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I am a HUGE Sarah Dessen fan. I can not tell you how much I enjoy reading her books, but I can try. Lock and Key was actually the first Sarah Dessen novel I had ever read. I received a box set of three Sarah Dessen novels for my birthday two years ago, since then I have been hooked on Sarah Dessen books.
Ruby is a really independent person and everything she wanted, she got it herself without any help. Ever since her older sister, Cora, left Ruby with her alcoholic mother to go to college, Ruby has done everything for herself. But then Ruby has to go live with her sister after the landlords find out that Ruby's mom left her. On the first night at Cora's Ruby tries to run away, but the neighbor Nate sees her and convinces her to stick around for awhile. The hard feelings were still there between Ruby and Cora and that just made their whole relationship awkward, but Jamie was always there trying to help them.
Nate, the love interest of Ruby's, helps Ruby with her problems and is an overall good friend to Ruby. What I really like about Sarah Dessen novels is that the guy/love interest helps our protagonist with her issues, but our protagonist is the one that actually sorts out her issues.
Nate also had problems of his own, he lives with an abusive father. When Ruby found out about this, she tried to help Nate, which is really awesome because that just strengthen their bond and it shows that it doesn't always have to be the guy helping the girl, the girl can help the guy as well!
Nate and his dad have a business together in which they do things for other people that they-the customers- don't have time to do, such as buying groceries or taking out the trash. Ruby sometimes helps Nate with work and this leads Ruby to meeting a woman who owns a jewelry shop at the mall and Ruby getting her own job helping her with her work. The jewelry business was slow, but when a person asks if they sell Ruby's key necklace, Ruby ends up bringing in a lot of business with her key necklace idea and thus helping her boss. The key Ruby always wears is her old house's key, the house that her and her mom lived in last; the key symbolizes her past.
Lock and Key is one of my all-time favorite Sarah Dessen book, I've read it at least three or four times now and I hope you will like it too! Oh and in all of the Sarah Dessen novels, a lot of the things and people in the books will be mentioned in the other novels, which I think is super cool. I love to read a book and then think hey wasn't that the same blank from blank? Well maybe it's just me, but yeah you should read this book if you love contemporary novels.
Jenny @YA Novelties