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Once and for All

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  29,508 ratings  ·  3,692 reviews
As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

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-e
Hardcover, 358 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Stacy I haven't personally been a YA for decades - and I read and reread all of Sarah Dessen's books. Don't let labels keep you from good books!…moreI haven't personally been a YA for decades - and I read and reread all of Sarah Dessen's books. Don't let labels keep you from good books!(less)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  29,508 ratings  ·  3,692 reviews

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2.25/5 stars

Ambrose would again reach out a hand, asking me to dance. And this time, I'd say yes.

I decided to quote the very last sentence of this book because it was my favorite line throughout this entire thing. It meant it was finally over.

warning: unmarked spoilers

Huge thank you @SarahDessen, as I almost forgotten what disappointment felt like.

This book was supposed to be good. It was supposed to be cute . It was supposed to make me want to actually leave my house and fall in l
prag ♻
Jun 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
Either I've outgrown Sarah Dessen, or this was a huge dip in quality. I'm going go do some... homework. It'll be a better use of my time than reading this mess was.

● where
● the
● is the plot
● ??
● how can you publish a book that has neither plot nor character development


It started out good. It even made me laugh — and I found myself shipping loony tunes and embryo.
“I think,” he continued, ignoring me, “that we met cute. Like, you dropped a
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-contemporary
Not my favorite Dessen novel nor my least favorite. I would put this in the top 8 if you really want to get detailed.

I love the aspect of wedding planning in this book! Being a wedding photographer myself, I understood so many of the situations and people that were a hassle in weddings! I also just love weddings in general!!

Louna was a likable character. She was defiantly guarded throughout the novel and we learn why and it 100% makes sense but I wanted to see a tad bit more growth from her. I e
I liked parts of this.

Unfortunately, those parts didn’t include the love story or the love interest or the sub-love story or the setup to the love story or the obstacles to the love story or anything related to the love story (otherwise known as the “plot”) top to bottom.

Can’t win em all.

I do not care for Ambrose, the love interest of this little shindig. He is an attempt at that trope of the Goofy Charming Flirt (who always corresponds to the Uptight Teenage Female With Too Much Responsibility
♛ may
I legit forgot I had to write this review lol jokes on me

Let’s be real, no one actually goes to weddings for any reason BESDIES the food and the CAKE obvious.


and the entire theme of this majorly disappointing book is weddings. The mc’s mother is a wedding planner and I was super excited to see how this would be bc personally, I really enjoy weddings. Idk something about the whole festivities and traditions of it

its cool as French fries

but you wanna know whats NOT as cool as French fries??

Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pink-covers
“Some stories tell themselves.”

I’ve been an avid Sarah Dessen reader since that fateful night that led me to pick up Just Listen years ago. And to this day I’m grateful that read was my first choice because it utterly captivated me and cemented my decision to then check out nine more books by the author.

So I’ve been clearly patiently waiting for this newest book to come out, checking info about it almost monthly since I finished reading Saint Anything in 2015. And thankfully Once and For All liv
Aj the Ravenous Reader

Sarah Dessen books usually make me cry a good cry. This book did make me want to cry but only because I never ever expected to give the YA Romance Queen’s book a two star rating. *sniffs*

I really tried to like it but everything I look for in her novels are missing in Once and for All. Usually her books don’t have exciting plots but I still find them substantial. Here I thought it was just slow and dull. I couldn’t connect with the characters which is a first for my Sarah Dessen experience. Hones
Sara (sarawithoutanH)
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
As a teenager, I truly thought no one could write a contemporary like Sarah Dessen. I'm not sure if I'm romanticizing her earlier books, but this paled in comparison. The characters were flat, the plot seemed pointless, the romance was lame, and the writing style was extremely basic. The characters in this felt recycled - Louna was like the girl from The Truth About Forever and Ambrose was a low budget version of Dexter from This Lullaby. After this experience, I'm not sure if I should ever rere ...more
Kristina Horner
Apr 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Dnf at 65%.
My first Sarah Dessen book & what a disappointment at that.
let me just begin with the mc & the love interest, just the enough reason to drop out of the book for me. Louna is such a dull & boring character. i do understand that she was going through a tragedy of her ex. but her dullness was too much to take, as we were going through day to day with her. plus she did not look at all grief-stricken to me. if the event of her ex was all that painful then why not go for therapy, get over
4.5./5 • i was in a huge reading slump when i began Once and for All, so i'm really surprised i binged it in two days. everything about the story was super cute! this was my first sarah dessen book (jk i read one in the early early days of YA and i remember NOTHING so i count this as my first) and there were lots of good things said; Once and for All didn't disappoint. it's a solid contemporary romance. there's nothing wrong with it, but it also didn't make me super emotional. the only complaint ...more
Jul 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is a YA book that says that it's centered around wedding planning when it's actually centered around a tragic school shooting. I found it gross and exploitative, but also (inexplicably?) boring. I did manage to read the entire book in one night, but that's because Matt drove to Houston and left me alone in the house, meaning I could barely manage to get up off the couch. Usually after work I lie down and his mere presence shames me into getting up. So, thanks a lot, Matt. This book was bad. ...more
Zero plot
Zero character development
Zero chemistry

Yet still a three star?

How you ask? Sarah Dessen magic.

The characters barely progressed through this book, and their development felt non-existent.
Louana was boring to me, I was confused why a bunch of guys were so enthralled with her. She also apparently had never heard of stranger danger. Having sex with a stranger you just met a few hours ago on a beach? Probably not her best idea. I’m not even going to talk about the insta love.
Ambrose was
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
[3.75] 3rd book completed for BookTubeAthon!

