|Photo from Goodreads|
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Speak (An Imprint of the Penguin Group) April 22nd, 2008
Plot Summary from Goodreads:
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
Fiona's Grade: A-
Confession: I didn't like Sarah Dessen books for a long time. No real reason why; I just didn't think her books were for me. I attempted several of her books multiple time with only ever finishing one. Until, I went to my library and decided I would give it one more shot. And I am certainly glad I did.
Lock and Key at its core is a book about the idea of family. Ruby has always been a "one woman operation" and just because her mother has disappeared and she is living with her sister whom she hasn't talked to in years doesn't change anything.
This is a less-plot driven book and more of a character driven book. There isn't a character that makes you think "Oh this is a stereotypical _______." They are all complex, especially our protagonist Ruby. We get to look into her past a little and get inside her head and although she does do things we might find stupid, it somewhat makes since to her. And in the end she does the right thing.
What I found interesting in this book is that the plot center in this book changes in an interesting way. We go from being a Ruby-centered story- her life and her problems- to being centered around another character and their life and their problems- and in the end, the climax of this book is actually related to them and not Ruby. This is important to notice because it shows that Ruby has gone from being a "one woman operation" to genuinely caring and being concerned about others that she loves. By the end of the novel she has also learned the importance of asking for help.
Overall, if you enjoy great stories about the idea of family and learning just what that word means, this is a book for you. I'll leave you with this quote.
"Family isn't something that's supposed to be static or set. People marry in, divorce out. They're born. they die. It's always evolving, turning into something else. Even that picture of Jamie's family was only the true representation for that one day. By the next, something had probably changed. It had to." p. 287.