Title: Lock and Key
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publication Date: May 14, 2009
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Summary (from Barnes & Noble): Ruby is used to taking care of herself. But now she’s living in a fancy new house with her sister Cora—a sister she hasn’t seen in ten years—and her husband Jamie—creator of one of the most popular online networking sites. She’s attending private school, wearing new clothes, and for the first time, feels the promise of a future that include college and her family. So why is she so wary? And what is Nate— the adorable and good-hearted boy next door— hiding behind his genial nature? As Ruby starts to see, there’s a big difference between being given help, and being able to accept it. And sometimes, in order to save yourself, you’ve got to reach out to someone else.
My Review: This book is classic Sarah Dessen. You’ve got the headstrong girl with a fatal flaw (in this case it’s that she can’t trust anyone), you’ve got the handsome boy (in this case one with a secret) and a love story that happens despite all the odds. I’m definitely not saying I don’t enjoy Sarah Dessen’s novels it’s just that I do seem to know exactly where they will end before they do. However, while I do know how and where the book will end most of the fun in reading a Dessen novel is discovering how the characters will get there.
This book did not disappoint with the drama and insecurities that a teenage girl at a new school and in a new life faces. It was interesting to watch Ruby go form being so independent and barely making it by to actually putting herself into her schoolwork and her job. It was a nice feeling to watch her slowly make friends and begin to feel comfortable in this life where she wasn’t faced with constant hardship.
While I know the focus of the book was on Nate and Ruby’s relationship I was far more drawn into the relationship between Ruby and her older sister Cora. The idea that their mother purposefully keep them separated was heartbreaking and cruel, yet at the same time made me understand her mother’s character far more than I would have otherwise. Honestly, I think I would’ve preferred this book without the romance and the intrigue had it just focused solely on the sisters relationship and how they slowly built it back up and began to consider each other family again. I think that book would’ve had a much stronger storyline and would created a much stronger emotional reaction from me.