BOOK REVIEW: Lock and Key, by Sarah Dessen

Lock and Key
Date(s) read
: November 24 – 28, 2012
Genre: YA Contemporary

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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.

My Thoughts
Sarah Dessen, you’ve done it again! I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again — I’m so happy to have finally started reading Sarah’s books. They just make me feel good!

Being my third Sarah Dessen book, Lock and Key did not disappoint. I absolutely loved Ruby’s character and how she was thrown from all that she knows into a brand new situation. In fact, I read the synopsis just now before writing my review and I didn’t even think of it as a Cinderella-type story, but now that I think of it, it’s so true — Ruby starts off having nothing, moving from place to place with her mother, and once her mother leaves, she has nothing. Then she moves in with her sister, who is willing to give her everything. It’s interesting to think that the whole thing was very fairytale-like, but Ruby was so unaccepting of it. 

One of the things I really like with Sarah’s books, especially this one, is how there are the problems of the main character, but someone else has problems, too. I like that the main character, in this case Ruby, realizes that maybe they don’t have it as bad as they think they do.

While I loved Ruby’s character, I really loved her sister Cora, and Cora’s husband, Jamie — they were awesome characters. They also had their own struggles and it was nice to see how they all grew and worked to overcome their struggles as the book went on. There’s just something so sweet and touching about Dessen’s books that I find myself identifying with the characters, even if I haven’t gone through the things they’ve gone through.

This really was a great read and I look forward to reading more Sarah Dessen in the coming months — I’m slowly working my way through her catalogue and have been more and more impressed with each read. She’s definitely a favourite!



23 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Lock and Key, by Sarah Dessen

  1. Yay another positive Dessen review! I haven’t read anything by her yet but I did buy my first book by her a few weeks ago and I can’t wait to get to it. This one sounds like it has some really great characters and I love that you didn’t even pick up on the Cinderella story element but that when you read it, it made perfect sense. That tells me it stands out on it’s own and isn’t just a story we’ve read a million times over. Great review!

  2. Can you believe that I haven’t read ANY Sarah Dessen books!?! Man, I really need to get on this. They all sound really great! Excellent review! You’ve definitely got me interested 🙂

  3. I LOVED Lock and Key! 😀 I’m so glad that you did, too! Also, I completely agree with your point about the characters having problems, but then realizing that they could have it a lot worse. It’s nice to see characters grow and become more accepting like that, and I loved how Ruby got closer to Nate and realized his life wasn’t as perfect as she thought it was. Nate was definitely just one of my fav parts of the book. He’s the kind of character who makes you want to be a better person because of the kind of example he sets. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kristilyn, and I’m glad you enjoyed it! 😀 I also saw that you ordered The Truth About Forever from the library a bit ago, I hope you either already enjoyed it, or do enjoy it! That ones my favourite of hers! 😀

  4. I keep seeing how much everyone loves Sarah Dessen and I have yet to read anything by her. I think I need This one sounds like a really great book, I think I’ll add it to my TBR so I don’t forget about it!..Great review!

  5. I’ve seen this around and I’ve flipped through it quite a bit but I just never felt compelled to pick it up. I love two Sarah Dessen books INTENSELY but the others were only okay for me. I’m glad you liked this one so much though! I’ll definitely keep that in mind if I flip through it again.

  6. I have this one, but haven’t read it yet. It sounds equally delightful as the ones I have. She is so masterful of the subtle. Drawing you in, getting you to connect with her characters & fall in love with their journey.

  7. Pingback: Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge (24) | Reading In Winter

  8. I love this book. It’s my favorite one by her, for some reason (because I’ve never had a childhood like Ruby or Nate – yet something about them just feel more real to me than some of her other characters). >.< This and Dreamland, Keeping the Moon, Someone Like You… gems. Also with Lock and Key, a beautiful ending, BUT I love Ruby so much I really want a sequel. *Sigh* if only…

    • I loved Lock and Key! I haven’t read Dreamland, Keeping the Moon, or Someone Like You … I’m just so glad that Sarah has so many books out there for me to read! I think my ultimate favourite is Along For the Ride. 🙂

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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