Sarah Dessen is often referred to as the “queen of YA,” and for good reason. Her thirteenth novel, Once and for All, comes out in just one week and as part of the blog tour, we’re sharing our top ten reasons to read her newest novel:
- Perfect summer read: Sarah Dessen has a knack for writing contemporary novels that include important themes while keeping it light enough for a summer read, and Once and for All is no different
- Importance of friendship: Louna’s friendship with Jilly is one of the best part of Once and for All. I love that their relationship spans everything from taking care of Jilly’s siblings to dating snafus, and everything in between. They stick together through everything and show what it means to be true friends
- Impact of first love: Louna fell for her first boyfriend over the course of one magical night. It may seem like “insta-love” but relationships doesn’t always wait for the most convenient or reasonable time, and Once and for All shows that in all it’s highs and lows
- Faces the topic of grief and loss head on: Louna had a tragic ending to her first relationship, and Once and For All really explores the past and Louna’s grieving process. It also shows her moving on in a gentle, healthy way.
- Ambrose: Ambrose starts as the obnoxious son of a bride who holds up the wedding in progress. However, he will quickly work his way into your good graces with his huge heart, contagious energy, and quirky decision-making
- Finding happiness: Once and For All will show you that happiness is in the cards for everyone, even when it feels impossible.
- Tackles contemporary situations: Despite the fact that it makes a great summer read, this Sarah Dessen novel isn’t just light, fluffy reading. Once and for All faces the reality of life these days with things like school shootings (heartbreakingly relevant), social situations where someone is on the phone the whole time, and more.
- Crazy weddings: Louna’s mom is a wedding planner and Louna spends her summer working in the family business. Needless to say, there are plenty of hilarious wedding planning anecdotes and unruly wedding parties to keep things interesting!
- Betting on dating style: Louna and Ambrose have very different preferences on how to date and form relationships. They make a bet that each person has to live by the other person’s dating lifestyle for the summer – and this leads to as much humor as one might expect
- Finally, Once and for All shows that second chances do happen!
About Once and for All:
Louna has spent her high school years working at her mother’s successful wedding planning business. She’s seen every sort of wedding: big and lavish, small and intimate, at country clubs or on the beach. She’s dealt with every crisis that can bedevil a wedding—as well as scene-stealing bridesmaids, controlling grooms, bossy mothers-of-the-bride, and even the occasional AWOL bride. Her view of the non-everlasting nature of love has been colored by the cynicism of her mother, who enjoys laying odds on how long each marriage will last. And Louna’s own experience has made her wary: her blissful first love, seen in intermittent flashbacks, ended in tragic loss.
When handsome, charming, scatterbrained Ambrose comes to work for her mother, Louna is indignant at the number of women he juggles; he is appalled by her refusal to socialize at all. They make a bet: Louna will go on a series of dates while Ambrose will attempt a long-term relationship with one woman. But in the end, it is Ambrose himself that Louna falls for—exactly what Ambrose intended!
About Sarah Dessen
Sarah Dessen is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen novels for teens, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews, and have sold millions of copies worldwide. She is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association. Sarah lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Sasha Clementine. Visit her online at sarahdessen.com.
Special Pre-Order contest