Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

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*I read this in March 2017. I wrote this review in March. Book is out in June. I read it as an arc. As always, this is my completely honest opinion.

Once I heard the summary of this novel, I knew I had to read it.

I’m actually going to post the summary I found on Goodreads because it’s perfect:

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.

Here’s the thing. My parents work the wedding industry-they’re wedding photographers (and children’s photographers, but in this case, I’m focusing on weddings). It’s the family business. This means, I assist a lot (especially in the children’s photography). Working the wedding industry is being part of a special community. Immediately, I knew I would love Louna.

I especially love how cynical she is about love (being kind of cynical myself), but I love even more how Sarah Dessen weaves a story that’s both happy and sad and everything in between.

This book touched me and made me feel all the things. It reminded me why Dessen is the queen of YA and why her readers love everything she writes. Her books have a depth to them that sometimes you don’t notice until you’re halfway into the book. I cried while reading this book, but I also laughed. It was hopeful, it said that new beginnings do happen.

I think what I love most about this book is that it’s real. Louna’s feelings, Ambrose’s feelings, even Louna’s mother and William’s feelings are genuine. These characters are developed. I vividly imagined them to the extent that I could see myself engaging with all of them in real life. I know people in the wedding industry here that are a lot like Natalie and William.

Just for kicks, I started Once and for All while working at a bridal fair. Day 2 started really slow, so I sat down on the couch and read to my heart’s content. It was hilarious seeing wedding antics while observing wedding antics.

My parent’s wedding studio is Hidden Kiss Studio if you want to check them out. They travel. šŸ˜‰

This book definitely made me want to read more Sarah Dessen. I’ve read (in this order): Someone Like You, Saint Anything, Along for the Ride, Just Listen, and Once and for All. Which one should I read next?

 

 

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