HARMLESS by Dana Reinhardt


Age Range: 14 & up
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Reinhardt follows the success of A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life (2006) with the story of three friends who feel the consequences of a lie. Best friends Emma and Anna are not particularly popular, but are fairly well-adjusted teenagers nonetheless. Their social lives are enlivened with older boys and parties, however, when Mariah, a girl with a wild streak, befriends them. The girls begin to lie to their parents about their weekend plans; but when one of those lies doesn’t pass the smell test, they devise a story to avoid being punished. Rather than allowing them to fly under the radar, the lie catapults the girls into the spotlight where they anxiously squirm in its unwelcome glare. The plot develops as it’s told through the alternating perspectives of the three girls. Although each feels the effects of their lie a bit differently, they all wish they’d just told the truth. Reinhardt successfully avoids a sanctimonious tone in imparting this moral lesson and infuses the story with enough drama to avoid banality. Worthwhile, but not spectacular. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Feb. 13th, 2007
ISBN: 0-385-74699-7
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2007


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