Kim's Reviews > Lock & Key

Lock & Key by Sarah Dessen
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's review
May 26, 12

bookshelves: whiny-women-brainless-bimbos

Sadly, I've read this type of book before. Sad, because firstly, the conflict/plot (to some extent) is unoriginal. Secondly, because I got pissed off just by reading - again.
I don't mean to be rude, really, although sometimes I simply can't help it....I am tired of reading yet again another book about some over-thinking, self-obsessed girl who hates her perfect life because of some self doubt or some serious self-esteem issues. For me, this book was merely a daily journal of some wretchedly self-obsessed, ungrateful teenager who thinks her life is worse than - I don't know, Anne Frank and Helen Keller.
In this book, the perfect female girl protagonist Ruby, has her life transformed from the squatters-ish to the high road. Everybody wants to help her, everybody wants to be her best friend. Despite her self-proclaimed (I swear! This isn't my statement!) "reserved" nature, every being flocks to her like the forest animals do to Snow White, with their lungs in full gear. Let's assume that Lady Luck is among those serenading 'animals' in Ruby's life as well. But oh no, Ruby's life sucks, because despite Ruby's lavish life thanks to her long forgotten sister, a perfect boyfriend who, by some brain defect, chooses to ignore the young Florence Nightingales and Mother Teresas out there in exchange for a she-hulk of a girlfriend due to his outrages desire for more crap and stress in his love life, eyebrow-raisingly good results despite not much effort on her tests (the lack of perfect grades is due to work - something she could have avoided anyway), a rather good school and having the pressure of only being forced to go shopping (or poor girl), her life is actually a huge, huge mess because of a bad family history and her patronising attitude towards everyone including herself. Trust me, her life sucks, if you squint your eyes hard enough and have a imaginative, gullible mind.
I have to admit, though, that this author's writing style is engaging and easy to follow. Sometimes, I really believe that Ruby's life actually sucks (that is, until she takes it out on others and then I think her friends' lives suck even more). In fact, I have to give Ruby credit for sometimes being aware of her flaws (though she seldom acts like it). But my only problem is this - if her elder sister, Cora, also shared part of Ruby's earlier pathetic life and managed to overcome all of it on her own, shouldn't Ruby be able to do the same? Well, she did, but the people around her definitely suffered the consequences. Honestly, if I could give the author a message, I'd rather read about Cora's stoic life than Ruby's.
Oh, to a lesser degree, I hate it when the guys' perfection in character completely overshadow that of the girls'. I mean, come on, I'm sure girls are better than that, aren't they, dear authors? I mean, it's not like the portrayal of either of the genders are likely to exist in real life.
I am sorry if I have insulted any fans of this book in the process of my review, as I was aware of the throng of positive ratings and reviews that this book had, and my intentions of starting on this book were perfectly good. I was just heavily disappointed. Mainly, this disappointment stems from only having failed to connect with the main character, and perhaps the lack of a (solid, good) plot. If you are a sadist who enjoys reading about a person screwing people's lives (no, sorry, the sadistic pleasure isn't on the protagonist but the side characters), or if you are genuinely a good Samaritan who pities anyone's pathetic life, be it real or merely a product of self-pity and much ranting, you could maybe give this book a go.

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