November 1, 2012

Book Review: Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
(4.5 Stars)


 SUMMARY (FROM GOODREADS ): "Ruby, where is your mother?" Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she's been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.That's how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn't seen in ten years, and Cora's husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future—it's a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?

Wow. (That simple, do I need a better way to start it :D)

Ruby Cooper finds her life turning upside down. With her mother’s sudden disappearance and lack of parental guidance, her sister Cora—who she never saw for years, after she moved out—came to take her from her home. Completely out of her old life, she finds herself getting every ‘need’ that should be provided for her. A home (with hot running water and a fridge filled with food), a family and a good education. Yet she finds herself wishing that she would be back to her old yellow house.

Trying to adjust to the sudden changes in her life, she found things that made her consider if she really did wanted to come back to her old life. But as she finds herself getting comfortable with her new life, she learns the secrets that her mother has been keeping from her. How can she accept how much her mother lied to her about many things, and made her think that she was all she had? Most of all, how can she help her friend, Nate if he’s in the same position as he is?

I had to admit that I was scared of reading one more of Sarah Dessen’s. I kept thinking about Dreamland and how much it made me heavy with tense excitement (it was way out of my own comfort zone). But I’m glad. I was really inspired by this book.

The plot, I loved a lot. I loved the fact that I couldn’t expect what would happen next. It made me all the more excited of what would happen. The writing was amazing, I like the pacing, it made me understand every moment without actually being to bored of too many details. Most of all, after reading it, it would make you think for a while, and remind yourself of how much we neglect many blessings that are always given to us. Yet we aren’t grateful for each one of it.

The characters were all very cute too, some were very adorable and fun to read about, these characters would be Gervais, Olivia, Harriet and Reggie, they didn’t play a very BIG deal in the story (but they are very much a big part of it too.) But, other characters were mostly an inspiration and they can really move you with their story.

Jamie was just heartwarming, I loved him because of his compassion and the way he cares for Cora and Ruby. I loved his fun personality, his optimistic attitude and helpful nature. I was moved many times by him, his love for Cora was just an ‘aaaaaaaaaww~’ moment, and every time I found myself cheering for him, wishing that more people in the world would be like him. Compassionate and all-around-good.

Cora was pretty much a surprise for me. At the very start her aura of personality was just plain strict and demands authority (in short, he seems like a strict teacher who’s always bossy to everyone). Yet as I continued reading the book, I saw a different side of her. Behind the confident and professional demeanor, she hides insecurity and infinite want to have a family. I loved her because she possesses this kind of “tough love” for Jamie and Ruby. She may seem like a snob, but every time she softens, you can see how much she cares for her family. She and Jamie were just adorable to read. They are complete opposites yet you will see how much they love each other, it was just sweet :). Most of all, I love her because, even though you can’t see it (well, read it in our case) you can feel, how much she cares for her sister.

Nate was annoying at the same time amazing for me. He was very admirable, helping Ruby when she needed him, he was her friend and I really like him for that (‘cuz it’s just so attractive when a guy is gentlemanly). He advises her, he was the main reason why Ruby was changing for the better, he listens to her, advises her. I just don’t understand the fact that he won’t let Ruby help him in return. He clearly needed help but he didn’t allow her to help him, (and look where that got him with his ex-girlfriend <.<) He just tries to prove that he can handle himself, but the truth is, he just ended up alone with no one to help him. I don’t necessarily hate Nate, that’s too deep. I just really REALLY don’t understand his concept of the term “independent” because in my point of view, he looks too fragile contrary to the image he has at school. Like he was more afraid of being truly alone.

And now I give a standing ovation for the girl who is now added to my (new list of) inspirational persons. 

Ruby Cooper~~! :D
Its very hard to describe why I like her, or why I think she’s inspirational. Its hard to find proper words to describe her. The best way to I could describe her is: She’s an example. Not just to people reading this book, but to those having similar problems. Her position is just sad, and her fears are uniquely hers, yet she faced them all. She learned many different things, and she changed for the better. That’s the best way I could describe her. AN EXAMPLE. A ROLE MODEL. AN INSPIRATION.

I would gladly tell to all of the people reading this review that if you ever decide to read this book, love it, hate it. Doesn't matter. Because it doesn't leave not just an impression but a good lesson that can really make you think, and remind you of how much we are blessed in so many ways, we think that we're not whole, or incomplete, but sometimes other people's situation are much worse. This novel gave me another perspective, and understanding of the world. :D I hope that you will learn and love it as much as I did.

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Sarah Dessen grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and attended UNC-Chapel Hill, graduating with highest honors in Creative Writing. She is the author of several novels, including Someone Like You, Just Listen and Along for the Ride. A motion picture based on her first two books, entitled How to Deal, was released in 2003. Her tenth novel,What Happened to Goodbye, will be published in May 2011. She lives in North Carolina

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