Lock and Key
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Lock and Key

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  81,184 ratings  ·  3,555 reviews
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 foun

Hardcover, 422 pages
Published April 22nd 2008 by Viking's Children's Books
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This was my second book by Sarah Dessen and it didn't disappoint. In this story we meet:~
Ruby who is trying to find, and come to terms with a new life away from her 'loving' but negligent mother. Only having ever been told one side of the story by a woman embittered by her feelings for Rubys father, Rubys view on life and living has been tainted.

Nate, (Rubys next door neighbour) who's a great guy who seems to have it all but does he? Ruby soon finds out things she doesn't want to know and whils...more
"What is family? They were the people who claimed you. In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed there, regardless."

Seventeen-year old Ruby has been living on her own for the past two months since her mother left. She has no idea where her mother went, and hasn't heard from her since. Ruby has been getting by, just barely but this is about to change when the landlords of the tiny house they've been renting, discover she's alone. They alert the authoriti...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 25, 2009 Danielle rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Teen Fiction Lovers
Shelves: young-adult
This was my first book that I've read by Sarah Dessen. I've heard quite a few good things about her so I was fairly willing to give her books a try even though I don't typically read teen fiction.

Lock and Key is about a seventeen year old girl named Ruby. Ruby's had a tough childhood: from her father and sister abandoning her at a young age (so she thinks) to her mother abandoning her at seventeen she's never really been settled in one place. For the first part of the novel Ruby's in a sort of...more
This is the first Sarah Dessen I've read, after much prompting. Her plots always seemed cheesy and melodramatic to me (based entirely on wildly varying reviews I've read and, you know, the back of the books), the young adult version of Jodi Piccoult (another author I am judging without ever having read her, shame on me). And, well... I don't see myself seeking out any of her others. I finished it off in about three hours, and... The beginning was mostly me rolling my eyes and going "oh, please",...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com

It's been a quite a long time that I found myself sitting up until three in the morning, wanting desperately to finish a story. But that is exactly where I found myself the other night with LOCK AND KEY in my hands. I was so engrossed in Ruby and her story that I had to find out how it ended.

Ruby Cooper has always looked out for Number One. When Ruby was eight, her sister Cora left for university and never looked back. It was always Ruby and her mother, mo...more
Lock and Key probably is one of my new favorites from Sarah Dessen, next to Just Listen. Well, I love every single book from her and that's 'nuff said! But Lock and Key is different from her other books for the face that this is not the typical summer setting she usually do. But it takes place during the middle of the school year where Ruby transfers from Jackson, a public highschool, to Perkins Day, a private school, after she was sent to live with her sister Cora with her husband Jamie when he...more
Aug 04, 2008 Jeanne rated it 2 of 5 stars Recommends it for: fans of Sarah Dessen
Shelves: young-adult
Confession: even though Dessen's novels are generally cheesy and melodramatic, I could not resist picking up Lock and Key. The blurb made it sound good; unfortunately, it is not.

This is the story of 17-year-old Ruby Cooper. Her mother recently abandoned her, and she's been living in squalor for the past few months. When social services is alerted to her situation, Ruby is removed from the house and taken to her older sister's home. Cora, who is ten years older than Ruby, hasn't seen Ruby since t...more
Jan 11, 2014 Ying rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
This was seriously an amazing stories. I've read a lot of good books, and this ranked somewhere near the top in the neverending list. Another of Sarah Dessen's best, this story is really about a girl who discovers herself and her past and what could have been when her mother abandons her, even though she has been an individual most of her life. I'd naturally expected the pairings in the end (I don't want to give spoilers :]) but was still surprised when it happened. Some parts surprised me about...more
This is the first novel I've read by Sarah Dessen, but boy let me tell you, it will defiantly not be my last!! This was an emotional, beautiful and heartbreaking story that had me captivated right until the end. The beginning was slow but as it progressed, I could not put it down! I don't usually read these kind of realistic, intense stories, but Dessen left me in "awe" as I read, and now, I cannot wait to read more of these kinds of books! At times I wanted to reach into the book and hug the ch...more
Typical Sarah Dessen fare - fervent, fluffy, and full of superbly developed characters. This one was not her best, but still extremely enjoyable and well worth the time reading it.

