Monday, March 8, 2010

Lock and Key

Lock and Key
By Sarah Dessen; Speak

Summary:  Ruby has always taken care of her alcoholic mother and had gotten use to her mother's usual disappearances. But after months of not returning, Ruby knows her mother isn't coming back this time. Ruby is force to live on her own for months until the landlords discovered what is going on. Child services step in and Ruby is sent to live with her sister Cora, who she hasn't seen in ten years, and is now a lawyer married to a rich entrepreneur. Ruby is throw into a different world with her own bedroom in a new house in a rich neighborhood, a private school, and an allowance of her own. But despite all her new surroundings, Ruby still wears the key to her house around her neck as a reminder of her old familiar life. Ruby slowly starts to lower her defenses and adjust to her new life. With the help of her sweet and cute neighbor Nate, Ruby discovers that in order to save yourself, you've got to reach out to someone else.

My Review: I have never been a Sarah Dessen fan until now. From the first page I was hooked and knew that this was the beginning of an excellent read for me. Sarah Dessen has always taken a troubled teen and changed them throughout the story in to a different person.The character Ruby  for instances, starts out in a roach invested house with no running water and ends up in a new house in a rich neighborhood with a pond. It  points out that there is always a way out and a way to change. In this novel especially, it shows that people from the horrible circumstances can change their lives through the help of others and themselves. Ruby discovers that its never too late to change one's self and future.
One of the big focuses in this novel is family. Ruby has to do a school project on family and  is required to ask people what their definition of a family is. Here is an excerpt from the book on  Ruby's final definition of a family:
What is family? They were the people who claimed you. In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed in there, regardless. It wasn't just about blood relations or shared chromosomes, but something wider, bigger...Our family of origin, the family we created, as well as the groups you moved through while all of this was happening: friends, lovers, sometimes even strangers. None of them were perfect, and we couldn't expect them to be. You couldn't make any one person your world. The trick was to take what each could give you and build a world from it.(pg 400)
I highly recommend this book for teens and up. The themes and changes in this book will hook you and take you on a journey to the depths of reality and bad circumstances that happen in this world and show you that through others and yourself change is possible.

Things to Watch Out For: Abandonment, abuse, drugs and alcohol, language, sensual acts, and mild violence.

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