Lock and Key
by Sarah Dessen
5 out of 5 stars!
This is the story of a girl, Ruby, who is abandoned by her mother. She lives in their home for weeks before the landlords realized the mother was gone. Ruby goes into social services, then must move in with her sister, Cora, and her husband, Jamie. Ruby hadn't seen or heard from Cora in at least 10 years. The new life is completely different than what she was used to.
On the first night, however, she tries to escape. Not knowing that Jamie was out walking his dog, she leaves. She sees him, and tries to hop the fence in the backyard. This is when she meets Nate. He saves her butt by lying to Jamie about why she was outside in the first place.
Ruby had to change schools, and also begin getting a ride in the morning from Nate. The more he tries to get to know her, the more she pulls away. She knew not to trust anyone. Besides, she didn't know how long she was going to stay there anyways. The more time the spend together, however, the more she realizes that he may be just like her in some ways.
At her new school, she has a project about family. Throughout the novel, Ruby is asking people, "what is family, to you?" getting many different answers.
When Cora basically forces Ruby to get new clothes, she heads to the mall. She saw a Help Wanted sign, and asked Harriet about the job. She had met Harriet once before, with Nate, while he ran an errand after school one day. She hired her on the spot. Later on, Ruby helps Harriet expand her jewelry business. Ruby always wore her old house key around her neck, for the sake of losing it so much. She just never took if off, even after leaving the house.
After spending more and more time with Nate, Ruby finally opens up. She tells him about her mother, and what had happened. But, she only does so, because she witnessed Nate and his father having a huge argument. She hoped that he would open up if she did, but he didn't. After another incident, he won't let her help him again, and then they stop seeing each other, really worrying Ruby. When finally he comes around, he talks to Cora, who was a lawyer (I believe...). Nate then leaves, moving back in with his mother that kicked him out a few years before.
It isn't until the end of the novel that Ruby finally understood what family was.
This was an awesome book. I couldn't put it down. I stayed up so late the past few nights just to keep reading! At first I wasn't too sure about it, but once I started reading, I loved it immediately. Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors, and she yet again wrote another book that I love! I recommend this book to everyone and anyone who likes YA novels. I know I sure do. The characters were strong, and I finished the book with only one question unanswered. It was amazing! Go read it! :)