Customer Reviews for

Lock and Key

Average Rating 4.5
( 1186 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

38 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

Couldn't close the book

This book was very good. I have read all of Sarah Dessen's books and the way she ties everything together in the end is sensational. You cannot read this book during a busy time- aka finals... That would be a big mistake. This is definitely a must read!!

posted by dedicated_reader on December 12, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Not Dessen's Best

This was not a very good book, it felt like there was something missing the whole time I was reading it. One of the things I liked was that there were characters there from other books, like Annabel and Owen from Just Listen, Rogerson from Dreamland, Barbara Starr, Remy...
This was not a very good book, it felt like there was something missing the whole time I was reading it. One of the things I liked was that there were characters there from other books, like Annabel and Owen from Just Listen, Rogerson from Dreamland, Barbara Starr, Remy's mom from This Lullaby, and I'm pretty sure Bert and Kristy from The Truth About Forever.
Dessen left out so many ending details that a normal curious person would want to know. You had to make a lot of inferences to understand it a little more. Still, it felt like there was not enough to it. Her other books were so dramatic and exciting. This one most certainly lacked all that. I recommend all the other books by Dessen except for Keeping the Moon and Dreamland. My favorites are This Lullaby and The Truth About ForEVER

posted by 3268061 on April 26, 2010

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  • Posted January 18, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A wonderful vacation reading!!!

    Sarah Dessen writes in an easy understandable style. Her writing is detailed and her vocabulary is extensive. However, what make the book Lock and Key as great as it is are its characters and the different ways in which every single one connects. Each character has their unique personality traits and each one comes together with the rest in some way or another, even if they seem total opposites. Sarah Dessen also includes various types of societies and customs, ranging from the poor parts of the city, with drugs, alcohol and late renting bills, to the upper side of town with its humongous houses and their backyard lakes. This creates an environment with an immense variety of details making it easier for any kind of reader to connect with the story and feel like part of it.

    Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen is a combination between a dramatic life and a love story. Ruby, the main character is not the ordinary teenage girl with a nice family, nice school and a boy based life. She isn´t stressed by the typical problems like bad grades, embarrassing parents, or popularity. Instead, her life is full of disappearances, commitment failures and even the struggle for existence. Her mother is no more than an over aged, dating drunk, who has no time to care for her daughter. However Ruby's life takes a twist when her mother leaves and Ruby is sent to live with her older sister Cora and her husband. Now, all Ruby wants to do is turn 18 and leave her new, strange life in the rich part of town.

    This book is about learning to love, to trust and to help others, as well as learning how to accept help. Lock and Key is a book full of surprises and mysteries. It brings together the themes of friendship, love and family, creating a mixture of ideas that collide to tell an excellent story. The book is about leaving the past behind and realizing that there is more to life than what meets the eye.

    What gives this story an interesting twist, is its misleading ways into a love story that is not entirely there. The first thing that one thinks by just reading the first few chapters, is that the story will totally be a romance and that would be the whole idea of the book. However, this novel includes much more than teenage love. It includes a whole different plot than one expects to read.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2009

    One of the best reads ever!

    Lock and Key is written by Sarah Dessen and is fiction. One character is named Ruby who is stubborn, independent, tall and pale, and isn't a people person. That is until she meets Nate, who is caring, popular, hardworking, blonde, and is always thinking positive. Ruby also has an older sister named Cora who is caring, smart, willing, and motherly, is short, and has dark colored hair. I cannot identify with Ruby when her mom abandons her.
    This story takes place in a suburban neighborhood on the east coast. Behind the neighborhood in a greenway which leads to a new mall where Ruby works at a jewelry cart.
    The author is trying to tell readers that if you're going through a rough time you can or should tell someone. I think this story is about family coming together, love, and friendship. The theme of this book is that you don't have to be blood related to be a family.
    When Ruby's mom left her, Ruby went to live with her sister Cora and Cora's husband Jamie. Ruby and Cora have a 10 year difference in age so when Cora leaves for college, it's just Ruby and her mother. Ruby and her mom move around a lot, so Cora couldn't come back for Ruby because their mom drinks a lot and can never keep a job. A little over a year before Ruby graduates from high school, her mom left her to take care of herself in a dirty yellow house, until the landlords find out and take her to Poplar House. Jamie (Cora's husband) and Cora took in Ruby. When she first starts a new school she didn't want to make any friends. Nate, who lives beside Jamie and Cora is an all around good guy, and drives Ruby and Gervais to school every morning. After a few months, he and Ruby are a couple. A few later weeks Ruby finds out that Nate's father physically and verbally abuses Nate, but he won't let Ruby help him.
    I think a lot of people can relate to this book because it is so real. The thing I liked about this book is that it's not like most books; it's not all about romance, but about family and friends. I didn't really like how Nate moved back to Arizona with his mom. This story was kind of predicable, but I didn't think her mom would be in rehab.
    In the end Ruby gets into the U (local college), Nate moves back to Arizona with his mom, but will he return in the fall to go to the U. with Ruby? I guess you will have to read the book to find out!

