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REVIEW: Once and For All, by Sarah Dessen

August 22, 2017
REVIEW: Once and For All, by Sarah DessenOnce and for All (B&N Exclusive Book) by Sarah Dessen
Published by Penguin Young Readers Group on June 6th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Amazon // The Book Depository
Goodreads

From Sarah Dessen, the beloved New York Times bestselling author of SAINT ANYTHING and JUST LISTEN, comes a new novel set in the world of wedding planning!

Is it really better to have loved and lost? Louna's summer job is to help brides plan their perfect day, even though she stopped believing in happily-ever-after when her first love ended tragically. But charming girl-magnet Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged now that he's met the one he really wants. Maybe Louna's second chance is standing right in front of her.

Sarah Dessen’s many fans will adore this latest novel, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story with humor, romance, and an ending that is so much more than happily-ever-after.

sarah dessen, queen of ya contemporary. i’ll always read anything with your name on it because i know i can count on you for a cute romance and happy ending. since sixth grade, i’ve spent summers reading your books for all those feel-good emotions until i ran out two years ago after saint anything. but then! a miracle came in the form of ONCE AND FOR ALL.

i was excited af, to say in the least. more than excited. a romance novel centered around a cynical wedding planner?? how smart is that??? i was so excited for the tensions with the weddings as a backdrop and trust me, there’s plenty of tension.  plus, i already knew from the summary that i was totally going to love ambrose, the leading guy of the story. cute, happy-go-lucky, kind . . . MARRY ME. 

but i had some issues with the main character louna, whose voice i just didn’t really connect with. also, she was in heavy denial throughout the entire novel which mostly made me want to scream in frustration because louna!!! i know what you really want!!! you know what you really want!!! STOP DENYING IT. but no, she just kept making the wrong decisions because she didn’t want to admit it and ended up hurting others. and as a result, most of the novel went down pretty predictably.

i just really wanted to love this novel, but it kinda missed its mark with me. the cynical aspect of the novel was an interesting layer, but it ended up dragging down a lot of the romance for me. i guess it didn’t feel as light-hearted as other sarah dessen novels, which is fine, but it made me feel pretty depressed at the whole idea of love. so, by the end i was like ok who cares about romance anymore?? which kinda defeats the purpose of a romance novel. 

but it was an enjoyable read nonetheless, mostly because i’ll never hate anything sarah dessen writes. not my favorite novel of hers, but can the queen of ya contemporary really go wrong? ALSO: I LOVED ALL THE CAMEOS. i got the barnes & nobles edition which included a bonus scene and all i have to say to that is HATE SPINNERBAIT. 

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4.2

Haley Chung

haley is a sixteen-year-old slytherin who loves musical theatre, 80's shorts, and dreamy walks in the suburbs with her baby kitten avignon.

  • Amanda @ Vivalabooks

    I’ve been reading Sarah Dessen for the longest time too! I’ve been hearing good things about this one, especially with the wedding planning as a backdrop. Sorry you couldn’t connect with the MC. I might have that problem too, but the guy sounds sweet and her books always are enjoyable. Great review!

  • I never really read Sarah Dessen because all her books just intimidate me but DUDE. this book sounds awesome! A cynical wedding planner? I AM HOOKED.

    • haley

      go for it!! sarah dessen’s books are amaaazing

  • Cristina @ Girl in the Pages

    Once and For All is honestly my least favorite Dessen novel to date. I was SO excited for it and I just did not like Louna and how dark the book ended up being- it didn’t mesh well with the wedding planning vibe. However, I too had the B&N special edition and I LOVED the epilogue!

  • Abigail A

    I’ve never read any of Sarah Dessen’s books but I see them everywhere! Perhaps Once and for All would be a good book to start with 🙂

    • haley

      my personal favorite was “this lullaby” if you’re looking for one to start with!