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Lock and Key by [Dessen, Sarah]
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Lock and Key Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 245 customer reviews

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Length: 444 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up—Ruby, 17, is taken in by her older sister and brother-in-law when her mother abandons her. Ruby and her sister haven't spoken since Cora left for college a decade earlier. She moves from a semi-heated, semi-lighted farmhouse to a McMansion in a gated community. The theme of abandonment permeates the narrative-Ruby's mother's disappearance, Cora's perceived abandonment, and all of the small abandonments around every corner throughout Ruby's life. The plot hinges luxuriously on character arc. Ruby's drama of pathological self-reliance to eventual trust plays out through thoughtful, though occasionally heavy-handed, inner monologue and metaphor. As always, Dessen's characters live and breathe. Ruby's sweet hipster brother-in-law and Nate, the freakishly affable hottie next door, are especially vivid, and Cora's change from bitter control freak to sympathetic co-protagonist is subtle and seamless. Though Ruby and Nate don't have quite the cinematic chemistry of many of Dessen's couples, their cautious friendship into romance seems that much more realistic. The author's feel for setting is as uncanny as ever, and Ruby's descriptions of the homogenous nouveau riche Anytown are sharp, clever, and honest. The dialogue, especially between Ruby and Cora, is crisp, layered, and natural. The slow unfolding adds to an anticipatory mood. What's more, secrets and situations revealed in the second half of the novel are resolved more believably by already deeply developed characters. Recommend this one to patient, sophisticated readers.—Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library
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From Booklist

Ruby hasn’t had much success with family. Her father left; her protective older sister, Cora, left; and her boozing mother finally leaves, too. Ruby is alone until Cora learns of her situation and swoops in. Suddenly, Ruby finds herself living with Cora and her wealthy brother-in-law, attending  private school, and wondering just where she fits in. As in previous books, Dessen takes on a central theme—here the meaning of family—and spins many plots and subplots around it. Most prominent yet least successful is the thread about Cora’s  relationship with boy-next-door Nate, who rescues her when she needs it, but has difficulty accepting Ruby’s help, tentative at first, when she discovers he’s being physically abused. Nate seems too good to be true (as does Cora’s husband), while his father is a caricature. And one of the most important elements, the issue of the girls’ mother lying to them, gets lost. Despite the uneven narrative, Dessen’s  writing can be beautiful, and her story is involving. Grades 8-12. --Ilene Cooper

Product details

  • File Size: 2169 KB
  • Print Length: 444 pages
  • Publisher: Speak (April 22, 2008)
  • Publication Date: May 14, 2008
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000WJOU46
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,452 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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