Title: Once and for All
Author: Sarah Dessen
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book through my local library and reviewed it.
Sarah Dessen is the author that made me believe in the merits of contemporary fiction. Add to that, that she is one of the bestselling young adult authors of recent times, and I'm sold. Anything that she writes, I want to read it. So when I heard that she would be publishing a new book in June, I just knew that I had to order it through my local library. (I really love my library!) This book was classic Dessen: lovable, sweet characters that were making me laugh aloud, situations straight out of a rom-com, a good, healthy dose of angst, both of teen and regular kinds, and a true-to-life ending that was both bittersweet and satisfying! This book was described as 'sweet as wedding cake and bubbly as champagne', and those two words definitely fit, but there were sad parts to it as well.
Louna Barrett is a girl who doesn't like to make attachments, despite her loneliness and longing for more from life. She also happens to be the only, beloved daughter of a world-famous--literally--wedding planner. Having been helping her mother with her business her whole life, she doesn't believe in happy endings or fairy tales. Especially when she experienced a loss so deep it changed her entire sense of life, and the world around her. But when she crosses path with a boy named Ambrose, she discovers that there might be hope for her yet.
I loved this book. I loved every messy, hilarious, painful moment of it. It was a beautiful coming of age, second chance tale that was lushly written a tender reminder to enjoy all facets of life, even when times are dark. It really gave me hope for my present and future. But more than that, I loved Louna and her quirky, adorable family. I loved the character development of them all, but especially that of Louna. It was such a slow, sweet joy to watch her open up to the world again. Ambrose and his family were equally funny and exciting. God, this book. It broke my heart and tore my soul, then sewed it all back together again. I'm not going to lie, this book straight up made me bawl. But I'd expect nothing less from one of the queens of young adult fiction! Hands down, one of my favorite books of 2017! The bottom line: A beautiful, funny book about the small miracles of life and second chances, Once and for All stole my heart completely. One of the best books of 2017! Next on deck: Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab!