I recently finished Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen. Its the first book I have tried by this author, and I will admit that it sat on my kobo for a while after I downloaded it from the library. It was a book a little outside of my usual (i.e. my comfort zone) but I am glad I took the chance.
Ruby is a quiet girl with a troubled home life. The book opens with Ruby’s first night living with a sister she hasn’t seen in ten years and whom Ruby thought abandoned her. Ruby has just been discovered by social services, living alone in squalor after her alcoholic mother abandoned her. The change in situation is drastic and Ruby must learn that it is okay to accept help, as she adjusts to her new life and makes some new friends. It feels like there is no good way to summarize the plot as its all pretty evident – she changes school, must adjust to her new family and try to reconnect with her sister, and to be helped by / help her new friends.
I really liked the writing style, the characters, and the layers of lives / issues. This was a very readable but not one-dimensional book that dealt with some tough issues like abandonment and abuse in a realistic and yet optimistic way. It made me cry but it left me hopeful and uplifted. A good catharsis.
I would give this book a solid 4 / 5. I can’t wait to read more by Sarah Dessen!