Read: June 2017
As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.
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.
Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.
This is one of those books that I was very very highly anticipating this year and, sadly, it fell short of my expectations. I still thought it was a fun read and definitely not Sarah’s worst, but there was just something off with this book.
Honestly, it felt like something I had read a hundred times before and even as I sit to write my thoughts on the book, I had to go back to a conversation I had with my best bookish friend to see what exactly I thought about it because the whole story was almost forgettable to me.
Now, I don’t mind suspending belief when it comes to reading. Certain things happen in books that just don’t happen in real life, or maybe they happen to the very few that it makes it hard to relate, but there is this great love thing happening in this book and I just couldn’t get behind it. I could understand the tragic ending of that first love that Louna is going through, but when I think of first love, I don’t think of something that occurs in less than 24-hours. It was just SO not realistic to me.
Unlike the majority, too, I loved Ambrose – and I did love the wedding planner storyline. That’s one thing that you can always find in a Sarah Dessen book, the odd jobs that aren’t your regular teenage jobs. And I do love the scenery she provides in her books, though I think a lot of this book takes place at weddings that it’s hard to really get a feeling of where the story takes place.
So, yeah, in the end this book was just meh to me. It was a good read but not my favourite, BUT I’m not giving up on Sarah Dessen at all! I’ve loved so many of her books that I still very much look forward to her next!