Book Reviews

Book Review: ONCE AND FOR ALL by Sarah Dessen

32078787 Photo Credit: Goodreads


Hello everyone, I’ve finally read Sarah Dessen’s latest release, Once and for All. If you remember in my June Wrap-Up I mentioned how I was 15th in the line of those who put this book on hold at my library, so I was super excited when I got to read it. Before I dive into the review, here’s a look at the summary:

“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.”

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Overall, I found Once and for All to be a bit underwhelming. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Louna, the protagonist. I had a hard time connecting to her and though I was happy that she got her happy ending at the end, I wasn’t very invested. I felt the same about Ambrose, the love interest. He fell flat for me. However, I really liked the side characters. I loved Jill, Louna’s best friend, and all of her siblings. I also liked Natalie, Louna’s mom, and William. In terms of characters, there were a lot of names to keep up with. Because Louna works in the business of wedding planning, multiple weddings took place throughout the story. With each wedding came a set of new names, and I had a hard time keeping track of all of them.

The climax and ending resolution of Once and for All also fell flat for me, and felt very short and underwhelming. I think one of the main reasons that I expected more was that I loved her previous book, Saint Anything. That’s one of my favorite books of hers. I felt that Once and for All used the same formula that is present in all of her books, but the main character and love interest weren’t very multidimensional. I’m glad that Once and for All isn’t her last book! I grew up on Sarah Dessen’s books, and they were one of my first introductions to YA.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Have you read the Queen of YA’s, Sarah Dessen, latest release, Once and for All? What’s your favorite book of hers?


14 thoughts on “Book Review: ONCE AND FOR ALL by Sarah Dessen

  1. This is the only book of Dessen I’ve read so far, but liked it nonetheless. I already knew from some other bloggers that this book contained less romance than Dessen usually adds in her books, but I wasn’t disappointed by that at all. I just don’t think every romance should be all lovey-dovey and that’s exactly why I liked this one, I think.
    I am planning on reading some of her other work, though! I’m curious to find out how Once and For All differs from those, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, that’s such an unique perspective since this was the first book you read by her! I’d definitely be interested in seeing what you think of her other works. I’d recommend reading Saint Anything because it’s her second latest release, and I really enjoyed it. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve heard a lot of people say this one was underwhelming! I’ve never read anything from Dessen before, but I don’t think I would read this one if I were to pick up one of her books.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s not the first time I’ve heard these exact same remarks about this novel.. Her earlier works were always so strong and I hope she’ll return to the same style again… even though I really like this author I might skip this one because it sounds this isn’t one of her most memorable ones… Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Whoa! Honestly, I find it surprising how there are SOOO many books and authors I haven’t even heard of! The numbers are staggering. 😂 This is the first time I have heard of this book AND author and your review, which is very eloquently written btw 😊, has made me add it to my tbr. 😁


    1. Thank you! There are just so many great books in the world, and that’s why it’s awesome to be a book blogger because we get to share some of our favorites. I hope you enjoy this book and the rest of Sarah Dessen’s works! Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

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