Published: April 22, 2008
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
"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?
Overall, I liked Lock and Key. I won't say it's amazing, and I definitely wouldn't say it's one of Dessen's best.
I'm getting a little tired of abusive parents, to be honest. Maybe it's just the book choices I've made recently, but I would be fine without an abusive parent in a book for a long long time.
I liked the characters. I felt they were all well developed, and found Nate to be absolutely adorable!
There were a few things I didn't like about the novel. For starters, I don't really feel Dessen knows what it's like to be poor. Maybe she does, but the way it's portrayed in this novel just isn't believable.
My other complaint would be, I felt Ruby changing far too soon. It wasn't really a gradual process, it began happening within days of living with Cora and Jamie. After Ruby's overnight transformation, the novel becomes centered on helping Nate, though Nate refuses help. While I liked Nate, I don't believe he should've become the focal point.
I don't really have much else to say about it. It was decent, and held my interest until the end. I'm just not blown away by it.