Lock and Key

downloadGoodreads synopsis:

Ruby, where is your mother?

Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she’s been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.

That’s how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn’t seen in ten years, and Cora’s husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future; it’s a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?

Best-selling author Sarah Dessen explores the heart of a gutsy, complex girl dealing with unforeseen circumstances and learning to trust again.

This was the second book I had read of Sarah Dessen’s when I first discovered her books in middle school. As I’ve gotten older I find it harder and harder to rank Dessen’s books on which is my absolute favorite – much like trying to choose one all-time favorite book. I highly recommend reading the books in order like I have for this #SarahDessenMarathon, this book especially runs into our favorites – and not so favorites – from her other books! It makes my inner book goddess happy when all the books can connect in some way!

In this book we meet Ruby. She’s determined that she is fine slumming it by herself after her mother abandoned her. Plus she turns eighteen soon, so she could do whatever she wants and not have to be a burden on her sister’s perfect life with the perfect house, perfect job, and perfect husband. But what Ruby doesn’t understand is that her sister has always been fighting for her. Their mom was just too mean and awful for Ruby to realize someone actually cared about her, and she wasn’t being forced to take care of them. Her view of everyone being out to get her makes it difficult for her to accept the love and help from her sister, Cora, and brother-in-law, Jamie.

We also meet Nate, who is like most Sarah Dessen boyfriends – perfect and charming in every way. He also has secrets that he doesn’t want to tell and refuses to get help for them, even after Ruby offers to help.

I want a relationship like Cora and Jamie. Jamie is a little weird sometimes, and is extremely outgoing, but he’s also extremely caring and generous – most people wouldn’t actively volunteer to take in their minor aged sister-in-law that they had never met and pay for her to attend their elite Alma mater private school as well as providing for her with everything she needed and more. Nate’s the perfect boyfriend, but Jamie’s the perfect husband, and I can see Nate becoming exactly like Jamie when he gets older, and that makes me happy.

I love this book. It’s a story of love, how friends become family, and how no family is perfect, but their are many different types of families. Ruby said it best (with a little help from Cora):

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…We had many families over time. 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 wee 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.

I have loved this book and only have three books left in my #SarahDessenMarathon! I was finally able to start Along for the Ride yesterday, and thank goodness my summer classes are ALMOST over! I have a final on July 29th and another on August 6th, along with two papers, soooo if I seem M.I.A., it’s because I am super busy finishing my dreaded summer classes, work full time and nannying full time. Lucky for me I’ll have a two week break soon, my 21st birthday, and my 21st Birthday Instagram Giveaway! Keep your eyes open for the last of my #SarahDessenMarathon! Happy reading lovelies!

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