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Paperback Lock and Key Book

ISBN: 0142414727

ISBN13: 9780142414729

Lock and Key

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Book Overview

From the award-winning and New York Times bestseller Once and for All Unlock your heart and the rest will follow. Ruby is used to taking care of herself. But now that she's living with her sister, she's got her own room, she's going to a good school, and her future looks bright. Plus there's the adorable boy next door. Can Ruby learn to open her heart and let him in? "All the Dessen trademarks here" -- Publishers Weekly , starred review Sarah Dessen...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

From S. Krishna's Books

I've always thought that Sarah Dessen writes books that are somewhat miscategorized as Teen novels. While they are usually about teenagers, her books have a depth and wisdom to them that appeal to any age group, and Lock and Key is no exception. The main theme that underlies this book is family - who are they and what do they mean? Dessen introduces this in a less than subtle way - it becomes Ruby's thesis project on her first day at her new school. Throughout the book, Ruby asks people for their definition of family. As she consolidates this information into a coherent answer, she begins to realize for herself what family means. Slowly, she begins to let others in and begins to trust that they will not let her down. She realizes that her old life with her mother was not all that it may have seemed - her mother had her own agenda that she did not share with Ruby. Ruby grows as a person because she has a family to love her - but more importantly, she has people around her that she learns to love. One of my favorite aspects of this book was Ruby's character growth. In a book such as this, that development usually comes in a spurt at the very end; the character realizes the error of his or her ways and decides to change. And then the book is over. This is not the case with Lock and Key. Ruby's character changes become evident by the middle of the book. The rest of the book is watching her experience and deal with those changes. It is nice to see a character dealing with the consequences of learning to love and let others in, rather than hearing them say they are going to do it and then never being able to follow up. The situation with Ruby's mother was difficult. Though we never really saw her as a character, except through Ruby's eyes, her reasoning and decisions didn't really make sense to me. I didn't feel like the excuses given for her behavior (for example, why she kept her agenda hidden from Ruby) really made much sense. They seemed a bit extreme for the situation, but then again, she was obviously an alcoholic and may have had some mental issues to go along with that. It was simply never made clear. Admittedly, Ruby is a difficult character to sympathize with. Her character experienced horrors beyond most of what the rest of us have seen - therefore, her decisions aren't always easy to understand. She can be frustrating at times, but at the same time, Dessen makes it clear that she could not be any other way. All of the characters in this novel are well written and easy to picture. While I was reading, it was almost as if I had a movie running through my head simultaneously. I couldn't help but cast Ruby as Amy Smart, who played the character Ruby in the show Felicity. I think it was the name that got me, mostly. Lock and Key is a great addition to the Dessen collection. While I have only read a few of her other books, this one makes me want to devour the rest of them!

Another Great Book by Dessen

Dessen has done it again! I loved this book, never wanting to put it down. It's about Ruby who lived with her mom in a yellow farmhouse when one day Ruby's mom just never comes back. Sort of "runs away". Ruby stays there, not telling anyone that her moms gone, waiting out the months until she turns 18. But then the landlords bust her and she is sent to live with her sister, Cora, who left her and her mother when she went to college. It pretty much centers around Nate, her neighbor and her realtionship with Cora. I loved it! It really was sad seeing how mislead everyone was. I also loved how Rogerson was included in the book and Kiki Sparks! I love how Dessen does that. I haven't read all of Dessen's books but out of the ones I have read this is my favorite!

Courtesy of Teens Read Too

It's been a quite a long time that I found myself sitting up until three in the morning, wanting desperately to finish a story. But that is exactly where I found myself the other night with LOCK AND KEY in my hands. I was so engrossed in Ruby and her story that I had to find out how it ended. Ruby Cooper has always looked out for Number One. When Ruby was eight, her sister Cora left for university and never looked back. It was always Ruby and her mother, moving from one place to another. Her mother's excuse was to avoid creditors and landlords. Ruby slowly comes to find out that this is the version her mother wanted her to hear. Early on in her senior year of high school, Ruby's mom does a runner. Leaving Ruby all alone in the rented yellow house, Ruby does what she can to survive. She will be eighteen in less than a year, and if she can hide the fact that she's alone until then, the authorities won't be able to touch her. But when the dryer fails at her rented house and the landlords notice a clothes line strung throughout the kitchen, Ruby's life is forever changed. Custody of Ruby is given over to her older sister, Cora. Cora and her husband, Jamie, live in a wealthy community and live a life totally foreign to everything Ruby has ever known. Not trusting Cora and Jamie's intentions, Ruby plots an escape her first night in her new home. Making a break over the fence in the back yard, her escape is foiled by one rambunctious dog, Roscoe. Roscoe's barking brings a curious "Hello?" from the other side of the fence. Here she meets her next door neighbor, Nate. Nate's outlook on life is upbeat and infectious. But Ruby does everything she can to keep him at bay, as well. Slowly, Ruby learns to adjust the new life she has been given, and develop friendships in the most unlikely places. Ruby has always kept on the fringes and avoided being indebted to anyone. But as she grows and evolves, she realizes that maybe others need her just as much as she needs them. With a class assignment to define "Family," Ruby understands that the word has many meanings, and most of them don't necessarily mean blood relations. Sarah Dessen writes another amazing novel for young adults. LOCK AND KEY is wonderful, heartfelt story. All of the characters draw you in and make you feel like you are part of their lives. Jamie's naiveté is endearing. Cora's infertility struggles hit you in the heart. Olivia's tough girl exterior has cracks you get to see through. Harriett is just as harried as her name implies. And the perfect-seeming Nate has secrets all his own. My only regret with this book is that I failed to move it to the top of my To Be Read pile as soon as it arrived for review. So if you have this one sitting around at home, make it the next one you read. And if you've picked it up at the book store, considering purchasing it, definitely do so the next time you are there. You won't regret it! Reviewed by: Jaglvr

