I picked up Sarah Dessen’s “Lock and Key” at my neighborhood TJ Maxx, on the clearance shelf for $2. What a deal, right! And I figured that it would just be a quick, leisure read, but I was surprised that I was actually invested in the characters and really interested in the plot. “Lock and Key” tells the story of Ruby, a high school senior whose living situation becomes unstable, forcing her to move into the home of her wealthy and estranged older sister. Feeling like an outsider in the new home, the new school, and the new neighborhood, Ruby finds herself befriended by her neighbor, Nate, also a high school senior who is a popular—and incredibly handsome—varsity swimmer. Unlike a typical high school jock, though, Nate is incredibly nice; so nice in fact that Ruby feels that there might be something else going on with her new friend.
I think what works well in this novel is Dessen’s attention to detail and her ability to let a plot naturally unfold. The plot could have easily become predictable, but it happens so slowly and organically that each chapter kind of feels like its own episode, packed with information and detail that you’ll need to remember for later on.
“Lock and Key” may look like a long read, but don’t be fooled; it will pull you in and you’ll have it done in a few days, if that. If you’re into the YA scene, I think that this is a great book to pick up and spend some time curled up on the couch with.