Book Review: Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen


Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
Genres: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Short reaction: Great lesson about family, acceptance and opening doors to others
Rating: 4 out of 5
Buy book on Amazon: Paperback / Kindle

Synopsis

Ruby, where is your mother?

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?

Best-selling author Sarah Dessen explores the heart of a gutsy, complex girl dealing with unforeseen circumstances and learning to trust again.

My Review

Also seen on Goodreads.

I never felt so bored at majority of the chapters; good thing it got better at 80%. This is the second book that I read from Ms. Dessen’s work and despite the boredom, I liked how she created realistic stories and life lessons:

Lock and Key‘s pacing was slow especially on the parts where it revolved around Ruby Cooper (the daughter Ruby) and coping with her new life. Chapters felt so long and wordy. I might have given it 2 stars at worst if I didn’t pursue it. My conscience however told me I should continue because there’s something Ms. Dessen is going to show me. And it did show me something. A beautiful lesson.

What made me give it 4 stars?

It’s realistic. Ruby, our protagonist faces the biggest struggle of surviving alone since her mom left her in her junior year along with her sister’s disappearance years prior to that. No sane seventeen year old and yet attractive girl can stay like that forever while dealing with school, work, making up with bills, maintaining the household, keeping the relationship with boyfriend, etc. Ruby thought she can make it but even drugs and alcohol won’t fix a thing especially her emotions. Having a boyfriend didn’t make it better otherwise. But as she was sent under the custody of her sister Cora whom she didn’t see in years and now married, she’s gone through a lot of changes – living a wealthy lifestyle, changing herself for the better and trying to understand people around her especially her sister. Her learning to forgive herself, her mother and her sister made her somehow whole again to open her doors and trust again.

It’s about family. I have a weakness when it comes to reading about family e.g. keeping it whole and strong, treasuring every moment of it. Ruby’s family is already broken yet as the story develops, Ms. Dessen showed us how to appreciate life and family with others – new friends, a pet, a brother-in-law or a neighbor. I liked Jamie’s character (Cora’s husband) – how he makes people appreciate life by teaching them how to be happy and special to someone else, how to go through life with learning and acceptance, how to hope and make someone hopeful. He portrayed the best character! He touched my heart by how he cared for Ruby despite her attitude. He understood where Ruby and Cora came from and he’s willing to give them the life they wanted to have not only with his wealth but with his love and value for family. Another characters I loved were Nate’s and his little prodigy brother Gervais’. They’ve been a big help to make Ruby whole again by accompanying her to school, helping her and letting her feel appreciated even if they also have their own struggles. In fact, the unexpected romance was a nice breather!

I’m so glad I finished it. 🙂 I know I got bored a couple of times but the ending was worth it.

Really, we should let our locks be opened by giving those people who care our keys to our happiness then in the end, it’s all win-win because we might also make them whole and happy.

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