The book revolves around Ruby, a seventeen-year-old girl who had been living with her mother, until she is abandoned when her mom walks right out the door. She planned to live on her own and move out when she turned eighteen, but is found out and as a result must live with her long-lost sister, Cora. Cora has establish...more
I chose to read this book after hearing great things about this author from my friend Jessica. I had high hopes going in to this and this book did not disappoint. As I've heard, Dessen's novels focus on teenage girls and coming of age moments/situations. This holds true for Lock and Key with the focus of this book on family, what it means to different people and what it means to be independent or to rely on others. There were parts of this book that had me in tears not only because of the theme,...more
Ruby Cooper is a young woman determined to get by on her own. After all, others will only let you down. Her father let her down when he divorced her mother. Her big sister let her down when she got old enough to run away to college and escape their dysfunctional family. Now that Ruby's been deserted by her alcoholic mom, she's resolved to get along on her own, without relying on anyone else. If only the state would let her.

Sarah Dessen has crafted yet another compelling tale about a young woman'...more
Kendyl Spinks
The book Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen is what my project is about. This book is a touching story of moving on but hanging on, accepting love and giving love. It begins with a young woman named Ruby living in a house that her mother has abandoned. This character then is caught ,due to not being able to keep up with the house bills and is forced to live with her sister and her brother in law.
As the book progresses she hates living with somebody because she wants her freedom but learns to love it...more
Startling to have a Sarah Dessen heroine having sex with a drug dealer! That is not the kind of girl I went to high school with.

This is not by any means Sarah's best - the characters did not seem fully developed and the problems experienced by the sisters seem much too easily resolved or ignored - but it was still enjoyable.

For someone who is such a college basketball fan, she did not depict a (would be) swimming scholarship athlete at all realistically. Also, Cora had much too much time to co...more
Mia Queen
Memang baru dua buku karangan Sarah Dessen yang saya baca, namun keduanya sudah cukup membuat saya menargetkan akan membaca semua buku karangan doi. Sarah Dessen cukup piawai membuai pembaca dengan kisah yang sederhana namun melekat di hati.

Rubby, tokoh utama Lock and Key adalah seorang gadis remaja yang mandiri. Ia terbiasa melakukan apapun sendiri karena ibunya yang sering berpindah tempat kerja, mabuk-mabukan bahkan yang paling parah Rubby sering kali harus berhadapan langsung dengan debt col...more
Anne Osterlund
Ruby has no family. Or that is what she has believed ever since her mother abandoned her several months ago. Even after Ruby’s older sister, Cora, takes on guardianship, Ruby knows the situation is temporary—that in a day or two or six months, she will be alone again.

Her sister has a new life. With a career and a husband and a brand new house. A life where a pond is being constructed in the lawn, where people write “thank you lists” for Thanksgiving, and where the greatest concern is the fact th...more
Jul 21, 2011 Isamlq rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Isamlq by: Milly
I can see why Sarah Dessen is so popular. HOWEVER, Lock and Key isn’t her formulaic one girl, one boy and one summer story line. I’m probably making a broad/sweeping generalization by saying Dessen girls are trouble or have trouble in their lives, at least the ones I’ve encountered are and do. And Dessen boys? They are typically the good boys, or at least the good boys who help in the formers’ saving/reformation. But here things aren’t so simple, and I can see why it’s Milly’s favorite (it could...more
Lisa Vegan
I really enjoyed this book, and having been told that it’s not one of Dessen’s best, I’m now even more eager to read her other books, many of which are already on my to-read shelf.

From the book’s description, I thought it would have a somewhat different plot, but I wasn’t extremely disappointed, even though it was the description of an abandoned girl that made me particularly interested in the book.

I really liked the main character’s voice. I love how the story and characters evolved. The author...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
When Ruby's mother never comes home, leaving her to take care of the small rented house, keep their job bringing lost airport luggage to people, and making it to school all on her own for about three months, Ruby thinks she's handling things fine. When the landlords discover she's been living like this, she's quickly taken away and given over to the care of her sister Cora, who, ten years older, married to a man who co-founded a Facebook-type online community, and a lawyer herself, hasn't been s...more
I thought that this book was amazing. And I am now reading it again. It is about a 17 year old girl whose mother just leaves. They are struggling to get by, but they are managing. Then, the mother leaves, and the girl, Ruby, is left to fend for herself. One day, her landlords find her and turn her in to child protection services. She is sent to live with her now married sister whom she hasn't seen for 10 years. She is thrown into a high-end world with a new school. She denies that any people tha...more
Many thoughts in my head, right now, minutes after I finished this book.
Did I love it? No. Did I like it? Some parts of it. I'm going to try and organize my thoughts a bit bellow.

