Lock and Key
By Sarah Dessen
“Ruby, where is your mother?”
With that question from the social worker, Ruby knows the game is up.
She’s been living alone in the old yellow house, waiting out the months until she turns eighteen and can finally be on her own legally. It certainly wasn’t in her plan to be reunited with Cora, the sister who left ten years before, and brought to live with Cora and her wealthy entrepreneur husband.
Suddenly life is transformed: a luxurious house, private school, new clothes, and even the chance of a future Ruby couldn’t have dreamed of. So why is she wary, unable to be grateful, incapable of letting anyone close? Her old life has been left behind, but where does she fit in this new life? Only Nate, the genial, popular boy next door, seems to understand, perhaps because he’s hiding some secrets of his own.
But I was sure of something, too: it's a lot easier to be lost than found. It’s the reason we’re always searching, and rarely discovered — so many locks, not enough keys.
- It took me a hundred pages or so before I found it hard to stop reading. Then right at two hundred pages, I could not seem to put the book down.
- I love the way Sarah Dessen inserted a small romance between minor characters because it also connects to the main one, which ties it all together. Ruby takes what she learns from them and applies it with what she has with Nate, the ‘genial, popular boy next door’.
- There were crossovers from Sarah Dessen’s other novels. My favourite! Some were: Rogerson from Dreamland (which I recently read), Kiki Sparks from Keeping the Moon was mentioned, Annabel from Just Listen and I’m pretty sure there were more. If only I owned all the books so I could check.
- I noticed that Sarah Dessen tends to be repetitive. And sometimes, it gets annoying. I’ve read almost all of her books (except Along for the Ride) and the things she kept mentioning were: “I’m fine” and “Nothing”. In Lock and Key, there were a lot of “Look,...”. Maybe that’s what she was aiming for and I understand because this novel is personal and meaningful. I get why characters and people reply with “I’m fine” when asked, “Are you okay?” But she can also approach it in a different way like saying nothing at all or at least a cheerful “I’m great!” Or not. I guess it’s her style of writing, which is okay with me.
- And to add a comic relief, there’s Gervais, who’s a character that would make you laugh. I sure did.
- To finish, Lock and Key is a brilliant novel in which family, friendship and love are explored from the view of a character who, because of her past, had enclosed herself from people.