Book 22: Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
Title: Lock and Key
Author: Sarah Dessen
Page Count: 422
Genre: Young Adult
Ruby’s used to taking care of herself. So when her mother vanishes one day, she decides not to tell anyone. After a few weeks, though, she can no longer keep her situation a secret, and she gets sent to live with her sister, Cora, whom she hasn’t spoken to in ten years. She now has to deal with a new house, a new school, and a new job – not to mention Nate, the guy next door who’s hiding a secret of his own. What happens when the girl who hates accepting help from anyone is now the one who must offer help to someone else?
This started out as my least favorite Sarah Dessen book. I wasn’t immediately hooked in, and I think that was because I found it hard to relate to Ruby at first. As someone who has a horrible time making friends, I find it really hard to read about someone who is just handed friends and tries t push them away. Once I got past that, though, I really enjoyed the book. From chapter 4 on, I was hooked. I come from a small family, too, or at least an incredibly distant one, so I found it really easy to relate to Ruby and Cora, especially when they had to deal with Jamie’s incredibly large and good-natured family.
The best part, though, was the fact that there were so many returning characters from other Dessen books: Rogerson Briscoe from Dreamland; Annabel, Owen, Owen’s sister and her friends from Just Listen; Kristen, Bert, and Mrs. Queen from The Truth About Forever, and Kiki Sparks from Keeping the Moon. Only three of these characters are mentioned by name, and they’re only mentioned in passing (i.e. some girl named Annabel was on the radio), but I still knew who they were, and it was so much fun to see how they were just sort of thrown in as background information. It makes me curious to know if there were more characters who were barely mentioned in this novel but which were huge in other books.
I never thought of Sarah Dessen’s books as being a series before, but now I’m almost wishing that I had started reading them in order, if only so that it would be easier to pick up on all the crossovers. I have a feeling that I will be rereading all of her books once I’ve read them all once, looking to see who else appears that I might have missed the first time. 🙂