Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen (Speak, 2008), 432 pages
Ruby’s used to being on her own: she doesn’t let anyone in, and she’s not surprised when people disappoint her. But when her mom disappears and Ruby is sent to live with her older sister (who she hasn’t seen in years), Cora, who gives her her own room in a huge house and sends her to private school. Plus, the neighbor guy, Nate, is very cute and also seems to like her. Ruby’s perspective is changing.
I had heard good — nay, great — things about Sarah Dessen’s books from lots of people in this blogosphere. So when a couple of them fell into my lap, I knew I’d appreciate the opportunity to read them.
And I certainly don’t regret reading my first Dessen, Lock and Key!
My impetus for picking this book up was the Social Justice Challenge; the March theme is domestic violence and child abuse. I was a little nervous to read it once I saw it on this list, because I thought it would probably be dark and oppressive. However, Dessen handles the subject gracefully. Yes, it’s a book about child abuse, but it’s also a great, readable book.
My one big complaint (and I know this doesn’t likely fall to Dessen) is that the key in the cover photo is not at all like that described in the book. I actually have a pendant identical to the one on the cover; by contrast, Ruby’s key is a real key, and one of a kind as a pendant.
The characters jump off the page, and I found it well written. Other things that kept me interested: Jewelry making, Facebook. I’m looking forward to reading more of Dessen’s work.
About the author
Sarah Dessen has published nine books. She lives in North Carolina.
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