Nate needs to have dark hair. That would be my one negative comment on Sarah Dessen’s new book Lock & Key. Sarah describes him as having very fair hair, but it doesn’t fit my way of thinking. Hair issue aside, Lock & Key is simply another wonderful read from Sarah.
As is often the case, the story is set, mostly, in the kind of affluent American neighbourhood that could so easily become just a cliché, and that could be seen to make the book unrealistic. But I happen to believe that the ‘nice’ setting is very effective, because it makes you look at the problems facing Sarah’s characters. And Lock & Key manages to cover cockroaches as well as swimming pools, drugs as well as do-gooders.
Nate with the hair is Ruby’s new neighbour; insufferably nice and friendly. Ruby wants to be alone, which her mother has ‘helped’ her with by disappearing, so Ruby has to go and live with her sister. But nothing is as it seems, not even (aspie) Gervais who knows all about calculus.
Violence and deception and misunderstandings crop up where you least expect it. You can also find the strength to do things you never thought were possible.
Unlike some of Sarah’s other books, this one seems to have fewer characters in it, if you don’t count Ruby’s brother-in-law’s family photo. Some OTT ‘holiday’ celebrations play an important part in the plot, and it’s enough to make you exhausted just reading about it. In fact, that’s one aspect of Sarah’s books that fascinates someone lazy like me; they work very hard in the books. I can’t understand how there is even enough time to do everything. And who takes their Christmas tree down on Christmas Day morning?
Wondered whether it was a character from another book who was the DJ on the radio, mentioned in passing?