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Lock and Key
Sarah Dessen
April 22, 2008
432 pages
Young Adult Fiction
My Rating:  4.5 out of 5

Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she’s been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.

That’s how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn’t seen in ten years, and Cora’s husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future—it’s a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?

I’m always excited to get a Sarah Dessen novel in my hands.  I’ve enjoyed each and every one of her books, and although they are not usually perfection, they absolutely never disappoint. Lock and Key was no different – I was a huge fan of this book, the characters, the story, everything.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Sarah Dessen writes really great characters.  Ruby was no different than Dessen’s other protagonists – she was smart, interesting, funny, and totally relatable.  I felt for her and definitely rooted for her; for things to turn out well – for her to finally have the life she deserved.  The secondary characters in Lock and Key were also very well-written; I really felt like I got to know everyone in the book so well.  I especially enjoyed Harriet (Ruby’s boss) and Nate – they were really well-developed, complex, and likable characters.  The only thing that could have been better, in my opinion, was the character of Cora.  I felt like Dessen could have done a lot more with her … I wanted to get to know her so much and I never really did.

With Lock and Key, Dessen has once again written a fantastic teen novel.  I highly recommend this one!

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