Wonderful, typical Dessen

So I think every bibliophile has one or two authors that can do no wrong. Sarah Dessen is one of my two, and Lock & Key didn't disappoint. Ruby is a typical Dessen character. She thinks she can handle everything on her own. She doesn't need her mother. It's not like her Mom has ever been all that reliable anyway. She just needs to remain cool until she turns 18 and is legally an adult. Of course, Ruby doesn't count on the pipes bursting at the kitchen sink or the dryer breaking, forcing her to hang a clothesline in the kitchen where her nosy landlords, the Honeycutts, can see it. The Honeycutts turn her in and big sister Cora is suddenly back in her life after 10 years. A lot has changed for Cora in 10 years. She's graduated from college, is a public defender, and is married to a wealthy internet entrepreneur named Jamie. Ruby can't believe this is Cora's life, and she wants no part of it. But then she meets Nate, the friendly, dependable boy next door, and her brother-in-law is just so nice. Her new private school isn't as bad as she thought, and she even manages to find a job at the mall that she likes. Soon Ruby learns that it's nice to be needed, and it's okay for her to need someone every once in a while too. Now if only we could all be so wise at 17 and learn those most important life lessons. I think that's what I love about Dessen's characters. They're not perfect. They don't all wear designer clothes, have great popularity, have the best boyfriends or even the best grades, but they are certainly all smart. As teenagers they somehow manage to learn lessons that a lot of adults never comprehend, and by extension, all of Dessen's young readers learn the lessons too. For additional reviews and reading suggestions, see my site.

Lost and Found

Ask twenty people to define "family," and you'll get twenty different definitions. Ruby's definition of family is about to change, and she's not quite sure what that means. For years, Ruby and her mother moved from apartment to apartment. They lived in random places and cramped spaces above other people's garages. Finally, they find a little yellow house to rent. Ruby's mother, preferring to drown her sorrows in alcohol than deal with them head-on, made her daughter give her excuses to visitors, landlords, and bosses. The older Ruby got, the more her mother depended on her - and on substances. Ruby became used to her mom disappearing for a few days now and then. When a week turned into two, then three, then a month, Ruby knew her mom wasn't coming back. She went to work and school and lived alone for months before her landlords realized what was going on. With Ruby seven months away from her eighteenth birthday, child services stepped in. She is sent to live with her older sister, who hasn't seen her in ten years. Cora left for college and, according to their mother, never looked back. Now Cora has a successful career, a husband who is equally successful, and a gorgeous home, with a spunky little dog to boot. How can Ruby fit into this household, let alone into a new school that's posh and private? She's so sure that this could never be her home, her life, that she prepares to run away that very first night and go back to the little yellow house. Fate has other plans for her, and so does Nate, the boy next door. Though Ruby consents to stay put for the time being, she keeps the key to the little yellow house on a chain around her neck. At first, the key is the only thing she permits to fall close to her heart, interpreting her sister's clipped responses as lack of interest. She is unsure how to take her perpetually upbeat brother-in-law, Jamie. How can this complete stranger welcome her with open arms? Nate also reaches out to her. Whether she likes the attention or not, he means well. He's genuine, and she's not used to that. Carpooling with him to and from school gives her insight into this grinning, popular boy. There's more there than meets the eye. Though he's friendly, not flirtatious, she's hesitant to open up to him. She'd rather keep her heart under lock and key than risk getting hurt again. Ruby is a strong girl, but she's not a saint. She has done plenty of things she's not proud of, and she has a stubborn streak a mile wide. She is determined to do things on her own and her refuses to let others assist her because she doesn't want to "owe" them anything. Ruby's constantly tempted to leave, to make things easier for everyone, herself included. The easy way out is never as easy as it seems. It just leads her back to bad things, bad people. The road back to her sister's house is promising, but there are bumps along the way. Ruby's new school is far ahead of her previous school, and she struggles to keep up her grades. She has
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