Saturday, October 10, 2009

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Seventeen-year-old Ruby has been living alone in the yellow house for sometime after her mother disappears for the last time. She plans to stay there until she turns 18 when she could finally be on her own legally. “Ruby where is your mother?” When the social worker asks this question, Ruby realizes that the game is up and she can’t talk her way out of the situation when the social worker reads the report.

She is unexpectedly reunited with her sister Cora, whom she has not seen in ten years. Her life suddenly changes when she moves in with Cora and her wealthy entrepreneur husband Jamie. Now Ruby lives in a luxurious house, attends private school, has new clothes and even a chance at a future. However, Ruby not only struggles to adjust to her new life, she also has to learn how to trust people. She is wary, unable to be grateful, and struggles to allow people to get close to her. She has been accustomed to taking care of herself and taking care of her mother when she was around. As Ruby struggles to fit in, she meets Nate, a genuine popular boy next door who understands her because he is hiding a secret of his own.

Facing the Ugly Truth

As Ruby struggles to adjust to her new life, she tries to hold on to a piece of her old life-her friends. First, she learns the truth about why her mother moved around a lot and the real reason why she gave out fake addresses. Ruby believed that Cora cut her and mother out of her life. However, their mother was the one who made it impossible for Cora to contact Ruby. Disturbed by this information, Ruby decides to skip school. Ruby learns the hard way who her real friend are. She visits her boyfriend Marshall. When she gets there, she discovers her best friend Peyton with him. Afterwards, Ruby rushes out and gets into a confrontation with Peyton. Ruby returns to the woods and drinks and uses drugs in order to ease her pain. When she wakes up, she finds herself in Nate’s car. She later learns that she was left alone in the woods. Ruby learns this valuable lesson; Real friends don’t leave you alone in the woods, they are the ones who take you out.

Sarah Dessen’s novels are based on real life issues that young adults experience. Readers will laugh, cry, and will be in suspense as they watch Ruby’s heart wrenching story unfold. Dessen also deals with such themes as the meaning of real friendship and family.

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