Lock and Key
Every once and a while I pick up a book without knowing anything about the author or the plot. Every once and a while--after starting said book--I start questioning what I'm reading. With Sarah Dessen's Lock and Key it started off slow.
On beginning the book I asked what everyone probably asked: "Where is Ruby's mother?" Ruby is our underage protagonist that's been abandoned by her mother. Then I found myself asking "What kind of trouble is Ruby going to get into?" Ruby moves to her rich sister's house after being abandoned. She enrolls in a rich high school, and gets all the free clothing she could ask for. That's either a recipe for a disaster or a Lifetime movie.
Then I asked myself "How did Sarah Dessen invent a beautifully fucked up character?" Ruby is an engaging character that's been dragged down so heavily that at certain points I had heart pangs for her.
On finishing Lock and Key I asked myself "How did Sarah Dessen invent a beautifully fucked up kid and make her transition into a well-adjusted teenager so slowly that I didn't even notice it was happening?" How did I miss one huge plot element until about three fourths of my way through this book? How is this possible?
That very plot element was so well hidden and so well crafted that I hadn't noticed it was there until it happened. Or until Ruby finds out about it, at least.
This book encompasses so many difficult issues to address that last week I found myself unable to blog about it. I think this is the third rewrite of my post on Lock and Key. I can't really be sure. I've gone back and Google plot summaries to make sure nothing was missed, I've reread some parts, I've even gone as far to tell the library I'll take the damn late fee for this one if I have to.
I still have a few questions about Ruby and all the characters in this book. It doesn't end on a cliffhanger. There's resolution here to be sure, but there are still a few questions to be answered.* My main question: who the frak is Sarah Dessen and why have I not been reading her work? Short answer: I'm a blind idiot. Long complicated idiot answer: books with heavy issues tend to frighten me.
Here's the opening line of my last rewrite of this post. I couldn't find a way to fit it in so I'll just tack it on here at the end. "Sarah Dessen's Lock and Key broke part of my heart, patched it up, and held my hand while it healed." That's blurb worthy crap right there.
*This book might be my Dutch Tulip Man. If you get the reference, good for you, if you don't, you don't.