‘ONCE AND FOR ALL’ – Sarah Dessen

Once and for All.png


As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna spends her summers helping brides plan their perfect day and handling every kind 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?

Thanks to Penguin for sending me a copy of ONCE AND FOR ALL in exchange for an honest review.


I’ve never read a Sarah Dessen book before, and to be honest I’ve never even heard of her before. When all the popular booktubers started receiving this book in a promo box (I’m sure you’ve seen at least one of these videos – they’re everywhere) I was surprised to hear many of them talking about this author that I had never heard about before. I was interested in the book, so when Penguin asked me if I would like to review it, I jumped at the opportunity.

I’m going to say up front, if you like summer contemporaries with cute and fluffy romances, then I think you would love ONCE AND FOR ALL. I really wish that I read this book in summer (it’s the start of winter in Australia at the moment) or at the very least when I was in the mood for an easy going contemporary, because I think I would’ve enjoyed it more than I did. However, if you are looking for a quick and cute contemporary that gives you all the feels, then pick this one up!

Contemporary is my favourite genre, and I’ve been reading a lot of it this year and very little of other genres. However, because I’ve been reading so much of it, I’ve been able to expand on what type of contemporary I enjoy, and I’ve started to realise that cutesy/fluffy romances are something I can only read when I’m in the mood for them. I’ve read a lot of contemporary books that focus on “dark” or serious topics, such as mental health, and books that really get me thinking about these topics or educate me or expand my mind. It isn’t to say that I don’t like books like ONCE AND FOR ALL, because I’ve read and love a lot of them, it’s just that they don’t give me the same feeling that they once did.

Okay, that’s enough of me being Miss Negative Nancy and making excuses for my reading taste. Let’s get to the book.



  • Despite what I mentioned before, there is a little bit of “seriousness” or “darkness” in the story line that has to do with Louna’s first love. I liked how this mystery drew out throughout the book and we were able to see how it affected Louna
  • Weddings. I love weddings and love and parties and celebrations and all of that kind of stuff… aaaaahh
  • The relationship/romance wasn’t overbearing and didn’t take up a lot of the plot (however, this leads to a thing I didn’t like which I’ll mention later)
  • The characters were likeable; Louna is complex yet there was room for development, her mum and William were hilarious, and Ambrose was a babe



  • I found the story line and plot a little bit… meh. I just felt like not a whole lot happened. During the second half of the book I was just waiting for something to happen, and it felt like it was taking too long to keep me interested
  • The romance between the two characters that we know are eventually going to get together took too long to get together. It’s like; okay we know it’s going to happen so just hurry up already!
  • The ending I felt was a bit rushed. Similarly to my point above, I was waiting for something to happen and it happened in the end and then that was the end of the book. Okay… so what happens now?


Anywaaaaaay, I liked the book, however I think there are light and cutesy contemporaries that I have enjoyed a lot more, and there is also the factor that these types of stories don’t intrigue me as much as they used to.

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve read ONCE AND FOR ALL or any of Sarah Dessen’s other books and tell me if you have similar thoughts to mine. Do you feel this way about romantic/light and fluffy contemporaries vs serious and thought provoking contemporaries?



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