    I would give this book four stars, and would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good read.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This was so great!

    I was truly surprised by how much of a page turner this book turned out to be. I really really loved it. I had only read one other Sarah Dessen book which was Dreamland, and I didn't really find it all that appealing. I'm a very big critic of books when it comes to the characters and how they make you feel. But this book pleasantly surprised me in the way that I could really connect to the characters. The story and the way that it unfolded was entirely real, and something that could really happen. Instead of jumping right into the relationships, Dessen let them develop in a way that was realistic. Which was one of the things that I loved. I also loved how everything came full circle in the end. The ending was beautiful, and yet heart wrenching (in a way, for me at least) at the same time. I would definitely reread this novel and give it about a 9 out of 10. I was captivated by her writing. Thank you Dessen.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another enjoyable read from Sarah Dessen

    LOCK AND KEY, is another fine book to put on Sarah Dessen's shelf. Mind you, it's not as excellent as JUST LISTEN and THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER, but I still do love her writing and the story very much. When I look back, it must have been so hard for Ruby to adjust to a life like that. She went from having nothing, to having everything. It may sound like a walk in the park, but really it could tear a person apart. Ruby goes through what every person in that situation would. The ending for me though was just a bit too rusty. It felt like it ending so sudden, I wish Sarah would have gone into detail more about Nate and Ruby at the end.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    not sarah's greatest, =[

    i am a huge sarah dessen fan, i have enjoyed most of her books. this one wasnt her best work though, i felt like Ruby was too btichy, and i knew where the story was going. i am sixteen, when i was fourteen i loved her books behond belief, but i think that i have grown out of them. the story was classic dessen, which is a good thing, but for me, it was mediocre. it saddens me that i have grown out of dessen, i will keep reading her greats like keeping the moon, and the truth about forever. i feel that sarah dessen does touch popular issues for teenage girls, she adds a touch of romance (what girl doesnt love a little romance?!) and a dash of humor. my favorite thing about dessen's writing is her ability to add small details that some authors can't. they make her novels more realistic. <BR/>sarah dessen is a great author and i will always read each of her books and give them to my daughters to read as well. they are just classic to me. even though i have grown up, and might not enjoy them to the degree i once did.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    Hmmmm...

    Loved the book, hated the ending. Would still recommend it, though!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2012

    The book, Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen was a very captivating bo

    The book, Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen was a very captivating book. If I were to rate this book on a scale of 1 to 5 it would defiantly be a 5. I could not put it down because if you love Sarah Dessen's books like I do, you know that she has such a way with words. I would be up late at night reading because at the end of every chapter Sarah Dessen foreshadows and leaves you thinking, what happens next!? This book has not only romance, but some tragedy, and also bit of suspense, which to me, is a book worth reading. To summarize, Lock and Key is mainly about a girl named Ruby, who doesn’t exactly have the best family in the world. Her father walked out on the family when Ruby was five, she has a mother who is always drunk or smoking, and a sister, Cora, who is 10 years older than her who didn’t stay in touch with the family. But when her mother vanishes, for good, Ruby is on her own. Being only 17, it isn’t legal for her to be living on her own, and she gets busted. She now has to live with her sister Cora and brother in law, Jamie. At first life is awful. Ruby misses her old friends, her old school, and her old life, but things start to get better when she meets the cute neighbor Nate, and some other new friends that make Ruby realize that she doesn’t have it so bad after all. I would definitely recommend Lock and Key, but not to everyone. It is obviously a girly book, so guys would not enjoy reading it. But not all girls will either. You definitely need to like romance stories because there is a lot of romance throughout the whole book. For example, there are quite a few of couples throughout the book. Another thing is, you can’t be one to get very emotional because there is also some tragedy, such as Ruby’s relationships with people. A lot end in the book, and it gets a little sad. It was a very realistic book as well. Over all, I have to say this book was one of Sarah Dessen’s best. It is amazing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    It is a good read- the characters are a bit bland but the story makes you think.

