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Once and For All

By: Sarah Dessen

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.

ISBN: 9780425290330

JLG Release: Sep 2017


Sensitive Areas: Language: Strong Language, Sexual Content: Strong Sexual Content/Themes
Topics: Dating , Romance , Weddings , Summer employment , School shootings , Grief

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Awards & Honors

ILA Young Adults' Choices - 2018
Summer 2017 Kids’ Indies Next List, Top 10
Goodreads Choice Awards 2017, Young Adult Fiction
Los Angeles Public Library Best of 2017: Teen Books

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

School Library Journal

Louna’s broken heart and her mother’s cynical views on love and marriage have soured her on the idea of everlasting love. While working at her mother’s wedding planning business, she meets Ambrose, whom she had to drag away from a girl so that he could escort his mother down the aisle. Louna is not thrilled when her mother hires A Louna’s broken heart and her mother’s cynical views on love and marriage have soured her on the idea of everlasting love. While working at her mother’s wedding planning business, she meets Ambrose, whom she had to drag away from a girl so that he could escort his mother down the aisle. Louna is not thrilled when her mother hires Ambrose for the summer, but he is charming and spices up her usual summer routine. Louna prefers to date only when forced to by her best friend Jilly, while Ambrose plays the field nightly. Louna’s disdain for Ambrose’s escapades leads to a friendly wager—for the next seven weeks she will date around and he will commit to one person; the winner will choose the loser’s next date. As the story unfolds, the truth of Louna’s heartbreak is revealed one piece at a time, just as she admits her real feelings for Ambrose. Can she open her heart to love again? The answer is obvious, but nevertheless it is an enjoyable journey getting there. Secondary characters, such as Louna’s mother, Jilly, and William, her mother’s best friend and business partner, are well developed and add depth to the protagonist’s past and present. However, an attempt at racial diversity falls flat with three separate descriptions of peripheral characters as black, while there is no other mention of race or ethnicity for any other character. VERDICT There is no question that this title will be popular with Dessen fans and romance lovers.—Kefira Phillipe, Nichols Middle School, Evanston, IL

Horn Book

Every summer Louna, her wedding-planner mother Natalie, and Natalie’s business partner William become a matrimonial dream-team, expertly orchestrating celebration after celebration: each, as Louna sees it, “a series of special moments, strung together like beads on a chain.” (Behind closed doors, Natalie and William are cynics who Every summer Louna, her wedding-planner mother Natalie, and Natalie’s business partner William become a matrimonial dream-team, expertly orchestrating celebration after celebration: each, as Louna sees it, “a series of special moments, strung together like beads on a chain.” (Behind closed doors, Natalie and William are cynics who enjoy guessing how quickly their clients will divorce.) Louna experiences a special moment of her own—a starlit beach encounter revealed in interspersed flashbacks—but then her brief romance ends, not in garden-variety heartbreak, but in a shocking and heart-wrenching tragedy. Louna, bereft, feels safer casting her lot with the cynics until Natalie hires Ambrose, a guileless ladies’ man whose carefree attitude disrupts both the dream-team’s professional groove and Louna’s cautious avoidance of love. Guarded girl meets perceptive boy: miscommunications, soul-searching, and, yes, romance ensue. Dessen fans will recognize the formula and savor meeting yet another set of well-drawn teens searching for connection. A dating wager between Louna and Ambrose feels wedged into the otherwise pleasantly bustling story line, but with her signature narrative tone—quiet, confident, and steady—Dessen delivers a contemplative and satisfying pleasure-read that speaks to the power of opening oneself up to love, perfect or otherwise. jessica tackett macdonald

Book Details

ISBN

9780425290330

First Release

September 2017

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

5 1/2" x 8 1/4"

Page Count

368

Accelerated Reader

Level 5.1; Points: 14;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 5.6; Points: 22;

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Viking

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Language: Strong Language, Sexual Content: Strong Sexual Content/Themes

Topics

Dating, Romance, Weddings, Summer employment, School shootings, Grief,

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