Once and For All // Nice But Not My Favourite

09 April 2019

Published: 8th June 2017
Source: Purchased
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating:
As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All is set in the world of wedding planning.

Louna spends her summers helping brides plan their perfect day and handling every kind of crises: missing brides, scene-stealing bridesmaids and controlling grooms. Not surprising then, that she's deeply cynical about happy-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?

'When I read a Sarah Dessen novel, I'm sixteen again, in the flush of first love.' Jodi Picoult
I am slowly attempting to conquer some of the unread books on my shelves. First up was Sarah Dessen’s Once and For All simply because I was craving a light contemporary YA and wasn’t willing to spend money to buy one so had to rely on what I already owned.

Once and For All focuses on the life of Louna as she finishes high school and faces her future. She is rather cynical about love, despite working for her mom at her wedding planning business. Considering she sees people’s ‘happily ever after’ on a day to day basis you can understand why the novelty of it might have worn off a touch. But as the book progresses you find that she is not cynical about love because she’s seen behind the scenes of many a wedding, but also because she has suffered her own heartache and is scared of what’s to come.

This is definitely not my favourite Sarah Dessen book but it's a solid addition to her many book releases. I just didn't fall head over heels for Louna or Ambrose. They were nice and I was rooting for their romance all the way but they just didn’t stand out for me. Even with Louna’s past, she still wasn’t the strongest of Dessen’s main characters.

I really enjoyed seeing Louna break from her shell as she learnt to move forward from her heartache (no spoilers). It was great to see her slowly relax and let her hair down and remember the parts of herself she thought were lost for good and getting to see them come out because of someone else. And Ambrose was so much nicer than the first meeting made him seem. He was such a kind caring guy who made mistakes but wanted the best for folks. I wish we had gotten more of his backstory though. It felt like a lot of his life wasn’t explained. I didn’t get why he seemed to hop from girl to girl and wasn’t staying at home. I didn’t get why his family didn’t seem to like him. What happened with school? I just felt like you didn’t get a full story for him and that may have been why I didn’t like him more. I know this book was more about Louna but it would have been nice for her to learn more about him because the more I think about it she never really got to. She had her first impressions from their less than stellar first meeting and that’s it. Sure, you learn he’s a really wonderful guy who doesn’t believe in long term relationships… but that’s it. He got no more backstory and that really sucked.

Like I said, not my favourite Dessen release, but a decent release. I certainly won’t be raving telling folks to read it, It was a nice read, though, and it did satisfy a reading craving when I needed it. Now I can only hope she has a stronger release next time. Or I might just have to keep rereading old favourites instead.

Have you read Once And For All, do you agree with my thoughts? Do you have a favourite Sarah Dessen release?
Post Signature
© A Fool's Ingenuity. Design by FCD.