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Lock and Key

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4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  127,129 Ratings  ·  4,924 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
...more
Paperback, UK, 422 pages
Published April 2nd 2009 by Puffin Books (first published April 22nd 2008)
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This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Bree No, She gave him the key to Cora's house not to the yellow house or Harriets keys.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lola  Reviewer
The reason why Sarah Dessen’s books make me smile, laugh and cry—and usually make my day—is because they are so genuine.

From the dialog to the writing to the characters to the emotional experiences, everything screams authentic and realistic. That makes it easy to fall for the protagonists incredibly fast and deeply.

The unfortunate thing about Sarah Dessen’s books is that if you summarize them, you realize they are not very original. With her, the originality is not in the main plot—girl who mo
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Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
I am about to trash this book in the most spoilerific way possible so if you feel as though reading my review is not worth spoiling this book for you... TURN BACK NOW!

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

SERIOUSLY THERE IS NO RETURN BEYOND THIS POINT!

...

Alright, everyone gone?

*cracks knuckles*

I LOATHED this book. Holy fucking shit.

I really don't feel like I can properly explain my criticisms without going into detail... so here we go!

Our story begins with the arrival of Ruby (a.k.a. redhead, pale skin, kind
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Adrienne
Jan 07, 2010 Adrienne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-loan
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
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Shannon (leaninglights)
4.5 stars

Another hit for Dessen! This one was darker like Dreamland and I really love that about it. It felt like I was there, a fly on the wall. I appreciated the MCs and the supporting characters in this one.
Pinky
Oct 09, 2015 Pinky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


This book was so beautiful, it taught me so much and I felt so good after reading this book. The thing about Sarah Dessen's books are that it isn't always about the romance. There is a more important story taking place and on of the side stories is the romance. If the book only focused on romance, it wouldn't have been as impressive as this actually was.

“We can't expect everybody to be there for us, all at once. So it's a lucky thing that really, all you need is someone. ”

A few months befor
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♥Rachel♥
Aug 19, 2011 ♥Rachel♥ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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 authorit
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Runa
May 07, 2008 Runa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah
Jul 01, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, faves, ya
4.5 stars. My favourite Sarah Dessen book so far! Before I read this book I was unsure about whether I would like it or not. The plot didn't sound very good or appealing but honestly this book was so so good. I loved it.

The best things about this book were the characters and the way the characters interacted with each other. There are so many different relationship dynamics in this book and I loved every single relationship. I liked all of the characters but I absolutely adored Jamie. He was su
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Danielle
May 10, 2008 Danielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Chelsea
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
Jeanne
Aug 02, 2008 Jeanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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Elizabeth
[Audiobook from OverDrive]

I always love the narrations of Dessen books! Especially when she does Jervais' voice. Ahaha!

Main Character: It's always refreshing to have a main character who isn't a middle class white girl. Yes, her sister and brother-in-law are definitely better off, but it's nice to hear a perspective that comes from being raised in poverty. That whole, "Do I have enough money?" and wanting to save it in case of an emergency. And even though she goes to the rich kids' school, she
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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
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Laurence R.
Jun 28, 2014 Laurence R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book ended up being so heartwarming that I'm still not over it!
Anna
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
Ying
Dec 03, 2008 Ying rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Christiana
Jan 14, 2013 Christiana rated it really liked it
Mais para o 4,5!

Opinião aqui: http://www.diariodachris.com/2016/01/...
Vídeo aqui: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njh_6...

Se há autora que eu estava curiosa para ler era a Sarah Dessen. A quantidade de livros que ela já tem lançados e as óptimas críticas que recebe só me faziam ter mais vontade de os ler. E por isso decidi que ia ser este ano que me iria estrear com a autora e não estou nada arrependida, porque a autora não me desiludiu,

A família da Ruby nunca foi uma família muito estruturada.
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Lizzie
Mar 30, 2016 Lizzie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Sarah Dessen book, and after years of hearing people rave about her writing, I have to it admit, my expectations were pretty high. Buut, they were also met!
I don't read contemporaries very often, but I was really feeling one at the time. (I'm also going to be meeting Sarah Dessen at NTTBF later on this month) I own five of her books and so I went to my shelves and looked at all the different synopsis's trying to decide which sounded best, and this one hit the nail on the head
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Laura
Feb 21, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reread 28/06/2015: new rating = five stars ♥

