Once and For All is the thirteenth book written by Sarah Dessen.

Once and For All
Author Sarah Dessen
Publication Order
Preceded by
Saint Anything
Followed by
The Rest of the Story

Summary Edit

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.

Plot Edit

Read an excerpt here.

Characters Edit

Louna Barrett

Louna's Mom (Natalie Barrett)


Ethan Caruso

Jilly Baker


Where else did I read about that? Edit


In the bonus epilogue, Spinnerbait (see below) is hired to play but they are fortuantely put in their place and fired. In a fortunate turn of events, Louna is able to get the pizza delivery teens to play as it turns out they have a band. The are Beautiful or Catastrophic and the band consists of Eric, Mac, and Ford. Eric and Mac are the delivery guys, along with Layla and they are all characters from the novel Saint Anything.

Auden and Eli from Along for the Ride have a midnight conversation with Louna and Ethan in a flashback to their relationship. Clyde is also present at the Washhouse, sharing his famous pie and coffee. 

Places: Edit

Things: Edit

The stuck-up, high-maintenance band that is hired to play in the bonus epilogue, Spinnerbait, is first mentioned in This Lullaby and is the rival band to the Truth Squad.

Sarah's Words from Sarahland Edit

After I finished promoting SAINT ANYTHING, I wasn’t sure that I had another book in me. It was such an emotional novel for many reasons, and after twelve books I thought maybe I didn’t have anything else I needed to say about high school and the teen experience. So I did what I always do after the exhaustion of a book release: I read a lot, watched Bravo, ate snacks. This is okay, I told myself. Maybe I can stop now. SAINT ANYTHING was a high note for me, I was really proud of it. A good place to rest.

At this same time, I had two babysitters who were planning weddings. One was having a big Southern wedding, with all the attendant details and stresses, and the other a traditional Hmong wedding, which was all about specific traditions of that culture. They could not have been more different, but as I spoke with both of them during the planning I saw so many similarities, especially when it came to wanting things to go perfectly, or at least as well as possible. It got me thinking about my own wedding, the planning of which took over my life for a full year. I lived and breathed getting ready for that day, but when I look back I don’t remember all those little details with which I was so consumed.

As I started to think about all this, I began taking it wider, to the idea of how many “perfect” things we want, or are allowed. I’d had everything I wanted with SAINT ANYTHING: maybe I’d never get that again. Louna, my narrator, has this amazing first love and thinks that’s her only chance, her once and for all. But life goes on, even after those walking into the sunset moments. We can’t always have a perfect day, or a perfect experience. We need to take those great moments, though, and appreciate them. It’s tough for us perfectionists, but it’s true. The best stories, I have learned, often come when things don’t go as you planned.

Quotes Edit

“What did it take to claim a person, really? One perfect night? A few weeks of phone calls, hundreds of texts, all of them full of future plans and promises made?...You can't measure love by time put in, but the weight of those moments. Some in life are light, like a touch. Others, you can't help but stagger beneath.” -Louna Barrett

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