Monday, August 2, 2010
Review: Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Viking Juvenile (April 22, 2008)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up—Ruby, 17, is taken in by her older sister and brother-in-law when her mother abandons her. Ruby and her sister haven't spoken since Cora left for college a decade earlier. She moves from a semi-heated, semi-lighted farmhouse to a McMansion in a gated community. The theme of abandonment permeates the narrative-Ruby's mother's disappearance, Cora's perceived abandonment, and all of the small abandonments around every corner throughout Ruby's life. The plot hinges luxuriously on character arc. Ruby's drama of pathological self-reliance to eventual trust plays out through thoughtful, though occasionally heavy-handed, inner monologue and metaphor. As always, Dessen's characters live and breathe. Ruby's sweet hipster brother-in-law and Nate, the freakishly affable hottie next door, are especially vivid, and Cora's change from bitter control freak to sympathetic co-protagonist is subtle and seamless. Though Ruby and Nate don't have quite the cinematic chemistry of many of Dessen's couples, their cautious friendship into romance seems that much more realistic. The author's feel for setting is as uncanny as ever, and Ruby's descriptions of the homogenous nouveau riche Anytown are sharp, clever, and honest. The dialogue, especially between Ruby and Cora, is crisp, layered, and natural. The slow unfolding adds to an anticipatory mood. What's more, secrets and situations revealed in the second half of the novel are resolved more believably by already deeply developed characters. Recommend this one to patient, sophisticated readers.—Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library
So what did I think about this book...
Unfortunately I was very disappointed with Lock and Key. My two favorite Sarah Dessen books so far are Just Listen and Along For The Ride . I was expecting this book to be as incredible. I didn't hate Lock and Key, I just won't ever read it again. It was pretty meh. It was just average. While reading this book I enjoyed it. I guess I'm having a delayed reaction or something. The more I think about the book the more I dislike it. I mean, the writing was really amazing! It's just I felt the story line could have been a lot better.
I wasn't crazy about any of the the characters. Actually Ruby's brother-in-law was my favorite character. I really liked how sweet he was. By the second day of Ruby's arrival he already loved her. Worried about her, and just really made her feel like she has a family. Since her childhood example of a "real" family was horrible, with her mom being an alcoholic and abusing her older sister, and then ditching a couple months before Ruby's 18th birthday. It was pretty sad.
And what can I say about Nate? Eh. I didn't love him. (not like previous Sarah Dessen characters... Owen, Eli, Macon, etc) I wish he could have been stronger for Ruby.
Well, you could say I enjoyed this book (...maybe. I'm still deciding.) But from other Sarah Dessen books, I've been encouraged to read all of her novels! :)
*A word to the parents, there is some moderate amount of language and other content that may be questionable. For FULL content check out Parental Book Reviews.