One of the books from my giant July book haul – if you haven’t seen it, check it out here because it’s so worth it and so shameful at the same time, haha – was Once And For All by Sarah Dessen.
I went and bought this book while I went to Brussels with my camera – I like getting away once in a while with just my camera. Of course, I couldn’t resist entering a couple bookstores as well, haha.
After hearing so much about Sarah Dessen and her books, I decided it was time for me to buy one of them and see whether or not I liked them myself.
Because I had to wait for a delayed train home, I started reading at the station not long after buying it and simply couldn’t stop reading.
Is it really better to have loved and lost?
Louna spends her summers helping brides plan their perfect day and handling all kinds of crises: missing brides, scene-stealing bridesmaids and controlling grooms. Not surprising then that she’s deeply cynical about happy-ever-afters, especially since her own first love ended in tragedy.
When handsome girl magnet Ambrose enters her life, Louna won’t take him seriously. But Ambrose hates not getting what he wants and Louna is the girl he’s been waiting for.
Maybe it’s not too late for a happy ending after all?
I have to admit, reading the blurb I immediately thought “okay, the guy’s an arrogant ass who just wants to get what he wants” but I was so wrong! And that’s something you need to know since I realize it’s a characteristic that could make you not want to read a book.
Louna and Ambrose are both portrayed nicely – a girl who has clearly been hurt in some way and a guy who initially just doesn’t know how to behave properly.
Even though you know that they’ll end up falling in love at some point, I did feel it kind of lacked that spark I like feeling when reading a book like this. I don’t know; it just felt like it was missing… Something?
“I don’t think anybody ever really knows what’s going to happen,” he said. “We’re all just out here hoping for the best.”
I also got a bit lost at the beginning of the book. Chapters switch between “then” and “now” without any clear indication which sometimes makes you wonder what the hell is happening at that moment. Including mixing up the names of some characters – and I hate when that happens because then I have to reread and find out who he / she is to begin with.
Apart from those two minor things, I really did enjoy the story, the fun and cute take on all the wedding preparations, the weddings themselves and of course seeing and feeling the way Louna is slowly letting herself heal.
Start on a high note and, no matter what song follows, chances are just better that it will be music to your ears.
All in all it was a light, fun read with a touch of romance that made my evening a little less bland – I hate being home alone sometimes, haha.
For this I’m giving Once And For All a solid 4 / 5!
As for the munches, I’m showing off the homemade comfort food, created by yours truly and her – messy in the kitchen – boyfriend! Fries with sate, veggies and a ton of Bearnaise sauce, haha.