Review: Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

March 18, 2012

Hardcover, 422 pages
Published April 22nd 2008 by Viking Juvenile

Rating: 3 Glasses

Ruby, where is your mother?
Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she's been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.
That's how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn't seen in ten years, and Cora's husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future; it's a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?
Best-selling author Sarah Dessen explores the heart of a gutsy, complex girl dealing with unforeseen circumstances and learning to trust again.

I used to live near a book store. We moved a little over a year ago and the only thing going for my new house was its location, just a block away from Borders. But as you might be aware of, they've all been closed. It hurts to walk past that empty book store now.

Anyways, so what does that have to do with this book? Well, when they were having their big blowout clearance sale, I was able to buy it for the fabulous price of $2 dollars! It was such a bittersweet steal that I kept putting off reading it until last week, when I had to take the CASHEE, or the high school exit examine. I heard that it's sometimes so ridiculously easy that you have a monumental amount of time to just read. After hearing that, I brought this book. I'd have to read it sooner or later.

It's about a girl named Ruby who gets sent to live with her sister after her mother abandons her. At first it was really frustrating for me because you have to read through her flashbacks and thoughts of her mother. The book doesn't start picking up pace until a little after that when she starts going to school.

Now I know Sarah Dessen normally write the gushy cute romances that play along with the main heroine's route to the discovery of finding herself, so I can almost confidently say this is one of those stories. Throughout the book you become aware of her insecurities and you come to grow with her. She feels like a real person and someone who would actually exist in a real life, a feat that Dessen has always managed to achieve in all the books that I've read of hers. However, that being said, I think the amount of actual romance in this book is not enough to make it a "teen romance novel". Nick, who is quite frankly, the all american perfectly hot boy next door with hidden secrets stereotype, plays a large role in the story, but his romance with Ruby is second to the story that is her life.

It seemed like they only really dated for a chapter, and the rest of it was just bonding and friendship type stuff going on. Although, I do have to admit that Jamie and Cora make up for it (well, mostly Jamie). As Ruby's sister and brother-in-law, they are her backbone for most of the story. Cora's stiffed lip and Jamie's the perfect husband with a perfect family. My only problem with them, is that sometimes they almost seem to perfect, like there's no way those people could actually exist, at least in my world.

Although I did have a problem with the lack of romance and sometimes the plot, which for me, was a bit boring, I think it dealt with the serious topic really well and provided a great past time for the endless hours I spent after taking the exit exam. So yeah, go read it.


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