After a foiled escape attempt, Ruby slowly realises that she might just have to let people in. Her sister has a different side of the story and brother-in-law Jamie is wildly enthusiastic about whatever he does, including bringing Ruby into the family. Then there’s Nate, the boy next door. A cute, rich-boy type who seems determined to be nice to her, helping her out whether she wants him to or not. But as she slowly learns that it might be ok to let people in, she also realises that no-one’s life is perfect.
I seem to be reading a lot of Sarah Dessen recently, which is great because I love her books. Lock & Key was definitely worthy of the Dessen name. Something she seems especially good at is creating completely believable characters. Ruby has basically given up on people because of her past, she wants nothing more than to be legally an adult and completely independent, cutting all of her ties to people. Nate, the good-looking guy next door is kind, understanding, and seems to care for everyone else so much that he doesn’t really leave the time to take care of himself. I found the romance a little forced at times, but it was fun. However, it’s the people that Ruby meets along the way, the secondary characters, that made me enjoy the book so much. Down-to-earth Jamie, Cora struggling with her past, Gervais the twelve-year-old genius, Harriet the obsessive businesswoman, and especially Olivia, who takes no nonsense, but really supports her friends.
Lock & Key wasn’t my favourite by Sarah Dessen, but it was a great, entertaining read. Is that beautiful cover not enough to entice you? I’ll add that I was surprised by parts of the story, there’s more to Ruby’s journey than just coming to terms with her past and learning to accept help. The people she meets are not all as carefree as they seem at first glance, and she learns to helps them just as they help her.
* Random thing - why, when American books are translated into UK English, do they change everything but the word 'candy'? I just don't get why this seems to be the one word that always gets left in. Has anyone else noticed this, or is it just me?