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.