Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lock and Key


Dessen, Sarah. 2008. Lock and Key.

"And finally," Jamie said as he pushed the door open, "we come to the main event. Your room."

That first sentence springs you right into the action, the drama that is unfolding as Ruby comes into her new home. Ruby's first thoughts, I was braced for pink. Ruffles or quilting or maybe even applique. Which was probably kind of unfair, but then again, I didn't know my sister anymore, much less her decorating style. With total strangers it had always been my policy to expect the worst. Usually they--and those that you knew best, for that matter--did not disappoint.

Ruby hasn't seen her sister in ten years. Since the day her sister went away to college. Yet now, in Ruby's seventeenth year, the two are reunited. On Ruby's part it isn't voluntary. Ruby's mother has left her. Perhaps gone off drinking. Perhaps gone off with one of her boyfriends. Perhaps gone off drinking with one of her boyfriends. Ruby doesn't know. She doesn't want to know. She just knows that her mother disappeared without a word, without a note. And as far as Ruby was concerned, that's okay. She could manage on her own well enough.

But when the authorities find out that she is all on her own, they feel the need to place her in a home. Luckily her sister, Cora, and her wealthy husband, Jamie, are more than willing to take her into their own home and provide for her in a way that no adult ever has.

Ruby doesn't trust this new family. She doesn't trust anyone. She doesn't even know how to trust. It's a foreign concept to her. But over time and with much patience, Ruby may just start to realize what a family is and what a family does. It's a good thing too. Since that is one of her school assignments. Define the word "family." What she learns is well worth reading about.

I love Sarah Dessen. I do. She has an incredible gift with characters. They're always real. Always developed. Always human. Always flawed. And the style, the language, are equally wonderful. (She has such a gift with words. Her books are just quotable.) While Lock and Key lacks some of the emphasis on romance that her other novels have, there is plenty there to satisfy readers. I wouldn't say it's my favorite Dessen novel--it would be hard to knock The Truth About Forever from that place--I will say it was definitely enjoyable and definitely worth while.

It's never something huge that changes everything, but instead the tiniest of details, irrevocably tweaking the balance of the universe while you're busy focusing on the big picture. (38)

Everyone has their weak spot. The one thing that, despite your best efforts, will always bring you to your knees, regardless of how strong you are otherwise. For some people, it's love. Others, money or alcohol. Mine was even worse: calculus. (261)

Through my tears, I could hear her, saying it was all going to be okay, and I knew she believed this. 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. (373)

Other reviews: Little Willow, Amanda.

3 comments:

Paige Y. 5:56 PM  

I love Sarah Dessen and can't wait to read this one. Just another book to add to my ever growing pile . . .

Anonymous,  7:58 PM  

Lock and Key was quite good.

Thanks for the link!

The Truth about Forever is my favorite Dessen novel as well.

Anonymous,  9:15 PM  

this waz an amazing book that i loved another sweet read by Sarah Dessen. Also recomended: this lullaby, the truth about forever and just listen also by Sarah Dessen

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP