To say that I enjoyed this book would be a heck of an understatement. I devoured it. What I loved about it, though, wasn't just the story and the characters. I was reminded once again that Sarah Dessen is one of the best authors I've ever had the privilege to come across. For Christmas in 2009, my friend Britny gave me another of her novels--Just Listen. I swallowed that one pretty much whole, and at the very end of it was the first chapter of her next book, Lock and Key. I wanted to read it, but then a new semester started, my mind became filled with other things, and the introduction of this book became forgotten. Then, when I came home for the summer, some lovely librarian (how glorious their jobs sometime seem) put this book on the front display. I was currently reading a different book, though, and by the time I got around to it, it seems that several other people had also seen the display, and there was a line of holds one-dozen-long, waiting for it. Upon finding it on Amazon for 49 cents, however, this book became mine!
I love the way Dessen writes. It is entertaining, serious, deep, and intense, without being too heavy or tedious. I do love the story, but I will be forever blown away with the way she writes. I may even look into reading some more of her novels. Never have I been so reluctant to set down a book. Also, it had a great length. Just-over-400-pagers are my favorites, usually.
I would be remiss if I didn't chide the publishers at least a tad for the several elementary spelling and grammar mistakes... Come, now, read through it before you put it in print.
This book is about a girl, named Ruby, who is abandoned by her mother and is suddenly sent to live with her estranged sister and wealthy brother-in-law. Convinced that all the needs to survive is herself, Ruby is reluctant to accept anyone's help, even when she desparatel needs it. As she starts to settle into her new life, however, she starts to realize--helped on by Nate, her ever-helpful next-door neighbor--that connections and friends aren't such a bad thing to have. She starts to redefine her perceptions of family, and who she is, even as she stumbles across someone that needs the same help just as much as she did, and she's the one to give it.
I give it a hearty 10/10!