Review of Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

onceandforallOnce and for All
By: Sarah Dessen
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

My Rating

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.

My Thoughts:
I haven’t read many contemporary novels and this was my first Sarah Dessen book! It was such a fun read and a really wonderful break from my usual fantasty/science fiction. This novel was fast paced, heart felt and really adorable.

I’m not a huge wedding type person- I’m a rare soul that doesn’t like attending them, didn’t really want my own and I’m just not all crazy for the entire thing. But, regardless of my none obsession with weddings this book had me early on. I loved the humor and Louna was so easy to read about. I was impressed with the depth of the characters early on and how much back story we learned.

The weddings we see in this book were actually so much fun and the entire atmosphere of the book was overall uplifting although there was some aspects that were heavy. The novel jumps back and forth from Louna’s past to present day. She has a very emotional past and first love. These bits were very well done and had me so immersed.

The characters had great chemistry and I loved the relationships we get glimpses of. I of course loved watching Louna grow to appreciate the cocky, flirtatious Ambrose. I thought they really brought out some great things about one another and their dialog was often very funny.

Where the book sort of lost me was in the ending. Things felt rushed to me and the last few chapters felt a bit disjointed and not nearly as developed as the rest of the book.

Final Thoughts:
I think fans of contemporary fiction will really enjoy this read especially if they want to see a bit more about what goes into wedding planning. I will try another Dessen novel in the future and I’m happy that I read this one.


  1. says

    I love contemporaries and Sarah Dessen books. This one sounds fun, as her books usually are, and I am looking forward to reading it. Great review!
    Sam @ WLABB

  2. says

    I love Sarah Dessen, but I haven’t read this one yet! Her writing is amazing, especially what you said about the characters always feeling completely real and complex. I’m not a massive wedding person either (mostly because I’ve only been to one, when I was very young), but it’s nice that you can enjoy this book without loving all of that stuff 🙂

  3. says

    Yay 😀 So glad you enjoyed this one pretty well sweetie. <3 And yay for trying this genre a bit, haha 🙂 Not for me, sadly. But hope you'll enjoy more books by this author. <3 Fingers crossed 😀 Glad the book was pretty good. But aw, you didn't love the ending? That is the worst feeling :\ Thank you for sharing Kristen 🙂

  4. says

    I love Sarah Dessen’s books, and I’m glad to see that you enjoyed this one! It sounds really cute, and I’m desperate to get my hands on a copy so I can dig into it. Great review!! 😀

  5. says

    I’ve read about eight Dessen books and this one was not even near to be my favourite. If you wnat to read someting more by Dessen, I recommend Along the ride

  6. says

    I’m glad to see you enjoyed this one, although it’s a slight shame that the ending disappointed you a bit – I’m quite a fan of Dessen’s work and the concept of weddings intrigues me so I’ll most probably give this a go at some point – great review!

Leave a Reply to Brooklyn @ Brooklyn's Bookish World Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *