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ONCE AND FOR ALL by Sarah Dessen


by Sarah Dessen

Age Range: 12 - 16

Pub Date: June 6th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-425-29033-0
Publisher: Viking

Louna finds her cynicism about romance challenged when her family’s wedding business hires Ambrose.

After years facing brides with cold feet and badly behaved wedding guests, Louna has become skeptical about romance and plans on remaining single during her last summer before college. Luckily, the busy wedding schedule provides plenty of legitimate excuses for Louna to avoid opportunities to meet potential dates. That changes when satisfying a particularly fussy bridal party requires hiring the bride’s brother, Ambrose. He’s a lady’s man who typically charms more than one potential date during every social gathering. But he professes honesty about his dating motivations, expresses genuine interest in his dates, and displays a sort of oddly enchanting “aw, shucks” dismissal of his ability to reel in girls. Louna’s outwardly dismayed by his antics, but his clichéd (but adorable) gestures, such as impulsively adopting a rescue dog, begin to win her over. However, Louna’s still tormented by the unexpected death of her first love. Flashbacks to their relationship combined with the way she reluctantly accepts the need to move forward too provide a bittersweet counterpoint to the traditional rom-com storyline. Louna’s lovingly depicted gay godfather provides a bit of diversity in the otherwise apparently straight, white cast.

Romance, humor, kindhearted characters, and a touch of painful reality make this another sure bet for Dessen fans. (Romance. 12-16)