Lock and Key

By: Sarah Dessen

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Novel Summary

The main character in the book Lock and Key is Ruby Cooper. She is a 17 year old girl, with pale skin and red hair, and lived in Lakeview Chalets. She is used to being alone and relying on no one. Her parents are divorced, and her sister had left about 10 years ago. After her mother flees, she thinks she finally has her freedom, until Ruby's landlords find out about her dirty little secret. Ruby then had to live in a luxurious house, go to a fancy private school, get a new wardrobe, have the promise of a college and a future. But she isn't sure she wants all this, unlike every other teenage girl that would love to live her life. She struggles to find the true meaning of family, and it changes her as time passes by.


Ruby lives in Wildflower Ridge a neighborhood located in the town of Lakeview.

Book Reviews

"All the Dessen trademarks are here- the swoon-worthy boy next door who is not what he appears to be; and the supporting characters who force Ruby to rethink her cynical worldview."

-Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Lock and Key is a touching story of moving on but hanging on, accepting love and giving love, told in the quick-paced, flowing style that is a hallmark of Sarah Dessen."

-South Florida Sun Sentinel

"Love, life, and all of the above is what you'll find in this new read. Sarah Dessen does it again with this amazing novel that will have you up for hours. Two thumbs up!"

-Girl's Life

About the Author

Sarah Dessen was born in Evanston, Illinois on June 6, 1970. Her parents are both professors at the University of North Carolina. She has one brother who is a musician.When Sarah was around 8 or 9 years old, she received a typewriter as a gift and began to write her own stories. As a teenager, Dessen was very shy and quiet. But, she had quite an interesting history. Sarah isn't the child who normally follows rules and doesn't do anything bad. Her first job was at a children's shoe store when she was in high school. She dropped out of Greensboro College and later graduated at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill. Sarah has written about 12 books, including her recently published "Saint Anything".

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Ruby would go through school and work hard after school with her mom as a daily routine. She always believed once she turned 18, she could be free. So Ruby didn't give up, no matter what, to reach that goal. The song Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson, shows that. "I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky". Even after she moved to her sister's house, she never forgot where she came from and who helped her become who she is. The song also states that sometimes in life, you have to risk what you have, and that life is constantly changing.

Kelly Clarkson - Breakaway


I would definitely recommend this book. This was a emotional and heartbreaking story that kept me reading it until the end. Sarah Dessen is a very descriptive and an excellent writer. If you like the book Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott, you will enjoy reading this book. It's inspiring to know what the main character had gone through, and know that she managed to fight through it all. I would definitely give this book two thumbs up!