Monday, July 20, 2015

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
Source: Library
Pages: 432
Publisher: Viking's Children's Books
Release Date: April 14th 2015
Series: Standalone
Verdict: Borrow

SummaryRuby 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.
Review: I've read a few Sarah Dessen books before, but she has a ton published. I'm going to work my through all her books, because Sarah Dessen is absolutely amazing. She is able to bring so many heavy topics together to create a plausible storyline that captures my attention, interest, and heart.
Lock and Key was a really nice read for me because of how it was woven together. There are many tough subjects brought to attention, and they are written in a flawless manner. The characters are relatable, and they truly seem like real people, unlike some other YA books that make characters out to be picture-perfect people. Every character had problems, like every human being does, and it was refreshing.
Ruby was a bit difficult to interpret at first. She's a little all over the place, but then again, who isn't? Her troubles are along the more difficult lines, but she's one tough cookie. I loved watching her open up to others as her journey progressed, and it helped that she had a great support group. 
Cora and Jamie are great. They take Ruby in without any complaint, and they're truly wonderful people. I can see how weird it must be for Ruby, but I can also see how big of a change it is for Cora and Jamie, but they take it in stride. Cora is strong and resilient, and Jamie is absolutely lovable. They make this book have such a strong bond and relationship, and it brings to light that having someone you can rely on may be one of the greatest things of all.
And Nate - he's a pretty cool guy, too. He's nice and seemingly has no faults, but really, he has his own issues to deal with. Yet he's so eager to help his friends and loved ones. He's a really stand up guy, Plus, he and Ruby have a fantastic dynamic. So there's that...

But Ruby and Cora's mother... Oh my, she wasn't a character that was actually present present in this book, but wow, I really disliked her and everything that she did. It's not easy to excuse her behavior, and it's definitely not difficult to oppose it. 

There are so many conflicts and so many resolutions, and this book is just so beautifully written and crafted. The problems that occurred made me cringe, wince, and really feel. It's difficult to read about tough situations, but Sarah Dessen really makes everything work. It seems like a lot to process, and it is, but the way it's written makes Lock and Key an effortless read, one filled with emotions and revelations.

It looks like I'll be reading all of Sarah Dessen's books now (and rereading the ones that I've read before), because there's just something great about her writing. She brings everyone together and creates a connection that leaves readers, like me, wanting more. And I definitely want more. 

Really enjoyed


  1. Hmmm, I've not read a Dessen novel before! She's always been one of those authors I wanted to give a shot, but I'm not a YA contemporary person at all :/ I like the sound of Nate though ;) So many conflicts/resolutions actually sounds daunting to me! I might look into a different Dessen book, though I'm not sure I'll end up reading one at all! I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Grace - excellent review! :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. Yes, Sarah Dessen is definitely an author of contemporary YA, but I think you'd find them bearable, if not enjoyable, if you decide to give them a go at some point! I really enjoy her books, but then again, I like contemporary YA!

      Thank you, Alyssa!

      -Grace :)