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Monday, April 28, 2008

Lock and Key - Sarah Dessen

My favorite, favorite YA author has finally had another book published. I don't know why it's taken her so long - how much time can having a baby take up? ;)

I love Sarah Dessen so much because she's such a great character writer, and if you know what I like to read, you know that character is my number one focal point. If it has strong characters, I'm probably going to love it. If it doesn't, it's not likely to be high on my list. This book, like her others, has really strong main characters and some fairly strong more minor characters as well, namely Jamie and her friend at school whose name is escaping me - Olivia maybe? This book, like Dessen's others, ask characters, and readers, to re-think what they think they know - a good practice for most people probably. She also focuses on the importance of telling the truth, and how it can really mess things up if you don't. Even if telling the truth doesn't seem like a great option, not telling it is usually worse. Dessen really shows how vital these things can be through the relationship of Ruby and Nate. And of course there might be a little romance involved, for which, chick-flick addict that I am, I am always a sucker.

I didn't feel Ruby's sister Cora was quite as believable as I wanted. I'm not sure why this was, maybe since she held back a lot as a character I felt more disconnected, and maybe that's how it was supposed to be, but she just didn't feel quite right to me. Also, the fairy tale element of it was a little too much. People in reviews were saying one good thing about this novel was that this time the Dessen character was poor, and at the very beginning of the story, she surely was. I know I've never had to live in a house where the power has been turned off. That must be a really stressful situation to be in! But Ruby goes from nothing to everything in this novel, and seems to adjust pretty easily. There were things that couldn't have happened if she hadn't, but again, it just didn't feel right to me.

Now this book is no Truth About Forever, mind you, my favorite Ssrah Dessen of all time, but lightning rarely strikes twice so who'd expect it to be? If you like Sarah Dessen or you've never read her work but you like books with strong characters and possibly a little romance, you might want to check out this newest novel by Sarah, Lock and Key.

Two copies available at the WOMS library.

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