• Cypress Bay High School - Weston, FL
  • February 26, 2020


“Once and for All” by Sarah Dessen is an uplifting and hopeful book that follows Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner, Natalie Barrett. Louna has seen every type of wedding imaginable, from beach weddings to weddings hosted at historical mansions. She’s been living in a world where crises are routine. Even though she’s seen all these happy couples, Louna doesn’t believe in happily ever afters, that is until she meets Ambrose, who tempts her into a love that she is not sure she can embark on.

Dessen has written a novel with an intense atmosphere. Although she wrote this novel with the themes of young love, the book has some tragedy. While introducing these themes, this book also includes messages ranging from hard work to having fun. She writes about the beauty and wonders of young love and how carefree it truly is. She also writes about tragedy and sadness and promotes the idea that love isn’t all about going on dates. Dessen writes about the positives and negatives of love and has delivered a realistic story of the hardships of life and love. The book not only revolves around the love story, but also the importance of family. Dessen has woven a love story into a family centered plot with lessons to learn from. The characters’ relationships evolve realistically in this novel.

Much like everything, this novel did have its downsides. At times the book becomes slow and dull, but then Dessen writes an incredible twist to pick the pace back up again. Sadly, when the book loses its pace, the plot development loses its spark.

While Louna is a hardworking and driven person, Ambrose is the total opposite. He is cheerful and optimistic, although, he still has his flaws which gives a balance to this book. Ambrose is a reckless person, but he’s so honest when he does something wrong. Dessen’s characters are realistic and believable which makereaders further relate to the story. Dessen’s creative characterization of the protagonists suggest that opposites can attract.

“Once and for All” is an inspirational book when it comes to summer romance. Dessen’s characters go through an incredible character development throughout the novel. This novel is eye-opening. It contains the lessons of the imperfections of people and how they are a part of life. She creates well-developed, but flawed characters to promote the idea that nobody is perfect. Dessen gives an inspirational outlook on life and love.