Dec 17, 2009

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Ruby can take care of herself. At least that was the ruse she kept up for a few months after her mother disappeared, again. Only this time her mother was gone longer than usual. So Ruby decided that she would continue her existence as if nothing was wrong. Well, that only lasted so long. Now she finds herself being forced to live with her older sister Cora that Ruby had pretty much forgotten all about.

Ruby moves to Cora's house, a.k.a. mini-mansion, from the foster facility and is astonished to discover what her sister has been up to in Ruby's absence. Cora has obtained a college degree, gotten married, and is living the life that Ruby always dreamed about; but she feels out of place. So as soon as she believes the happy couple to be asleep, Ruby slips out of the house and tries to make a daring escape over the fence into the neighbor's yard. To her utter surprise though, she winds up face to face with Nate, the swimming phenomenon hottie. Now it doesn't seem like such a terrible idea to stick around.

While she begins adjusting to life in a new private school and attempting to rekindle her relationship with her sister, Ruby is constantly returning to her old habits and clinging to her independence fiercely. Over time, she learns the hard way that sometimes in order to gain that which you most desire, you have to let others help you.

A charming, captivating novel, Lock and Key is par for the course for Sarah Dessen. Ruby is tough young woman who I found very easy to relate to throughout her story. Many teens go through a stage of rebellion, especially when an authority figure is attempting to tell them what is best. I found Cora, and to an extent her husband Jamie, to be prime examples of those who really do want the very best for their loved one. Even though I found the "love story" aspect a little overdone (I seem to be reading a lot of next-door-love stories), the character of Nate was a spot-on reminder of a teen boy. This was a really great, fun read and I'm hoping to read more of her in the near future!

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