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Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
****Four out of four stars

Lock and Key is a book filled with excitement and you will never want to put it down. It always leaves you wanting to know more and keep reading. This novel is fiction and although it is 422 pages it is not difficult to read. I would definitely recommend this book if you need something to read because it never gets boring and it always has different and surprising events happening.

Sarah Dessen grew up in North Carolina and attended UNC-Chapel Hill. She graduated with highest honors in creative writing. She has published eleven popular books including Along for the Ride, Someone Like you, and Just Listen. She is still writing and is working on another novel which is to be published this year. In 2003 two of her books were made into a motion picture called How to Deal. Like Lock and Key, a lot of her books are about high school and are directed towards teenage girls. Lock and Key is one of her several New York Times Best-Selling Books.

Ruby is the main character in Lock and key along with many other characters including Nate, Cora, and Jamie. Ruby, a 17 year old girl, has to live by herself when her mother, who abuses drugs and alcohol, leaves one day. She figures she is almost 18 and will be fine living on her own. Eventually, she has no running water and has trouble paying her bills. After a few months, the landlord notices her mother is gone and Ruby has to go to the ‘Poplar House’ for child services. She has nobody to live with besides her sister, Cora, who she hasn’t seen in ten years. Cora bolted after she left for college (at least that is what Ruby thinks). Ruby is not happy about moving schools and moving in with someone she barely knows.

When Ruby arrives at her new house, it is nothing like her life was before. A huge, new house in a development, switching to a fancy private school, and having people to depend on is exactly what Ruby does not want. Ruby thinks Jamie is Cora’s boyfriend but soon finds out it is her husband. He was the inventor of a very popular social networking website so they have a lot of money. Ruby doesn’t really fit in at her new school and is nothing like any of the other students there. Her neighbor, Nate, also a popular guy at her school, has to give her a ride to school every day. No matter what she has to do she tries to avoid him but later on they begin to become friends. Ruby has to overcome a lot of change in this book and basically leave her old life behind. Sometimes, she visits her old town and friends but she always ends up getting into some sort of trouble. She does not like how Jamie and Cora are so involved in her life but towards the end, she enjoys having people who care for her and her life turns around for the better.

This was one of my favorite books I have ever read. It is very interesting and you can never predict what is going to happen next. Although there are many ups and downs in this book, Ruby makes it through in the end. A big theme in this book is change. Ruby has to turn around her whole life and she has trouble leaving her old one behind which is why she wears the key around her neck to her old house. In the beginning of the book, she has a lot of trouble getting used to the change but by the end, she realizes she sort of likes her new life. Another theme in Lock and Key is family because although Ruby was opposed to it in the beginning, she discovers she likes having people that care about her.

Overall, this was a great book to read. Lock and Key is one of Sarah Dessen’s most popular novels for teen girls. I recommend this book because it is very exciting and always keeps you interested.



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