Summer, glorious summer... If you're picturing sunshine, beaches, and weddings, you're right on track for Sarah Dessen's enchanting new book, Once and for All.
Dessen's novels stand out because while there is always romance, there is also a dose of not-so-pretty reality that give her characters and stories an authenticity that readers can relate to. In Once and for All, college-bound Louna is still dealing with a painful loss that's made her cynical about the notion of happily-ever-after. But happily-ever-after is the family business and Louna is spending the summer working for her very busy wedding planner mom. Louna may not want it, but if there's one thing we know about the illogical nature of love, it's that Cupid usually throws an arrow when you least expect it...
Summer and love go hand-in-hand, but what else makes this the season we look forward to the rest of the year? We asked Dessen to name a few of her favorite things...
*Once and for All is an editors' pick for the Best Young Adult Books of June
My 13 Favorite Summer Items
- Slap it on the way you do clothes. In fact, put it on when you PUT on your clothes. Nobody wants skin cancer.
- A bathing suit that makes you feel good. Note I said FEEL, not look. A good suit is the beginning of a million summer stories.
- A good book. Preferably something you saved to read in summer, so you’re looking forward to it that much more. Pro tip: if you don’t get it wet at least once, you’re not doing it right.
- A truly addictive, bingeworthy TV series. For those hot nights when you’re sitting in the AC, trying not to stick to the couch.
- For me, summer WAS my cousins in Cape Cod. Your blood relatives might drive you nuts, but unlike friends, they’re stuck with you for life. If you don’t appreciate it now, you will later. Trust me on this.
- Flip flops. Me, I like Havaianas. They go with everything from shorts to nice dresses and are inexpensive enough that you can have your formal and casual ones. (Yes, you can have formal flip flops! Wait, can’t you?)
- Cold candy. Frozen chocolate chips, Hershey’s Special Dark nuggets with almonds (my weapon of choice) or anything else sweet you stick in fridge or freezer. Take the bag with your book by the pool and go to town.
- A crush. Why not? Summer is all about potential. And if you’re happily in a relationship, you can still swoon over a celebrity or musician. Still completely within the rules, says me.
- A blank book. I’m always sure if I carry one something worth writing down will happen. You never know, right? Also if you have a cute one it will make you happy every time you look at it.
- Onion rings. Of course, you can enjoy them year round, but they just taste better purchased from a beachside grill and consumed right there in the parking lot, preferably while sitting on your car.
- A bead or rope bracelet. I buy one at the beginning of every summer, put it on and make a wish. When it falls off, I tell myself that the wish will come true. As I kid I had an uncle who made us rope bracelets every summer, and we wore them until they rotted off somewhere around Christmas. Old habits die hard. And wishes are good, right?
- Car windows you can roll down, a radio to turn up and a windy country road to drive on at dusk. Just writing that triggered so many memories for me I almost fell out of this chair I’m sitting in right now.
- Yes, I’m listing it twice. I’m not kidding, you guys. Put it on!
Looking for more? You might also like:
Subscribe to Omnivoracious: The Amazon Book Review, featuring picks for the best books of the month, author interviews, reading recommendations, and more from the Amazon Books editors.