Lock and Key (by Sarah Dessen)

18 09 2012

By now there’s one constant in the cat’s life: Sarah Dessen never disappoints. Lock and Key is not an exception. It is everything you want from a Dessen book, it is everything you want in a good (summer romance) book, it is everything you want from a guilty pleasure, it is everything you want when the guys are out and the girls stay in and you want some good old-fashioned girls night in fun.

This time around, we get to know Ruby, who can’t wait to turn 18. Her mother just left her one day, and she ended up with her older sister Cora and her husband Jamie. Like in every Dessen book, but basically like in any truly good book, there’s a whole evolution going on in our flawed and hurt protagonist. At the age of 17 Ruby has decided that it’s better not to rely on other people, because that’s the only way you can guarantee they will not disappoint you. When she is forced to stay with her estranged sister, she’s hellbent on following that same route, but then she discovers, that trust and hope can be better life coaches than low expectations and distrust ever could be.

Although every Dessen book has the same sort of pattern, with the same sort of flow, her characters always have something that makes them unique, a character flaw, or a thing in their past… None of her characters are perfect. They all have some growing up to do. Yet, despite the almost predictable Dessen formula, the cat feels drawn to each and every of her protagonists.

True conversation the other day…

At the school library, Girl A and Girl B come in. Girl B is looking around (she’s a regular, I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if I called her a book geek, she even helped reorganize the library a while back). Girl A, though, is not a big reader, and comes up to me:

Girl A:   I don’t know what to get. Can you help me?

Cat:        Well, it really depends on what type of book you want… What are you interested in?

Girl A:   Something romantic…

Girl B:    (friend of Girl A, on seeing that Lock and Key is in the new arrivals section) Oooooooooh!!!!! Sarah Dessen!!!!  You have a new Sarah Dessen book!  I love Sarah Dessen! What’s that book with the caterer? That one was soo good!

Cat:        The truth about forever….? That is such a perfect book, I absolutely loved The truth about forever!!!!

Girl B and Cat are by now being all hysterical  (I kid you not) over Lock and Key and The Truth About Forever.

Girl B & Cat in unison to Girl A:  You have to pick a Sarah Dessen book!

Cat:        I know, right. She wants something romantic, well, you can’t go wrong with Sarah Dessen. Sarah Dessen never disappoints, even if there’s a tragedy in the characters’ lives.

Another girl (Girl C) walks into the classroom…

Girl A:   Can you show me where they are?

Cat:        Sure…  we’ve got a couple, so you can just pick one out that looks the most interesting to you.

Girl C:    What was that all about?

Girl A:   Sarah Dessen, dude! It’s all about Sarah Dessen!

Girl C:    Um, okay… anyway, I need a book too…

Cat & Girl A:       Get Sarah Dessen!

Girl A & C leave the room with The truth about forever and This Lullaby.

Girl B got Ilsa Bick’s Drowning Instinct.

I love my reading geeks at school!

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