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Once and for All
Cover of Once and for All
Once and for All
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From Sarah Dessen, the beloved New York Times bestselling author of SAINT ANYTHING and JUST LISTEN, comes a new novel set in the world of wedding planning!Is it really better...
From Sarah Dessen, the beloved New York Times bestselling author of SAINT ANYTHING and JUST LISTEN, comes a new novel set in the world of wedding planning!Is it really better...
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Description-

  • From Sarah Dessen, the beloved New York Times bestselling author of SAINT ANYTHING and JUST LISTEN, comes a new novel set in the world of wedding planning!

    Is it really better to have loved and lost?  Louna's summer job is to help brides plan their perfect day, even though she stopped believing in happily-ever-after when her first love ended tragically.  But charming girl-magnet Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged now that he's met the one he really  wants.  Maybe Louna's second chance is standing right in front of her.


     Sarah Dessen’s many fans will adore this latest novel, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story with humor, romance, and an ending that is so much more than happily-ever-after.

 

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Excerpts-

  • From the cover CHAPTER 1
     
    WELL, THIS was a first.
     
    “Deborah?” I said as I knocked softly, yet still with enough intensity to convey the proper urgency, on the door. “It’s Louna. Can I help you with anything?”
     
    According to my mother, this was Rule One in dealing with this kind of situation: don’t project a problem. As in, don’t ask if anything is wrong unless you are certain some­thing is, and as of right now, I was not. Although a bride lock­ing herself in the anteroom of the church five minutes after the wedding was supposed to begin did not exactly bode well.
     
    From the other side of the door, I heard movement. Then a sniffle. Again, I wished William, my mother’s partner and the company’s appointed bride whisperer, was here instead of me. But he’d gotten hooked into another crisis involving the groom’s mother taking issue with preceding the bride’s mom down the aisle, even though everyone knew that was how the etiquette went. Work in the wedding business long enough, however, and you learn that everything has the potential to be a problem, from the happy couple all the way down to the napkins. You just never know.
     
    I cleared my throat. “Deborah? Can I bring you a water?”
     
    It wasn’t ever the true solution, but a water never hurt: that was another one of my mother’s beliefs. Instead of a response, the lock clicked, the door rattling open. I looked down the stairs behind me, praying I’d see William ap­proaching, but no, I was still alone. I took a breath, then picked up the bottle I’d grabbed earlier and stepped inside. Hydration for the win.
     
    Our client Deborah Bell (soon to be Washington, ide­ally), a beautiful black girl with her hair in a bun, was sit­ting on the floor of the small room, her fluffy white dress bunched up around her. It had cost five thousand dollars, a fact I knew because she had told us, repeatedly, during the last ten months of planning this day. I tried not to think about this as I moved quickly, but not too quickly, over to her. (“Never run at a wedding unless someone’s life is liter­ally in danger!” I heard my mother say in my head.) I’d just opened up the water when I realized she was crying.
     
    “Oh, don’t do that.” I eased down into what I hoped was a professional knees-to-the-side squat, drawing a slim pack of tissues from my pocket. “Your makeup looks great. Let’s keep it that way, okay?”
     
    Deborah, one false eyelash already loose—some lies are necessary—just blinked at me, sending another round of tears down her already streaked face. “Can I ask you something?”
     
    No, I thought. Now we were at nine minutes. Out loud I said, “Sure.”
     
    She took in a shuddering breath, the kind that only comes after you’ve been crying awhile, and hard. “Do you . . .” A pause, as another set of tears gathered and spilled, this time taking the loose eyelash with them. “Do you believe that true love can really last forever?”
     
    Now someone was coming up the stairs. From the sound of it, though—large steps, lumbering, with a fair amount of huffing and puffing already audible—it wasn’t William. “True love?”
     
    “Yes.” She reached up—God, no! I thought, too late to stop her—rubbing a hand over her eyes and smearing eye­liner sideways up to her temple. The steps behind us were getting...

