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Lock and Key
Cover of Lock and Key
Lock and Key
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A New York Times bestseller 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...
A New York Times bestseller 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...
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Description-

  • A New York Times bestseller

    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?

    "All the Dessen trademarks here" —Publishers Weekly, starred review

    Also by Sarah Dessen:
    Along for the Ride
    Dreamland
    Just Listen
    Keeping the Moon
    The Moon and More
    Someone Like You
    That Summer
    This Lullaby
    The Truth About Forever
    What Happened to Goodbye
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the book CHAPTER ONE

    "And finally," Jamie said as he pushed the door open, "we come to the main event. Your room."

    I was braced for pink. Ruffles or quilting, or maybe even appliqué. Which was probably kind of unfair, but then again, I didn't know my sister anymore, much less her decorating style. With total strangers, it had always been my policy to expect the worst. Usually they—and those that you knew best, for that matter—did not disappoint.

    Instead, the first thing I saw was green. A large, high window, on the other side of which were tall trees, separating the huge backyard from that of the house that backed up to it. Everything was big about where my sister and her husband, Jamie, lived—from the homes to the cars to the stone fence you saw first thing when you pulled into the neighborhood itself, made up of boulders that looked too enormous to ever be moved. It was like Stonehenge, but suburban. So weird.

    It was only as I thought this that I realized we were all still standing there in the hallway, backed up like a traffic jam. At some point Jamie, who had been leading this little tour, had stepped aside, leaving me in the doorway. Clearly, they wanted me to step in first. So I did.

    The room was, yes, big, with cream-colored walls. There were three other windows beneath the big one I'd first seen, although they each were covered with thin venetian blinds. To the right, I saw a double bed with a yellow comforter and matching pillows, a white blanket folded over the foot. There was a small desk, too, a chair tucked under it. The ceiling slanted on either side, meeting in a flat strip in the middle, where there was a square skylight, also covered with a venetian blind—a little square one, clearly custom made to fit. It was so matchy-matchy and odd that for a moment, I found myself just staring up at it, as if this was actually the weirdest thing about that day.

    "So, you've got your own bathroom," Jamie said, stepping around me, his feet making soft thuds on the carpet, which was of course spotless. In fact, the whole room smelled like paint and new carpet, just like the rest of the house. I wondered how long ago they had moved in—a month, six months? "Right through this door. And the closet is in here, too. Weird, right? Ours is the same way. When we were building, Cora claimed it meant she would get ready faster. A theory which has yet to be proved out, I might add."

    Then he smiled at me, and again I tried to force a smile back. Who was this odd creature, my brother-in-law—a term that seemed oddly fitting, considering the circumstances—in his mountain-bike T-shirt, jeans and funky expensive sneakers, cracking jokes in an obvious effort to ease the tension of an incredibly awkward situation? I had no idea, other than he had to be the very last person I would have expected to end up with my sister, who was so uptight she wasn't even pretending to smile at his attempts. At least I was trying.

    Not Cora. She was just standing in the doorway, barely over the threshold, arms crossed over her chest. She had on a sleeveless sweater—even though it was mid-October, the house was beyond cozy, almost hot—and I could see the definition of her biceps and triceps, every muscle seemingly tensed, the same way they had been when she'd walked into the meeting room at Poplar House two hours earlier. Then, too, it seemed like Jamie had done all the talking, both to Shayna, the head counselor, and to me while Cora remained quiet. Still, every now and again, I could feel her eyes on me, steady, as if she was studying my features, committing me to memory, or maybe just trying to figure out...

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books brynnicul - One of my top twenty best defenitely. Its about a girl who falls in love like most her books but usually theres an exception and boy is there one in this book read and find out what im talking about then comment on my page. Her second best book, I think.,
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from February 18, 2008
    Dessen (Just Listen
    ; see Profile) inverts a familiar fairy tale: What if Cinderella got the prince, the castle and all its accoutrements, but wasn't remotely interested? After her mother abandons her, Ruby Cooper is flying below the radar of officialdom and trying to make it to her 18th birthday, when she's busted by the landlord and turned over to social services. Ruby is taken in by her estranged sister, Cora, who left for college a decade earlier and never looked back, and Cora's husband, Jamie, the wealthy founder of a popular social networking site. Resentful, suspicious and vulnerable, Ruby resists mightily, refusing the risky business of depending on anybody but herself, and wearing the key to her old house around her neck. All the Dessen trademarks are here—the swoon-worthy boy next door who is not what he appears to be, and the supporting characters who force Ruby to rethink her cynical worldview, among them the frazzled owner of a jewelry kiosk at the mall. The author again defines characters primarily through dialogue, and although Ruby and her love interest, Nate, sound wiser than their years, they talk the way teens might want to—from the heart. A must for Dessen fans, this will win her new readers, too. Ages 12-up.

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2008
    Gr 7 Up-Ruby, 17, is taken in by her older sister and brother-in-law when her mother abandons her. Ruby and her sister haven't spoken since Cora left for college a decade earlier. She moves from a semi-heated, semi-lighted farmhouse to a McMansion in a gated community. The theme of abandonment permeates the narrative-Ruby's mother's disappearance, Cora's perceived abandonment, and all of the small abandonments around every corner throughout Ruby's life. The plot hinges luxuriously on character arc. Ruby's drama of pathological self-reliance to eventual trust plays out through thoughtful, though occasionally heavy-handed, inner monologue and metaphor. As always, Dessen's characters live and breathe. Ruby's sweet hipster brother-in-law and Nate, the freakishly affable hottie next door, are especially vivid, and Cora's change from bitter control freak to sympathetic co-protagonist is subtle and seamless. Though Ruby and Nate don't have quite the cinematic chemistry of many of Dessen's couples, their cautious friendship into romance seems that much more realistic. The author's feel for setting is as uncanny as ever, and Ruby's descriptions of the homogenous nouveau riche Anytown are sharp, clever, and honest. The dialogue, especially between Ruby and Cora, is crisp, layered, and natural. The slow unfolding adds to an anticipatory mood. What's more, secrets and situations revealed in the second half of the novel are resolved more believably by already deeply developed characters. Recommend this one to patient, sophisticated readers."Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library"

    Copyright 2008 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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