    I've actually re-read this book a few times because it was just that great. This is a great conversational read to share with a group of your gal pals over lunch or something. This is quite the *interesting* book, but at times PG-13. but as a Middle Schooler myself, it's not what I deal with day to day, but it shows what kind of changes a person can make in themselves. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes twist endings. Oops....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2010

    More than it appears

    I got this book as a Christmas present last year and I must admit, I wasn't really excited about reading it. I don't think the summary on the back explains what the book is really about. I ended up loving the book. The characters were very interesting. I recommend this to everyone!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2010

    The GIrl with a Decision to Make

    Lock and Key is an extraordinary book. Readers will love the characters and maybe even have some things in common with them too. The storyline could happen in real life. It's both sad and happy at the same time. Everyone should read this book.
    A red hair girl named Ruby has just been kicked out of her house. Her mom left her and she's been living there awhile underage. She's forced to change lives and go live with her sister, Cora, who she hasn't seen in 10 years and her internet icon husband, Jamie.
    Her life is transformed miraculously. Private school, a huge house, new clothes, and a chance to turn her life around. Ruby isn't too happy about the change. She has a past that she can't forget. Secrets start to unwrap and the mystery of her sister is solved.
    Things start to get a little bit clearer and she finds herself being friends with the popular boy next door. Something she never thought would ever happen. She soon finds out that he has a big secret too. Will she change or just run away as always? Find out what ever happens to Ruby in Lock and Key.
    I recommend this book to everyone. The characters can be just like any one of us. It a good book because it talks about a girl who really wants to change but isn't willing to let people in her life. She's so used to taking care of herself. All her life has pretty much been the opposite of what she's thought. Read this book and you won't be disappointed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2010

    Definitely Touching

    I recently read this book, and even though I will say that it's not the BEST book Sarah Dessen has written, it isn't the worst, either. I guess I was disappointed in the lack of romance in the book, considering all of her other novels that I've read. But what you have to realize is that the book revolves around family, not romance. When you look at it from that perspective, this book is amazing. It's truly realistic, and I actually had to wipe my eyes at times because I just got really emotional. It's a touching story with a great ending that cleans everything up. Definitely read it :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    great book.

    This young girl was taken from her mother. her mom was a single mother with two children. the oldest had moved away from after finishing college. ruby has been aandoned and left with her mother. she was practically on her own. this book is great. if i recomended it to anyone it would e to girls. i would rate this book a 4 out of five. i would give it a four because it doesnt have a lot of suspence.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The ending is my problem.

    Sarah is a great author but the only bad thing is the ending in this book. It was a great book but actually 2 problems. 1. the romance started in the middle it should have started like towards the beginning. 2. the ending was not great. I think it should have ended when Nate comes back and he kisses her just like on Christmas. It was sweet and romantic. Sorry Sarah. I still love your books though!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good...

    This book is one of Sarah Dessen's best. The character Nate is not what he appears to be. I could really relate to Ruby, though I have never been in her kind of situation, which is pretty impressive if you think about it.Like in a lot of her stories Dessen's characters develop very well. The story is very realistic. I could imagine Lock and Key being a movie. Very well written, good job Dessen.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Pretty Good

    Sarah did a pretty good job on this book. I liked it because it was very realistic. Most of the time writers get too confident and forget about the story but I loved how Sarah wrote this because she never forgot who the characters were. I also like how she explains everyone's past. A lot of the time when we read a book we don't really know who we're reading about. I thought that this story was emotional and a very good example of what teenagers go through these days.<BR/><BR/>*Keep up the good work Sarah!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    grrrreat book

    this is an all around pleaser. it has just the right amount of emotions and it is so reall. o love it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    It's Ok

    I enjoyed this book, but it wasn't as good as some of the other books she has written. Ruby is left by her mother and she goes to live with her sister,that Ruby hasn't spoken to in a long time. The book goes through the heartack and love in this family through a teenager's eyes. Overall I enjoyed this book, but it wasn't what I expected from what else I've read that Sarah Dessen has written.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2013

    I loved this book!!!!

    This is definetely a must read. It is my favorite Sarah Dessen book of all time. The use of symbols to convey meaning was very strong.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2013

    Good but confusing

    I love this book but i also dont like it beacuse its very un orginized it goes from the past to present and they dont give us a sign rhat says hey were switching subjects! I would rate this from a scale of 1 to 10 it would be a 7 i give this book a c+ to a b+

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2012

    Awesomeeeeee

    Ive read all of her books andi cant believe ive waite this long to read lock annd key...i def want a KeyChain:) ahaha

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