So the beginning took me a while to get into, the middle was perfect and gave me feeeeels, but the ending didn't leave me as satisfied as I wanted. I needed more depth to it and it felt rushed. Sarah Dessen is still pretty great though! On a mission to read all of her books.
Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach
This was my first Sarah Dessen book and I loved it!!

The characters were great, the backstory was well-told and heartbreaking, and I adored the idea of a jaded wedding planner and the wedding drama.

Can't wait to read more of her books!
I actually waited till a month before the release to post this review. Applaud me for following the rules ;)

My first and only experience with Sarah Dessen's writing until now happened four years ago. I borrowed Someone Like You translated into Macedonian from the library, and I swore I'd never read another translation again. That experience threw me off reading Dessen too.
But this book introduced me again to her writing, and this time the right way. And don't worry, I'm gonna keep it short, blea
Carol (Bookaria)
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017, fiction, romance
I found this romantic story predictable and sappy.

This novel is about Louna -the daughter of a successful wedding planner- and Ambrose, a funny and nice guy who has not yet found "the" girl. They start working together and at the beginning Louna can't stand him (don't know why because he's perfectly fine). But as time passes a romantic relationship develops. 

I did not enjoy the novel because I could see everything that was going to happen and that fact turned the reading experience into a boring
Jul 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
"Once and For All" is Sarah Dessen's latest Young Adult (YA) book taking place in Lakeview. I have enjoyed slashed loved most of the books, though the latest couple of ones I read I was....perplexed by. Dessen is inconsistent for me as a reader which is why I have been making sure that I get all of her books via the library. I think if I had finally given in and bought this book like I was contemplating the other day, I would have broke something in a fit of nerd rage.


The main character in this
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, ebook, overrated, z2017
This was probably one of my least favourite Sarah Dessen books that I have read, unfortunately. It didn't have that Dessen magic and I found it to be kind of dragged out. I felt like it took me forever to read it, when in actuality it took like 5 days. I don't know, it was just lacklustre. I thought about marking it as a DNF more than a few times because I knew how it was going to end and I wasn't having fun while I was reading it but I decided to stick it out.

To sum up my whole experience with
Sierra Abrams
Aug 20, 2016 marked it as desperately-need-to-read
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

4.5 Stars

I have only recently discovered Sarah Dessen’s books, but I have enjoyed each one that I have picked up. I had high hopes for this one, and I can safely say that I was not let down. This book tells the story of a wedding planner’s daughter and contains a main character who is a real thinker. There are many flashbacks throughout the book, which add a lot of anticipation. Once and for All is a cutesy yet serious book that I am sure will appeal to everyone.

Norah Una Sumner

trigger warning: school shootings

I really missed Sarah Dessen and her heartfelt novels. This one reminded me a lot of her older books, but I really liked it nevertheless. Although Saint Anything has better ratings, Once and for All seemed like a better read for me. Louna is a complex character who's dealing with a lot of things and the dynamic between her, her mom and William might be a bit peculiar, but I really connected with her and wanted to see how she develops throughout the novel.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
THIS is what a Dessen novel felt like when i first found her books. i didn't enjoy her last book (Saint Anything) but this one made me so happy and giddy. The last few chapters could have been better but I'll take them as they are. ...more
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
if this book is a event of wedding of the century, i will walk out from the event no matter how killer conga they can dance.

it is disappointing book. i like along for the ride better than this book.

nothing click in this book for me.
Aug 21, 2016 marked it as to-read
Edited 02/06/2017

After Saint Anything and this blog post, I was worried that Sarah Dessen would never publish another book. Seeing as how she is one of my favorite authors, this was pretty heartbreaking to read. However, it seems I was worried for nothing!

Here are her tweets about the difficulties of writing ONCE AND FOR ALL:

SO many lovely responses to the news of my new book. Number 13 was SO scary for me, for a lot of reasons. After Saint Anything, I wasn't...

...sure I had another YA book in
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love ... love ... love ... this is why Dessen is one of my favorite authors!! She tells a great story and has me falling for her characters.

More thoughts to come when I have time to gather them. For now, let's just say this will be one of my fave YAs this year. Yup! I'm pretty sure.
Initial reaction: I really enjoyed the journey in this latest book from Sarah Dessen. Sweet romance story in places, but it's also a great story surrounding grief and family as well. Louna was a nice protagonist to follow, though I did feel certain moments and revelations felt a bit rushed.

Full review:

I still struggle to try to frame my thoughts around Sarah Dessen's "Once and for All" - because this story has a lot to unpack with being a slice of life romance paired with a overarching story of
Louna is the daughter of a single mother, Natalie Barrett. Natalie runs a famous wedding planning business with her friend William. Together--often with Louna's assistance--they help frantic brides have the perfect day. But Louna, Natalie, and William are a cynical trio: so much that they even take bets on the success of each wedding after every affair is over and they're cleaning up. Louna has another reason to be cynical: she met her true love the previous summer, but it ended tragically. Afte ...more
Claire  (bookishpotatoes)
Aug 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
August 20, 2016: I'm actually tearing up. I started reading Sarah's books in middle school, right when things started to get, well, hard. The thought that this book will come out right after I graduate from High School, knowing that her books will truly take me all the way to the end of this journey, is making my heart swell. Let's do this, Dessen.

October 6, 2016: THE COVER!!! THE EXCERPT!!! It's all so Sarah Dessen!!!!!!
This is only my second try at a Sarah Dessen book, but I doubt I'm going to try any others. Don't get me wrong, it was heartfelt and lovely, just like everyone says, but I don't think they're for me.

I liked Louna well enough. She's got one hell of a backstory and those flashbacks were some of my favorite parts. I enjoyed the dynamic between Louna's mom and William and Louna. As for Ambrose, he's quirky and delightful and the much needed levity.

I did struggle with this story and yet somehow I k
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