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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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.


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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