Book Review – Once and For All

Once and For All / Sarah Dessen / Penguin Books / 2017 / ISBN 9780141386690 / 357 Pages / Young Adult

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Book Blurb –

Louna spends her summers helping brides plan their perfect day and handling all kinds of crises: missing brides, scene-stealing bridesmaids and controlling grooms. Not surprising then that she’s deeply cynical about happily-ever-afters, especially since her own first love ended in tragedy.

When handsome girl magnet Ambrose enters her life, Louna won’t take him seriously. But Ambrose hates not getting what he wants and Louna is the girl he’s been waiting for.

Maybe it’s not too late for a happy ending after all?

My Thoughts –

This is the first Sarah Dessen book I have finished reading. I picked up a copy of one of her books a long time ago but never got to the last page. So, when I heard that Dessen had a new young adult book coming out with its theme about weddings, I knew I was going to love it. That however was not the case in the end.

The book follows the story of Louna, over the period of perhaps a year and some of the heartbreak things she goes through. From her first boyfriend and sexual experience, to finishing school and trying to have a good last summer, to a new boyfriend, Louna is busy helping her mother organise weddings and remembering how to have fun. This book however doesn’t only follow one story. It follows a few of them. Because of this a lot happens in the book. The stories take place, during the school year and after the school year. They are told through a vail of being in the moment and remembrance.

“Emergencies shouldn’t feel the same, with similar colours and noises, when each one is so unique, all on its own.” page 347.

I don’t know how I feel about this book and I didn’t since the first page, where I had a tough time coming to terms with the writing. It was all over the place and I had to work hard to keep up with what was happening. Louna is a pretty strong girl who after a case of bad luck and I don’t want to spoil the story for you, her distant boyfriend is killed in a school shooting, adding to the complex layering of this already busy book. Nothing happens in order in this book. None of the weddings or dates so you must stay on your toes when reading this book.

I loved the male main character Ambrose, I think he added a level of fun and unexpectedness in a tight and timid book. I like the descriptions of the weddings in the books and the very short relationship Louna had with her boyfriend. That insta-love works really well. The idea of intertwining lots of different things from various times of the year or event just made me even more confused. The relationships in the book work well though, especially the original love story that involves Louna.

This contemporary love story of a girl who is trying to get back out onto the market, is a story that also involves heartbreak, diverse families and needed friends.

If you like quirky lovey young adult books, then this is your books.

**I was given a copy of this book from Penguin Books in exchange for an open and honest opinion. All opinions expressed in the review above are mine and mine only**

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 Booky Stars!

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You can grab a copy of this book from links on the right-hand side of this blog or from the link directly under the picture.


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