Monday, June 4, 2012
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
I think after The Truth About Forever, Lock and Key may be my next favourite Sarah Dessen novel. Something about it just appeals to me I guess. I suppose it may be because (this is from the blurb), the book is about "sometimes, in order to save yourself, you've got to reach out to someone else."
I don't know about you, but I think I'm an introvert. I can function perfectly well with large crowds (thanks to MG and MUN), but if I was given the choice, I'd probably choose to stay in my room after class every day. I don't really like the whole tired-and-cranky feeling that follows after a trip out/being surrounded with large numbers of people. But paradoxically, when I spend too much time by myself, I get to a sort of depressed-homesick mood; and the only 'cure' I know so far is to make myself go out. That's why joining Kendo has been good for me, it makes me go out and interact with people at least four times a week. (Now, I'm working on making sure Kendo doesn't become my whole life)
So in the same way, I can relate to Ruby. It might be easier for both of us (in the short-term anyway), to be by ourselves and not burden/latch onto others, but in the end, we do need others to survive. I think John Donne summed it up very well in his famous quote "no man's an island".
This book is quite thick (well, compared to Keeping the Moon anyway), but it's filled with so many well-crafted characters. Apart from Ruby, I thought Cora was very well-portrayed. She's someone who had to get out of her situation, but due to her mom, couldn't help Ruby much. And now, she's reacting in a very believable way when she finally meets Ruby again (and I like how she and Jamie have their own subplot). And Jamie, I want a relative like him! He sounds fun but kind and strict when you need it.
The book takes quite a long path to get to the end (where Ruby realises what family is), and I think it's all the better for it. It could've just focused on making opportunities for Ruby to interact with Cora and Jamie and realise what nice people they are, but I like how it expanded the concept of family to include people like Harriet, Olivia, etc. I think it makes the journey Ruby goes through much more natural.
Another must-read by Sarah Dessen. (Although if I were to do this at every review, I might was well get it out of the way now and tell you to read every book she's ever written.)