Posted by: Kiki | November 25, 2009

Lock&Key by Sarah Dessen: review

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.

Sarah Dessen on Lock & Key:

When I was writing my first book, I lived in a little yellow farmhouse in the country. Three years and two books later, we moved into a big new house we’d built ourselves far on the other side of town. However, I still thought about that little house a lot, and how it represented the life I’d had before: before I was a real writer, before I was even an adult, at least in my own mind. Last year, I was out that way and decided to drive by, only to find that it was…gone. It had not been occupied by someone else, or renovated, but had vanished completely, demolished and cleared away to make room for a huge gated community. I remember pulling over to the side of the road, unable to believe my eyes. There was such a big difference between our little farmhouse and these enormous, fancy mansions. It got me thinking about the ways your life can change in an instant, while it often takes much longer to change yourself.

This book resonated with me, even more so than previous Sarah Dessen books I’ve read. I adore fish-out-of-water stories, and Ruby is the ultimate stranger in her own world. She’s tough, determined to make it on her own, and ultimately, lost and longing to be found.

This book talks about trust, and about letting go. Of your past, of your fears, and of your prejudices towards others and yourself. Reading this book, it struck me how strongly Dessen manages to weave her theme through every aspect of the story. Every character has their own version of being lost, and of not trusting fully. Everyone has baggage.

It’s a story you wish you’d written and a book you’ll want to read again and again. Don’t believe me?

Download a free excerpt and see for yourself.

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