Title: Once and For All
Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre: Young Adult (though, I’d recommend over the age of 16 to read this one due to some content).
Rating: 5/5 Stars
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.
I thought this was going to be just another lighthearted, summer YA by Dessen, but parts of it had my heart racing with fear. Though I didn’t love some of the content in this novel, there’s no way I could give this book any less than a 5 star rating because of how beautiful Dessen’s writing is.
The mother/daughter dynamic in this novel reminded me a lot of Lorelai and Rory from Gilmore Girls, which I adored. I love when authors remember to keep the parents of a YA novel involved with their child and this one did great at that.
There were also a few side characters that I enjoyed, mostly her best friends brother, Crawford. Though he had few lines, he had me cracking up with his honesty.
And it’s not a Dessen book without the love interest… or shall I say, not so much of a love interest. I was not a fan of Ambrose for the most part, this was the first time I’ve not been interested in the main characters potential suitor. I hated how he was a serial dater and was way too friendly with every woman he met.
And then there’s Ethan… he seemed like the perfect boyfriend but sadly, the unthinkable happened and I just could not handle his storyline. This was probably the most troublesome plot (emotionally) that I remember reading from Dessen.