Okay I have no idea what it is about lately, but I keep pulling romance books off the shelf!!!
At one point in my life (when I was younger and still one of those misguided romantics) if anyone asked me who my favorite Author was I would have said Sarah Dessen. It wasn’t just because she wrote sappy romance plots that, though overdone and pretty cliche, were quite sweet. I once told someone who asked me why she was my favorite author that I liked her because we shared the same first name. Lame reason to name her my favorite author lol, but listen this story is for another day. The point is she was my favorite. I avidly devoured all the books I could find that were written by her.
Title: Once and For All
Author: Sarah Dessen
Rating (Out of 5 Stars):
Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.
Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself
I’ll be honest. I went into this knowing EXACTLY what I was getting myself into. The author’s writing style and her books in general are quite predictable. So my first impressions are a bit biased (though not incorrect). I figured it would be an it’s all going to work out, the MCs will end up tied together in a nice big happy bow.
The colors of the cover again something I could NEVER overlook. Sarah Dessen has some of the dreamiest book covers in my opinion. They’re really lovely and that’s also another reason why I used to have her placed at the top of my list when it came to authors.
I was not wholly disappointed by the characters (as I seem to be lately while reading, romance books especially lol). Dessen always has a way of making me want to coddle the characters and give them everything they want. There was a lot more depth to the main female character than we usually see in her main characters.
Though her characters aren’t Mary Sue, I found Louna to be a little bit more developed. Maybe because she’s experienced tragedy. At the same time though there’s a lot more to characters aside from working through tragedy that need to be considered. I think objectively speaking she was still pretty unoriginal. But the way Dessen writes just made me love her.
There was a lot more development between the two MCs romantically, which I enjoyed.
Alright, alright let’s talk overall. I gave this book 3 stars. But despite that:
I really enjoyed this book.
There was a small bit of insta-love in there, which made my eyes kinda glaze over, but other than that I did actually really enjoy reading it.
My other big problem with the book was the fact that it was hard to differentiate between the flashbacks and the present. There wasn’t any indication of transition in the formatting, which definitely was one of the bigger factors to why I gave the book only 3 stars. I enjoyed the way she wrote the flashbacks, but the formatting made it difficult to tell when you were reading a flashback until you were like 4 paragraphs into the flashback.
I had to go back and reread from the beginning of pretty much every flashback and go … oh that makes more sense now. At one point I started looking for names of characters I knew would be only in the flashbacks so that I could figure it out quicker lol.
This book would have gotten a much higher rating had it been easier to tell between the flashbacks and the present…
How do you feel about flashbacks in books? Where would you draw the line with using the flashbacks in plot? Have you read Sarah Dessen before?
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