I think it's been a while since I've finished an entire book in one day, but today Sarah Dessen made it happen again. I've read Miranda Kenneally saying on Twitter how Dessen's books are like coming home for her, and for me it's the exact same thing. I started reading them in 9th grade - back then I was still reading in German - and continued my obsession the following year during my exchange in the States, reading books in English for the first time.
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Thomas
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
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Rose
Initial reaction: I really enjoyed this story by Sarah Dessen (and ended up buying it on a spontaneous trip to Barnes and Noble). The key metaphor throughout the book really resonated with me and I enjoyed reading the narrative through Ruby's voice. Though I'd probably give this book 3.5 stars overall because there were certain emotional moments that I think would've hit home more if they'd been given more room to be showcased.

Full review:

Sarah Dessen does such a great job getting into the lives
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lacy
More of a 3.5. I really can't decide what to rate it, to be honest.

When I started this book, I was worried that I had finally outgrown Sarah Dessen. I used to read her books constantly when I was younger. They spoke to me because they were about problems that teenagers dealt with. I felt like I could relate to them. And in a way, I did. Even if the teenagers were whiny and cried a lot. I was a whiny teenager that cried a lot so I felt like I had a lot in common.

But I wondered, would I be able
...more
Jay G
Apr 23, 2017 Jay G rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer...

This book follows Ruby Cooper who was abandoned by her mother a few months ago and has been living on her own in the old yellow house they rent. When the adults in her life discover this, they ship her off to live with her older sister, Cora who she hasn't seen in over 10 years and her husband Jamie. At first, Ruby is reluctant to accept any of the help her sister and Jamie try to provi
...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
Camilla
Nov 27, 2010 Camilla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, own
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
bookaholic_kim
Nov 20, 2015 bookaholic_kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Contemporary and YA readers
I was expecting this book to be more on young relationship but it is not like that at all. The synopsis at the back of the book totally mislead me.

So the story tells the story of Ruby, a teenage girl who ended up living with her sister whom she didn't have contact for 10 years, and she has to transfer to a private school in the middle of her senior year. Ruby had a rough life growing up. She grew up being the adult and has to endure a difficult life with her mother. One day, her mother just van
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Siv30
Jun 25, 2016 Siv30 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adults
רובי עוברת לגור עם אחותה קורה לאחר חודשיים בהם חייה לבד לאחר שאמן נטשה אותה.

קורה נשואה באושר לגיימי. הם חיים בשכונה של עשירים. ורובי לא התראתה עם קורה 10 שנים.

בלילה הראשון שלה בבית של קורה וגיימי, רובי מנסה להימלט ולחזור לבית הישן שלה ואז נייט מציל אותה בדיוק כשגיימי תופס אותה. נייט בחור חתיך, חביב, מרצה שכולם אוהבים. רק רובי לא מוכנה ליצור איתו כל קשר.

ספר ממש מרגש ולא קיטשי שגרם לי להזיל דמעות, סקפטית שכמותי.

הוא עוסק במורכבות של החיים, במשמעות של חברים ושל משפחה, בקבלה ונתינה ובצורך של כולנו
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Obsidian
What can I really say. I loved this book to pieces. It's been a while since I can say that a book was picture perfect from beginning to end, but I really did find this book worked great. I had no issues with the writing, dialogue, plot, setting or pacing. I went and borrowed a ton of other Sarah Dessen books from the library as soon as I finished "Lock and Key." I read this for the "Key to My Heart" square for Romance Book Bingo 2017.

The main character in "Lock and Key" is Ruby Conner. Ruby is a
...more
Kendyl Spinks
Dec 10, 2013 Kendyl Spinks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Alissa Patrick
May 07, 2015 Alissa Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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 ca ...more
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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.” 3824 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.” 2755 likes
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