Lock and Key was my first contemporary book to read. And guess what? I really enjoyed it. The characters (even minor ones) involved in this book were very critical to the development of the plot. Ruby, the protagonist was such an inspirational character. The beginning of the book portrayed her as the typical teenager with a not so good family. Ruby's dad hasn't been around since she was young, she hasn't seen her sister in ten years and her mother abandons her out of no where and she is left alone until social service come and gets her. Ruby feels she doesn't need anyone's help, especially her sister, Cora's and brother-in-laws, Jamie's help. Ruby struggles to accept friendships, and family.
Throughout the book she is searching for the meaning of family, as it was one of her projects from her new private school. Ruby meets new friends whom she initially does not accept as friends, just as acquittance. It is a story of a young teenager opening herself up to the possibility of being loved and to love.
I enjoyed reading Lock and Key so much that I am contemplating to reading it again. It is strangely nice seeing a young girl develop so much throughout a book. From being the "leave me alone, I don't need you" type to "I will accept you into my life" way. This is one of those books I can imagine happening in real life to many teens out there. I loved reading about all the characters in this book. They all had their own little problems that they had to overcome. It makes you think that everyone has their problems in life to worry/overcome and that you are not alone. And I believe that is what Ruby learns. In fact she learns and begins to understand life more better that she ends up helping others with their struggles. I'm in love with Dessen's writing. It is beautiful and meaningful that I must get her other books! If you haven't read Lock and Key, I suggest you give it a try ;)