Title: Once and For All
Author: Sarah Dessen
Synopsis: 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.
I have had this book since it was published in June and I finally read it! This review will be completely non-spoiler. So if you have not read the book, do not fret, you can still read the review 🙂
This book is about Louna who is going to college in the fall. During the summer she is working at her mother’s wedding planning buisness. One day they take on this wedding, and along comes Ambrose. Ambrose is the brother of the bride, and to keep the bride happy and score some extra cash, Ambrose joins the wedding planning team. Louna and Ambrose do not hit it off. In fact, Louna kind of hates him in the beginning. But as the summer goes on, feelings start to change.
This book was a nice read. I read Kingdom of Ash right before this so this book was the perfect book to kind of detach me from the book hangover(I hope that makes sense lol). I found this story to be cute and enjoyable. However the plot seemed a bit one noted. There was no growth in the plot and I found it quite dull. It also wasn’t well executed, I felt that it could of gone a different and better way but it just fell flat. The whole plot was also in the background, it wasn’t as big as it should of been. The one thing I did like was how to book altered from the past to the present. The chapters that were in the past give us a background on the character and describe in more detail the events that led up to the reason Louna has trouble loving again.
The main character Louna was just eh. I found that there wasn’t much depth to her. I found myself not really caring for what happened to her. It seemed like her only problem was learning to love again. However this should not have been the case. Louna suffered a loss(the chapters about her past explain and lead up to this) and she says she is still getting over this loss. Except to me, she did not seem like she was getting over a loss. The story sets it up as that she is still getting over this loss and she needs to learn to get back out there. Again, the character’s action show the opposite of this. The only action she does that contributes to this is her not really dating. Other than that, she seems happy and fine, like nothing really happened. Only when dating and boys is mentioned does this loss come up and “affect her.”
Another character that I wasn’t so much of a fan of was Ambrose. At first I was like, alright, this is just a like mask, he really isn’t like this. Nope. Throughout this book, I was waiting for the character growth that never came. I found Ambrose annoying. One thing that bothered me was in one point the character stole a dog. Now I am all for people rescuing dogs from an abusive owner. However, the character faced no consequences. When he showed up with the stolen job everyone was like “whatever, new dog yay!” No police were involved and the whole thing was just swept under the rug. This character also had issues that I have seen before. However, I feel that in other books, there is growth and the problem dwindles down throughout the book. Except, this time, I didn’t really see it. The only reason Ambrose ditches his usual ways is because of an agreement between him and the main character. I kept hoping that he would change and become likable but that just didn’t happen for me.
Lastly, I went and bought the Barnes and Noble edition because it had a bonus epilogue. I have done this with many other books and all the epilogues have added to the story and gave it a more completed ending for me. This. Epilogue. Was. Pointless. I was so disappointed with it and found it completely pointless. It did nothing to the story and honestly, it should of been left out. I am disappointed because I spent more money on this version on the book hoping that like most books, the epilogue would give me more of the characters and add to the story. But I was left disappointed and wishing that I bought a cheaper version because then I would not have felt that I wasted money.
I found more issues with this book but since they contain spoilers I will not discuss them. Overall, I thought this book was a let down, and out of the books I have read of Sarah Dessen’s, this was not her best.