Monday, August 21, 2017

Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

Image result for once and for all barnesStar Rating : 3.5 out of 5
Content Rating : MODERATE

Backcover :
“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.

My Thoughts :
I've been reading Sarah Dessen books since middle school. There are sweet and fun believable characters and lots of quirky surprises. There is always characters that feel too good to be true but still have that feeling of being believable which is something that Dessen has mastered. Once and for All is Dessen's 13th book, and she almost did not write it. I read on Dessen's website that she thought she was finished after she wrote Saint Anything (another favorite of mine), but she was surounded by weddings after she released it that she came up with a whole new story.

Louna is a cynic when it comes to romance; it must end somehow. She gets that belief partially from her mother, who runs a wedding planning business with her best friend and Louna's godfather William, and through her own experience. This book really resonated with me because I, like Louna, geel as though I am surrounded by weddings right now. Two of my best friends are getting married this year and I am maid of honor for both. SO its been weddings nonstop for the past year and a half, I love weddings, but I am also kind of a cynic like Louna.

I gave this a rating of MODERATE because there are more mature themes in this book, like underage alcohol consumption and implication of sex. Nothing is overly explicit though which I have always appreciated about Dessen's novels

What I liked :
  • The characters – each character is unique without being over the top. Louna’s mother is believable, especially considering her backstory, and Louna’s friends are funny and well written. Louna herself seems to be a pretty typical romantic cynic, but what I like is that she is also sweet and a cynic. I feel like people now portray cynical women as sassy and sometimes a little rude to others, but Louna is sweet and hard working and kind.
  • The plot - while I may be a cynic, I love a good wedding. Planning weddings would honestly be a dream come true and a nightmare for me. I’ve been helping my friends plan their weddings, and I can say that Dessen accurately portrays how weddings usually play out. I also like how Dessen integrates Louna’s past with the present and how that affects her.  
  • The writing - I’ve always loved Dessen’s writing. It’s easy to follow but also pretty profound for the audience she is writing for. I think she does a great job of challenging her readers. 
What I didn’t like :
  • The ending - I actually liked the plot ending of the book, but I was just confused by how the ending actually happened. There was an event that happened that I understood most of but I just had to keep going back and reading it to try and put together the specifics of what actually happened. It could just be that I wasn’t reading carefully or I just missed it all together, but I kind of had to guess what happened. 
What Others Are Saying :
"Dessen’s expertise at creating a character faced with change is once again on display in this book that reminds readers that love is measured ‘not in minutes but in moments.’” - VOYA 

"Romance, humor, kindhearted characters, and a touch of painful reality make this another sure bet for Dessen fans." - Kirkus Review

"There is no question that this title will be popular with Dessen fans and romance lovers." - School Library Journal

Reviewed by Lydia Jones

Pick up your copy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble

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