Lock and Key is a fantastic book from Sarah Dessen, goddess of YA literature. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I haven’t read everything she’s written, but what I have read, I’ve really loved. This Lullaby is one of my very favorite books! Anyway, knowing how awesome Sarah Dessen is, readers would be disappointed at anything short of marvelous with her name on it, but her latest effort will not let them down.

In Lock and Key, Ruby and her mother move around a lot, and their life is rather unpredictable. It’s not unusual for her mother to disappear for days at a time, but Ruby knows something is different when her mother doesn’t come back for months, leaving Ruby on her own. She tries to hide the fact that she’s underage and living by herself, but, eventually, her landlords find out, and the state sends Ruby to live with her older sister, Cora. Ruby and Cora haven’t seen each other since Cora left for college, years ago, escaping their mother and abandoning her younger sister (or so Ruby thinks).

Now, though Cora has built a life for herself: a successful career, a big house, a great husband. She’s living the American dream. Ruby has never lived a life anything like that, and she certainly doesn’t want to start now, being tied down like that and being a burden on a sister who doesn’t want her. Somehow, though she keeps meaning to escape, she ends up going to a fancy private school, staying with her sister and her husband, Jamie, finding a job, finding friends, maybe even something more in her neighbor, Nate.

Lock and Key is an amazing novel. Sarah Dessen tells a captivating story, demonstrating her considerable talent at really understanding people and their relationships. She’s a brilliant writer, and this story will draw in readers and leave them unable to put the book down until the very last page! This is a fresh, moving, honest book that will impress both fans of Sarah Dessen’s work and those new to reading it. The summary calls it “funny, perceptive, and touching,” which is exactly right and completely true.

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