleasant summer beach read.

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