Friday, December 29, 2017

Once and for All by Sarah Dessen | Book Review

Reading Group: Anyone who loves Sarah Dessen

Personal Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Synopses: From Sarah Dessen, the beloved New York Times bestselling author of SAINT ANYTHING and JUST LISTEN, comes a new novel set in the world of wedding planning!

Is it really better to have loved and lost?  Louna's summer job is to help brides plan their perfect day, even though she stopped believing in happily-ever-after when her first love ended tragically.  But charming girl-magnet Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged now that he's met the one he really wants.  Maybe Louna's second chance is standing right in front of her.

Sarah Dessen’s many fans will adore this latest novel, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story with humor, romance, and an ending that is so much more than happily-ever-after.

Cover: This cover is very on theme to the book with a bride throwing a bouquet. 

My Review: I went into this book fully believing it was going to go: girl meets boy, girl and boy banter, girl and boy date, girl and boy fight, girl and boy break up, girl and boy reconcile, happily ever after.  Don't get me wrong I would have loved if that's how this book went since that is how most of my favorites go, however, that is not how this story went and I still loved it.  
Louna was in love once - entirely, intensely in love - and it ended unexpectantly and horribly.  I thought the fact that Ethan died in a school shooting versus a car crash or something else unexpected was a shocker, but also a sad reminder that school shootings are real threats that happen and can take away people we care about.  It's also something that from Louna's point of view I can't even imagine how painful it would be to explain.  How do you tell people that your boyfriend, who you talked to an hour ago is dead because someone from his school decided to open fire?
Now nine months later in walks an obnoxious player named Ambrose, who your mother is forcing to work with you as a favor to a client.  She starts off tolerating him and getting to know him.  And then they make a bet.  I love when bets are made in books because they always result in some form of jealousy that proves the two people actually like each other.  This one took a little longer, but Louna does start to realize that she doesn't like that Ambrose is in a committed relationship.  Meanwhile the entire time Ambrose was just playing along because he wanted it to result in Louna going on a date with him, which William called very early on.  But it's hard for Louna to look at Ambrose or anyone else the way she looked at Ethan and when Ambrose finally learns the whole story, her first reaction is to run from him.  However, a couple weeks later she gets scared that something's happened to him and when she finds out he's okay they thankfully get together.
I spent a lot of time reading this book just thinking, Okay when are you two going to at least kiss? And usually it would bother me that they don't get together at all until the end, but the nature of this book had me okay with it.  Louna needed time and therefore Dessen made all of us readers wait it out too.

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