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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lock & Key

Sarah Dessen

Published: 2008

422 pages

Rating: A


“Ruby, where is your mother?”

With that question from the social worker, Ruby knows the game is up.

She’s been living alone in the old yellow house, waiting out the months until she turns eighteen and can finally be on her own legally. It certainly wasn’t in her plan to be reunited with Cora, the sister who left ten years before, and brought to live with Cora and her wealthy entrepreneur husband.

Suddenly life is transformed: a luxurious house, private school, new clothes, and even the change of a future Ruby couldn’t have dreamed of. So why is she wary, unable to be grateful, incapable of letting anyone close? Her old life has been left behind, but where does she fit in this new life? Only Nate, the genial, popular boy next door, seems to understand, perhaps he’s hiding some secrets of his own.

(from front of jacket flap)

This book is like any other from Sarah Dessen, absolutely amazing. Maybe I am just bias since I love all of her other books, but this book just has it all, all in perfect balance…deception, hate, sadness, love, scandal, friendship and a wonderful story. Not to mention an ending that doesn’t get me worked up.

Sarah Dessen has a way of connecting with the reader. Whether its because the story is close to your own personal one, or because her words just fill you with such emotion you don’t know whether to break down in tears or jump up and dance. The way she writes makes you feel you are in the story and experiencing what the main character is experiencing. When I read, I make “mini-movies” in my head based on the story, and with Dessen’s style of writing it is so easy to do that, and you almost wish the movie would never end.

The main character, Ruby, has had a tough life ever since she was young. Her parents got a divorce when she was only five and after that, she rarely saw her father. Her mother became distant from Ruby and her sister, and she started to drink more and more. The only positive thing left in Ruby’s life was her older sister, Cora. Cora is ten years older than Ruby and has always been there for her, Cora was her ‘mother’ after her actual mother stopped caring for her. But ever since Cora went off to college, she hasn’t been around much either. But that changes when Ruby is forced to live with Cora and her husband, Jamie. Ruby had been spending the past couple months living on her own ever since her mother left without notice, but now Ruby is reunited with her older sister who hasn’t been in her life for the past ten years.

Their relationship isn’t what is used to be and Ruby isn’t quite certain she ever wants it that way again. But when it turns out Ruby isn’t as put together as she once thought, their worlds collide and they both find once again that they depend on one another, and their sisterhood is challenged with Ruby’s independent attitude and Cora’s knack to repay Ruby for not being there.

Not only is this a great story about a troubled teen fighting for freedom, but it is a beautiful story of two sisters trying to make it work between them after so many years being apart. And oh yeah, I forgot to mention…the hot, popular guy at Ruby’s new high school, Perkins Day. His name is Nate, and not only is he charming, gorgeous, a great guy and loved by all that know him; he also has a past that he is hiding.

Ruby’s story is a captivating one and definitely something you should read.

(I didn’t talk about the title and its meaning, mainly because I have a slight issue with it. Its not a big problem, but the symbolism behind it I’m still processing, and kind of wishing Dessen went further into detail about it. But maybe it’s a good thing she didn’t. haha)


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