About the Author-

  • Sarah Dessen is the author of twelve previous novels, which include the New York Times bestsellers Saint Anything, The Moon and More, What Happened to Goodbye, Along for the Ride, Lock and Key, Just Listen, The Truth About Forever, and This Lullaby. Her first two books, That Summer and Someone Like You, were made into the movie How to Deal.
     
    Dessen’s books are frequently chosen for the Teens’ Top Ten list and the list of Best Fiction for Young Adults. They have been translated into twenty-five languages. Sarah Dessen is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the Young Adult division of the American Library Association, recognizing her significant contribution to young adult literature.
      
    Sarah Dessen graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with highest honors in creative writing. She lives in North Carolina with her family.

    Visit Sarah at sarahdessen.com. 

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 24, 2017
    Seventeen-year-old Louna was in love once, but it ended in tragedy when her long-distance boyfriend, Ethan, was killed in a school shooting. Louna has since stopped believing she will find love again, though she is surrounded by constant reminders of it: she works for her mother’s successful, high-end wedding-planning business. When Louna’s mother temporarily hires Ambrose, the gorgeous but unpredictable son of a client, Louna is charged with making sure that Ambrose doesn’t make their summer weddings any more difficult. Dessen’s fans will revel in the familiarity of her steady, empathic writing, as well as her attention to detail—particularly the painstaking care Louna and her mother devote to every aspect of a wedding, including their nervous and tightly wound clients—and the emotionally layered characters that populate her story. Dessen (Saint Anything) include a hint of romance between Louna and Ambrose, but this novel is more about grief and recovery. Flashbacks of Louna’s relationship with Ethan, interspersed among the present-day chapters, movingly juxtapose her loss with her tentative efforts to move forward from it. Ages 12–up. Agent: Leigh Feldman, Leigh Feldman Literary.

  • AudioFile Magazine Author Sarah Dessen is top-notch at fast-moving teen dialogue, and narrator Karissa Vacker is wonderful at delivering it. Vacker captures the witty sarcasm of Louna, who believes that the possibility of love is limited. Vacker nails the jaded attitude of an 18-year-old who's been raised by a busy, problem-solving mother, a wedding planner extraordinaire. Vacker also reveals the deeper side of the hurt that underlies Louna's views of love's limitations. As Louna quickly rejects the romantic overtures of the wealthy, spoiled Ambrose, Vacker lets his genuine affection for her shine through despite Louna's distain. The emotions that play out in this Dessen romance will captivate fans new and old. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 4, 2017
    Actor Vacker captures both humor and tragedy in Dessen’s latest YA novel, about a 17-year-old whose summer job is assisting her mother in her high-end wedding-planning business. Surrounded by a clientele of couples in love at work, Louna is constantly reminded of the love she lost when her long-distance boyfriend, Ethan, was killed in a school shooting. Over the years, she has become increasingly skeptical about the nature of love after seeing several extravagant weddings end in divorce. Enter Ambrose, the handsome-but-unpredictable son of a client whom Louna’s mother has hired to help out for the summer as well. At first, Louna and Ambrose clash on the job, but their thorny relationship slowly evolves to friendship with a hint of romance over the course of the novel, which includes intermittent flashbacks to Louna’s relationship with Ethan. Reader Vacker convincingly enacts the range of emotions and array of attitudes experienced by the teenage protagonist, including love, heartbreak, grief, cynicism, longing, and admiration for her mother. She provides unique voices for the other characters. The adolescent boys—Ethan and Ambrose—are consistently distinguishable, and Louna’s mother gets the mature air of a successful business owner, who, like her daughter, is steeled against love after a brief first marriage to Louna’s father but is nevertheless dedicated her work. Vacker’s skilled performance draws attention to the changes in the characters and their relationships in this satisfying audiobook. Ages 12–up. A Viking hardcover.

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