Thursday, 7 September 2017

Book Review: Once and For All by Sarah Dessen

Reading books written by Sarah Dessen is a massive part of me and my growing up process. I think I was about 14 when I first discovered Sarah’s books and since then her novels have been pivotal aspects of my summer reading list. Finding out that a new Sarah Dessen book is going to be published makes for an exciting point in my calendar and this year’s publication was, of course, absolutely no exception. 

Having pre-ordered the book months in advance, its arrival was a bit of a surprise for me. A pleasant surprise, of course, but a surprise nonetheless. I got well and truly stuck into it straight away- how could I resist after waiting so long for its release? - and I’m happy to report that once again, I was not disappointed.

First off, I’m going to start that I absolutely LOVE the entire storyline behind this book. Who doesn’t love a good wedding? A book centred around weddings and wedding planning? FAB NEWS. I love going to weddings and found the dilemmas that the characters had to deal with-runaway brother five minutes before the ceremony beginning, for one- really humorous. I also LOVED Louna’s name- a lovely and unique twist on the name we love so much from Harry Potter- and typical of Sarah Dessen’s style when choosing her characters’ names. The quirkier the better, I say.

The book was a perfect read and was everything I look for in contemporary YA fiction- it had a lovely central character that I adored from the offset, a charming man who she inevitably falls for and secondary characters that just bring the whole thing together. It was a charming, romantic and lovely story with a lot of substance. I loved the relationship formed between serious yet heartbroken Louna and the less-serious, less-romance-inclined Ambrose. I loved how Sarah dipped into the devastating story behind Louna’s heartbreak and touched on the sensitive topic in a beautiful way. I loved the cockiness of Ambrose and the deal the two of them made. The story was predictable but that’s part of the fun around a Sarah Dessen novel- everything comes together in the end and there’s a happy ending for everyone involved. I’m a sucker for a happy ending so to be honest, this is perfectly fine with me.

Sarah has a habit of making her stories be centred around life lessons and her books are always full of inspirational and thoughtful quotes that really do make you think. Once and For All is absolutely no exception to this.

An absolute must read for romance and YA readers alike.

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