Sunday, July 19, 2009

BR: Lock and Key

by Sarah Dessen

I know what you're thinking, "another Sarah Dessen book?!?" I'm sorry guys, but i'm kind of obsessed with her books this summer... oh well. here's another review, I read this one as an e-book, since again, I'm too impatient to wait in line at the library.

Lock and Key is about Ruby, a not so innocent 17-year-old whose mother had abandoned her. She is sent to live with her rich sister, Cora, who she hasn't seen in 10 years, and struggles to adjust to the life her sister offers. Always taught- and sometimes forced- to be independant, Ruby doesn't doens't want to accept the help offered to her by her well-meaning new family, or her incredibly nice neighbor, Nate. At first, all she wants to do is get out of there and find her own way, but eventually, she learns to interact more and appreciate her new life.

Ruby grows incredibly throughout this novel, which isn't based on romance, but rather Ruby's change. So many people give her the benefit of the doubt, and she is completely new to a life where people are constantly providing for her. She has the key to her old, yellow house/slum where Ruby and her mother used to live, and it keeps as a reminder of her old life. Throughout the novel, she learns to let go of her old beliefs of going through life on her own and move on, reach out and accept help, and finally understand the concept of family.

I really enjoyed this novel, but most of all because I loved Ruby. She's such a different character, with all her issues and her past, but she grows so much and changes with the help of others. At first, she's indifferent, and hates her new life and new priveleges, but her sister and new brother-in-law helps her realize that she doesn't have to live with the debt/indebt system, and sometimes she can accept help "just because". I felt the neglect Ruby experienced most her life added to her character, and there were some moments in the novel that made me tear up. I know, right? I guess I was quite emotionally invested into Ruby's 'journey'.

I loved Cora and her husbund, Jamie too. They were a bit 'perfect', but maybe that's what Ruby really needed in her life, a caring, loving, and generous people willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. I liked their relationship with Ruby a lot. And Jamie and his pond, and Cora and how she takes care of Ruby, even after Ruby messes up.

The other characters, and the romance in the novel were interesting, especially Nate who has his own issues. He isn't the perfect neighbor, despite how he acts, and he has his own family troubles. Gervain and Olivia were great minor characters, and I liked Harriet, Ruby's employer, as well. Her over-controlling nature and fear of risks were all really realistic.

9/10- because I really liked the book. Like almost-loved it. It had issues, it had the characters, it had the development, and I could see it as somewhat realistic. I loved Ruby, and how she changes throughout the novel, and the novel has some great themes. I hoped there might have been some ending concerning Ruby and her mother, or Ruby and Nate, but I think Dessen ended them well anyhow. I would recommend it to people who have also enjoyed previous Dessen books, or want to read some YA books that aren't romance-based.


PS- I'm listening to "Peacemaker", by Green Day (off their new album). It's really cool, kind of different, not the traditional 'rock' or whatever they call themselves. I won't sit here pretending I'm some kind of music expert, but I just wanted to tell you that I'm liking the song.


  1. "...realize that she doesn't have to live with the debt/indebt system, and sometimes she can accept help "just because"."

    That'll be an interesting factor to read about! My list of to-read Sarah Dessen books is growing!

    You write some of my favorite reviews. Really. :D

    P.S. I like the idea of more romance-free YA books. My MS is YA, but the boy and the girl don't end up together. :D

  2. Aww, thank you so much, you are too sweet (and you're probably my favourite person right now :P)
    I bet your MS is fantastic! The writing on your blog is most impressive.


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