contemporary, young adult

Book Review: Lock & Key by Sarah Dessen

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Title: Lock & Key
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Speak
Length: 422, paperback
Genre: Young adult, contemporary
Rating: 4.5 folded pages

Unlock your heart and the rest will follow.

Ruby is used to taking care of herself.

But now that she’s living with her sister, she’s got her own room, she’s going to a good school, and her future looks bright.

Plus there’s the adorable boy next door.

Can Ruby learn to open her heart and let him in?

There is something about a Sarah Dessen novel that is indescribably relatable. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had similar experiences to the main character or side characters. Whenever I open a Sarah Dessen novel, I know I’m in for a story that I will in some way relate to and it is no different when rereading Lock and Key.

At first I was worried, I haven’t read a Dessen novel in years and I decided randomly to start rereading her books because I remember absolutely loving them. I’m happy that I wasn’t disappointed. Lock and Key was almost just as good as I remembered.

Ruby feels completely real. She’s flawed and makes mistakes and is so very human. I love that most about Dessen’s writing. All her characters are unmistakably human. Even the side characters like Nate, Cora, Jamie, and Olivia all had very real personalities that were believable. Every character came alive on the page. None of them felt flat. A problem I’ve been having with recent novels I’ve been reading.

I also love that as a contemporary novel the romance is believable but also not the central focus. More and more the romance is the sole point. The boy saves the girl from herself or her past or who she’s pretending to be but Nate isn’t the biggest factor in Ruby’s story and I absolutely love it.

The only real issue I had is that some of the sentences were very awkward. I found myself rereading certain lines or paragraphs because they were oddly worded. Here and there sentences felt like a word was missing so I understood what was being said but it was obvious something was amiss.

Aside from this small factor, I absolutely enjoyed reading this novel again. So much so that I read it in one sitting. Not an easy feat for a 422 page novel. Still I flew through it like it was my first time reading it and I’m so glad I picked it up again.

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