Lock and Key

By: Sarah Dessen

"But I was sure of something, too: it's a lot easier to be lost than found. It's the reason we're always searching, and rarely discovered - so many locks, not enough keys." -Sarah Dessen

Critical Analysis

What happens when you think you have your life under control? What about when you think you know all about your past? Now think what would happen if someone told you none of that was true? Sarah Dessen focuses on situations resulting in problems along with finding yourself in hard times by using the themes of abuse and neglect. Appealing to emotion, logic, and reason, Dessen uses a lot of details to help the reader connect to the story.
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Throughout the book Ruby's key never fails to inspire people. Although it has a greater meaning to her, strangers see the key as simple, yet representing possibility. The chain it hangs on is seen as strong and delicate at the same time.

Ruby and her key are a lot alike because they both look strong and simple. Not anything extraordinary. But, Ruby has another side to her, the one that is delicate and realizes that now the possibilities in life are endless.

All of these books by Sarah Dessen connect to the reader, because they all have events and situations that are easy to relate to. They all have a main character that is either struggling through something, or has something good happen to them. Each uses a lot of details and are pretty easy, enjoyable reads.


Lock and Key is an upbeat, easy to follow book full of different twists and turns. Unlike many of Sarah Dessen's books, this one does not lean only to girls. There are situations and a character alongside the main one, that many guys could relate to. Lock and Key is a mix of romance and adventure with a touch of humor. Find out what family really means and what it takes to be a good friend with Ruby in Lock and Key.

"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 there regardless."