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Lock and Key

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  140,372 ratings  ·  5,485 reviews
Ruby is used to taking care of herself. But now sheas living in a fancy new house with her sister Coraaa sister she hasnat seen in ten yearsaand her husband Jamieacreator of one of the most popular online networking sites. Sheas attending private school, wearing new clothes, and for the first time, feels the promise of a future that include college and her family. So why i ...more
Hardcover, 422 pages
Published May 14th 2009 by Turtleback Books (first published April 22nd 2008)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  140,372 ratings  ·  5,485 reviews

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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!




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,
Cristina Monica
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
Jan 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
so the Sarah Dessen Reread Extravaganza continued and this particular installment may not have gone super well but you know what? you simply cannot win them all.

this was just veryyyyy dramatic to me and the characters were boring and floated in and out of existence and there were just So Many Quasi Profound themes and ahhh!! also it was very long.

the progression of time also could NOT HAVE BEEN MESSIER IT WAS DRIVING ME UP A WALL. hard to create a neat linear timeline, I guess, when you have to
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.
Oct 09, 2015 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 be
Aug 19, 2011 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 author
May 07, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 10, 2008 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
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, faves, z2015
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
Aug 02, 2008 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
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
Julie Zantopoulos
This was such a sweet book and a great look at family dynamics, siblings, friendships, and personal growth. I really enjoyed the well rounded MC and how Ruby is so far from perfect. This is a story about a flawed family and how you heal and learn to let love and other people into your life.

I genuinely enjoyed the story and the character arc.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for

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
[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
Aug 26, 2018 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
DNF at pg. 208.
Too slow for my liking. I just can’t be patient with books that aren’t holding my attention when I’m this far into the story.
Still love Sarah Dessen though.
Dec 03, 2008 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
Laurence R.
Jun 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book ended up being so heartwarming that I'm still not over it!
Elizabeth Aguilar
Wholesome <3

Lots of friendship, family, and some romance.
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
Mar 30, 2016 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
Norah Una Sumner
2.5 stars

I'm 99% sure no other Sarah Dessen book can top Someone Like You as my least favourite book, so even though Lock and Key also got 2.5 stars from me, I liked it way, way better. I've always loved Sarah Dessen's books and the fact that family always plays a huge part of them. Unfortunately, the family dynamics was the only thing I liked about Lock and Key. Ruby's sister and brother-in-law are really portrayed fantastically and I loved seeing the relationship between Ruby and them develop
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
Reaffirms why Dessen is a favorite of mine... she can tell a good story and make you care about the characters. Well worth it.
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
The Girl Murdered by Her TBR
March 2020

DNF at 23%

This book is soooo emotionally heavy for my liking. And it’s a no no for me. I also don’t like the characters especially Ruby and Cora and their asshole mother. Jeez... 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️
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
Feb 21, 2013 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.
I know I haven't read that many, but this is my new favorite Sarah Dessen novel.
Pankhuri Paliwal
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-contemporary
This is my first sarah dessen novel and i really loved it.The book takes on many issues like difficulties with separation of parents faced by child,feeling of being unwanted,and violence.Ruby has to shift with her sister cora and brother in law jammie after left alone by her mom.She wants to be independent, and has issues like not wanting help,staying away from making friends or being unsociable. There is also nate who is so affable and too good.Later on it unravels that he also has his problems ...more
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