First Lines: 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?”
Like many of us here, I really like Sarah Dessen’s writing. But this book was the one that had escaped me for a long time. I’m not totally sure why I didn’t read it when it came out, but I didn’t. And then it just kept getting forgotten and before I knew it, years had gone by. Finally, I had to read it.
Louna’s mom is kind of famous. Natalie Barrett, her mom, is a famed wedding planner who can plan weddings at any venue and make it exactly what the bride wants. And maybe because she watched so many of these happily-ever-afters fall apart months or years after the weddings, Louna is pretty cynical about love. It doesn’t help that her first love ended tragically. So when Louna meets Ambrose, a happy-go-lucky serial dater, she doesn’t want much of anything to do with him. But Ambrose isn’t discouraged, now that he’s found the girl he really wants.
Why did no one warn me this book was going to tear my heart out?
Louna’s mother has a wedding planning business, which has made Louna more than a little cynical about her own love life. I mean, when you see so many weddings fail after a few years, well, it definitely makes it difficult to believe in Happily Ever After. So meeting Ambrose certainly doesn’t change that. He’s a one-night-stand type, a guy who can always find someone for a date even if he was stranded on a desert island. Like, he’s that charming.
I liked Louna and Ambrose. As characters, I liked them individually and as a potential couple. Louna’s cynicism is balanced by Ambrose’s positivity for just about anything. Ambrose certainly gets on Louna’s nerves (and mine at times), but he has a good heart. I did think that their chemistry felt a bit weak, though, and it was sometimes hard to see why exactly Louna wanted to date him. But generally speaking, I really loved the characters.
Like any Dessen novel, it is only partially a love story. It’s also a story that is going to knock you back a few steps. It hit me harder than I was anticipating. There are always serious topics that get juggled in these books, but this one was darker than Dessen has gone in a while. It’s real, though, and very relevant. That’s why it was tough. And I wasn’t expecting this particular twist, so I didn’t have the chance to mentally prep for it.
I really enjoyed this. It’s a solid read with great characters (especially some quirky ones) and a cute look at what it means to be in love