LOCK AND KEY/Sarah Dessen

Lock and Key

Summary from Goodreads:

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?

Best-selling author Sarah Dessen explores the heart of a gutsy, complex girl dealing with unforeseen circumstances and learning to trust again.

Lock and Key is my third Dessen (the first one was The Truth About Forever, and the second one was This Lullaby, both of which I rated 4 stars), and this is supposed to be a buddy read over at the book club. I guess life has gotten in the way with the reading plan because my buddies were a no-show at the thread (haha!). Since I already planned on reading this book this month, I decided to just push ahead on my own.

When it comes to young-adult reads, Sarah Dessen has become a favorite. I love how her stories center on relationships, and it does not necessarily mean romantic relationships only. As in the other Dessen books I’ve read, Lock and Keyย focuses on the relationship of Ruby and her mother, her sister and brother-in-law, her old and new friends, her neighbor.

Family is the central theme in the story. What does family really mean? What is a home? Is the word limited only to blood relations? Is it fixed or flexible? This, and issues about growing up, giving and receiving, learning not only to give help but to accept help as well, are what makes this book an enlightening read. Although this book is intended for young-adults, I was still able to relate to the characters, especially to Cora who has pursued to live the life she wants to live despite of being away from her family.

When I chose to read this book, I was expecting to feel again the warm fuzzies like that in This Lullaby. I was a little disappointed, though, because Lock and Key brings a different kind of feels. Nate is likeable, but he is just isn’t as endearing or funny as Dexter in This Lullaby. He is a different character altogether, and I think he is a perfect match for Ruby. But in hindsight, I am glad that this book is different. It preventsย  predictability. In this book, the romance is played just right, not too hurried nor to dragging, just the right amount of feels. The ending played just right, and I was left pondering about several things after I was done — such as how much I am willing to receive the love I am given.

“But now, I was beginning to wonder if you didn’t always have to choose between turning away for good or rushing in deeper. In the moments that it really counts, maybe it’s enough — more than enough, even — just to be there.”


4/5 stars.

My copy: ebook

6 thoughts on “LOCK AND KEY/Sarah Dessen

  1. Lock and Key wasn’t one of my favorites, but I liked how the relationships were written. It reminded me a bit of Love Walked In by Marisa delos Santos.

    Oh, and I recommend Just Listen next, if you’re reading another Dessen. That was the first Dessen I read. The topic’s a little sensitive, but Owen is reminiscent of Dexter and Wes. ๐Ÿ™‚

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