Friday, October 28, 2011

Review: Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen 
Published: April 22nd, 2008
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 422
Challenge: 100+ Reading Challenge, 350 Page Books Challenge
Other: NA
Buy the book: Bookdepository

"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?

After reading This Lullaby and Keeping the Moon, I was on a bit of a Sarah Dessen reading frenzy and I decided to pick this one up. I expected it to be good, but I didn't expect to get as emotional as I did while reading it.

Ruby is a girl with a past. She's been through a lot when she comes to live with her sister and her husband, who try their hardest to crack her shell. Ruby prefers to stay alone, not really doing anything to fit in, and makes trips down memory lane by going back to the friends she had when she still lived with her mother. She has trouble picking up the pieces and struggles to be that teenage girl that Cora and Jamie want her to be.

I loved how Sarah put together the family and showed how they were all struggling to be that family. I quite liked Jamie - I thought he was a great father figure even though he was still young. He tried desperately to help Ruby get a normal life and what I loved was that he had difficulty with it. It wasn't perfect. Their relationship wasn't perfect either, and I loved how we saw the cracks in that, too.

And then there was Nate. Oh, sweet Nate. Nate has his own problems that he has to live with and it broke my heart to see him rejecting every bit of help that was offered to him. We find out what those problems are in the end, and that broke my heart all over again.

There was something about this book that made me break down in tears. With how Ruby struggles with her past, but also how she tries to help someone while she only just found out how to help other people. And yes, I really cried while reading this. I connected with the characters and I recognised their struggles, their problems, their way of dealing with everything when life threatens to get a little too much. I also connected with the helping hand, the caring family and the broken boy next door. I absolutely loved it.

My overall rating:

How can I give something I love so much less than five big fat stars?


  1. Either my internet is completely screwed up or the review is missing! :(

    P.s.: I ordered This Lullaby now, looking forward to read this review though! :)

  2. Loved the review :D how can I get more readers for my book review blog? Im going to glitz it up a bit latter I think

  3. I love Sarah Dessen's series! I think this is the one of the best books! I think people that like realistic fiction would like this book and her whole series. I hope everybody loves Sarah Dessen's books.

    Gretta Hewson
    Veritable San Antonio Moving Company


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