Lock And Key by Sarah Dessen | A Book Review About Contradiction Of Life

Sarah Dessen’s ‘Lock And key’ has been quite a popular choice among readers.  

We’re not going into the ancient history of locks and keys. Rather, it is, a review on the book called ‘Lock and Key’ by best selling American author Sarah Dessen.  

This review is designed for book lovers like you.  

This book is related to this site where you are in. 

The storyline is quite unique and starts with a melancholic tone. On the whole, the story focuses on difficulties and problematic affairs that individuals go through in life.  

Life is always prone to change. 

Although, there are many who lives a monotonous lifestyle. But in all our lives at some point or another, we do see transformational events taking place.  

The core storyline of this book mainly covers that issue.  

How slowly or instantly our life can take a turn whether towards good or bad.  

It also reflects how we usually don’t notice the changes in our lives but break apart upon the actualization of how time has massively altered the course of life.  

Anyways, if you focus on Romantic criticism of this book you must know a bit or two about the author. And how her life has played a part in the inception of the story.  

So, let’s start with her. 

Sarah Dessen 

On June 7, 1970, Sarah Dessen was born in Evanston, Illinois, United States. 

Her father and mother were both professors at the University of North Carolina and they were teaching their classicism and Shakespearean literature. 

To know about her characteristics and nature, you should read her. 

This book is her 8th novel, published in 2008. 

Her child’s life is the main inspiration for this book. Living in different household and her encounter with the past events can be held responsible behind the somewhat melancholic tone this book has in the background. 

Sarah makes the main character of the book, Ruby her main spokesperson to tell the story of her life. Sarah in her own words claimed that the story is inspired by her life. 

During her childhood times, she went through tough times. She had to move from place to place. Never had a steady house and a typical family gathering. This left a hole in her heart. 

IMO, this void in her heart made it possible for her to go for such a story in the first place. Each and every creative masterpiece requires a certain sense of pain and loss. To me, it was the power of loss and pain that Sarah experienced throughout her life which resulted in her popular piece ‘Lock and Key’

Book Review-Lock And Key 

Our review will focus on some of the key features that this story covers. As the main purpose of reviews, we will try to show several elements that make this book worth reading or not.  

Each and everyone has a certain liking or type of story that he/she desires. The function of the review is to bring out and make it clear to the readers whether the book contains that particular set of emotional or intellectual necessities.  

So, let’s not waste any more words and get into the plot of this book.  


Ruby is the main character of this novel, her mother was an alcoholic and her older sister was Cora, who had left college when Ruby was 8. Two years later, Cora married a man, named Jamie Hunter. 

Cora forced Ruby to move in with her because their mother was addicted and she wouldn’t take care of her properly. 

Ruby had worn a key as an ornament on a chain around her neck. That’s the main theme that inspired me to name this type of title of this book. 

Should we continue? 

We think, after reading this book, then come back here to continue scrawling. 

It was hard for Ruby to adjust with her new life, for that she sometimes attempted to run away, but she didn’t succeed. 

After some time Ruby ended up being an alcoholic like her mother as well. 

And the new story began. 

One day a businesswoman, named Harriet offered a job for Ruby for her jewelry shop because she got a business idea from her. Ruby’s style of wearing key as a necklace was a thing for inspiration for Harriet and this got Harriet much success in her business. 

In the meantime, Ruby’s mom was still indulged in the continuous abuse of alcohol. One day, Ruby was informed by her sister that the police had found her mother unconscious in a hotel room. 

After being found by the police she was sent to a rehabilitation center so that she recovers from her lifelong addiction.  

Time for a break now!  

Time Up 

Now, we’re going to the end of the story. 

By the end of the story, Ruby gets accepted from a university where Naye, a neighbor of Cora also gets accepted at the university.  

Ruby moves and leaves her sister for her study. The book ends with Ruby dropping the key-necklace in the koi pond and leaving everything for something better in life. 

Escapism undoubtedly plays a part here in the story. Although, it is seen as something weak this story does pointlock and key by sarah dessen out escapism in a positive manner. 

Not all wars should be fought, can be understood as the main theme of the story. 



The book has a deep message for its readers. Although, a message is received by each individual reader differently and I have my own bias as well.  

But in general, the story is kind of inspiring which teaches the reader not to hold onto the past. Movement is the natural way of life in this world. No matter how bad it feels, we’re bound to move.  

Change is imminent as long as time is there. The story reflects on how one should not try to hoard the time that is running but to let it go and embrace change without tears.  

Happy reading!

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