Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

High school senior Ruby finds herself in a precarious position when her alcoholic mom ditches her and she is left to fend for herself in the six months left before her eighteenth birthday. She tries making a go of it on her own, hiding the fact that the water and heat in her rented house have been turned off, but she is eventually found out and sent to live with her uber-successful lawyer sister Cora (who she hasn’t seen in years) and Cora’s technological whiz-kid husband Jamie. Being catapulted from skid row to the equivalent of VH1’s The Fabulous Life of… leaves Ruby suspicious and unwilling to believe that the good times will last. In fact, she still keeps the key to the old house around her neck just in case she needs an escape hatch. But as she begins to collect new friends who gently but insistently begin to demand her attention (bossy, cell-phone obsessed classmate Olivia, OCD-suffering boss Harriet, more-than-just-a neighbor and smokin’ hot Nate) Ruby begins to relax into her suddenly safe and spacious new life. Until she discovers that perfect Nate has some family secrets of his own, secrets that she unfortunately understands all too well. Can these two fiercely independent teens learn to lean on each other? Or will their pride keep them apart? Sarah Dessen maintains her signature deep and introspective style in this, her eighth novel, and fans will recognize some familiar characters from Dessen’s other works embedded in Ruby’s story. If you like Lock and Key, you’ll want to go back and read Dessen’s backlist, especially my favorite title of hers.

8 thoughts on “Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

  1. good read. You get to watch Ruby truly change and start to help others as she lets them help her. Sarah Dessen sticks in some characters from her other books as extras in the background.

  2. i heard it was a good book but nobodys really told me wat its about!! anybody care to explain??

  3. Mitzi. Did you not read this article? It gives a perfect synopsis of this amazing book. My school libary got in on a Thursday, I checked it out on Friday, and was finished it by the time I went to bed on Saturday night. I really couldn’t put it down.

    PS Great job writing this.

  4. um jen,
    i am so sorry if me asking if anyone cared to explain about the book offended you in any kind of way. after reading kayla’s comment i totally realizied that it came out a totally wrong way than i meant it. i really didnt mean it in that way. i apologize in many different ways. i really didnt mean to offend you, so so so sorry. and let me tell you that you were totally right about the description of the book, i cant belive i asked for an explaination, when you clearly had the perfect one all along. i hope you can forgive me

    kayla you were totally right too. the book is awesome. i read it recently and cant get over it. im also sorry if i offended you in any type of way. so sorry.

    hope its all good,

  5. No apology necessary, Mitzi. Glad you enjoyed the book, and hope you find many more suggestions on this site!

  6. this was like the best book ever i finished it in like two days you really cant put it down it teaches what life is really anout-the friends

  7. I LOVE this book and even with myself being very picky about what I read. you cant put it down and sara dessen is a wonderful author. this is better for mature readers and teens because, well, lets face it almost all teen books are garbage just like elementary. but sara dessen in all her books gets it perfect!

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