We have Ruby as a storyteller, we see everything from her point of view. She is a teenager, maybe we can call her "troubled". She has some family issues going on and she comes to live with her older sister, whom she hasn't seen for 10 years. She goes to new school, doesn't want to make friends etc. The same old story, w...more

Am I allowed to say that I thought this was the most boring Sarah Dessen Book ever? WAIT! Before you jump at my throat and start cursing my way – it has happened O.O – am I also allowed to say that this book is also one of my favorites? Now allow me to explain – just bear with me for a sec.

After reading six of all the Sarah Dessen novels I think I can divide her main characters in two: shy and introvert and others rougher around the edges. Ruby – main char...more
Sep 16, 2008 Lucy rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: fans of Elizabeth Scott, Deb Caletti
Shelves: teen
Ruby has been taking care of herself for a while, but after her mother takes off and leaves her, her plan is simple: survive the next few months until she turns eighteen and can legally be on her own. But when her well-meaning but nosy landlords turn her over to social services, Ruby is forced to go live with her older sister Cora, who went off to college years ago and never looked back.

Now, Cora is living in a big gorgeous house with her entrepreneur husband Jamie—and so is Ruby. Cora and Jamie...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
JD Switz
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I really liked this. It's not the best book of Dessen's that I've read but it was still really interesting and enjoyable. Dessen dealt with a lot of different issues in this book and dealt with them quite well.

Ruby is not the most likeable of characters at the start but I think that's probably the point. She's been changed by what she's been through and becomes withdrawn because that's how she deals with it. I liked that she developed and changed throughout the book and wasn't afraid to admit w...more
Ruby has been living without her mother for the past couple of months now, she only has a few more months until she's 18, so she figured she could pull it off. But social services finds out that her mother has been gone and before Ruby knows it she's living with her sister and her new brother-in-law, Jamie. She goes from poverty to a private high school and designer clothes all in under 24 hours. Ruby doesn't know how she feels living with her older sister, Cora, who abandoned her and went off t...more
I am on a roll getting though Sarah Dessens, or should that be Dessenses? Meh, they're probably both wrong. Now I've started looking for Sarah Dessen's books they seem to be cropping up everywhere! I borrwed this from a tomboy who never reads, and even she had a Dessen before me! I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do.

There is a possibility I would have rated this four stars if I had read it before reading 'The Truth About Forever', but unfortunately that can't be helped and now the bar h...more
Nov 23, 2010 Candy rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Candy by: The children's librarian at my library
This is a wonderful book and the first that I read by Sarah Dessen. I am an adult and not ashamed to admit that I love YA fiction. There is just something cleaner, more pure, and true about so much of it. Sarah writes in a way that makes you feel like you're hearing from your best friend, having a heart to heart. I have yet to read something by her that doesn't bring out the fullest spectrum of emotion. One minute I'm smiling, the next sobbing, then laughing out loud.

About three chapters in I wa...more
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Could someone please explain the end? I am seriously confused... 9 28 Apr 15, 2014 11:45PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen Starting April 20th!!! 1 2 Apr 11, 2014 09:04PM  
what is this book about 3 16 Apr 06, 2014 02:13PM  
Need New Books to Read 6 46 Apr 06, 2014 08:43AM  
Sarah Dessen Book...: Lock & Key Booktalk 61 336 Feb 28, 2014 06:10PM  
I could care less? 4 45 Jan 31, 2014 09:01AM  
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“It's a lot easier to be lost than found. It's the reason we're always searching and rarely discovered--so many locks not enough keys.” 3544 likes
“What is family? They were the people who claimed you. In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed in there, regardless. It wasn't just about blood relations or shared chromosomes, but something wider, bigger. We had many families over time. Our family of origin, the family we created, and the groups you moved through while all of this was happening: friends, lovers, sometimes even strangers. None of them perfect, and we couldn't expect them to be. You can't make any one person your world. The trick was to take what each could give you and build your world from it.” 2495 likes
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