Monday, June 04, 2007


Reinhardt, Dana. 2007. Harmless.

My expectations of Harmless were low. Very low. Why? I disliked A Brief Chapter In My Impossible Life. Every time I heard someone heap on glowing praise about that novel, I thought to myself what book did they read??? But I was more than pleasantly surprised when I read Harmless. Harmless is the story of three teen girls and the one big, lie that threatens to overwhelm them all. Emma, Anna, and Mariah seem like ordinary girls. They're young. They want to have fun. And they don't mind telling a little lie here or there if it helps them have a little more fun on the weekend. What kind of lies? They might say they're having a sleepover at another girl's house or going to the movies...when really what they are doing is going someplace where they can hang out with boys without parental supervision. Harmless lies? Maybe. Maybe not. They shouldn't be lying to their parents in any case. They probably shouldn't be hanging out with seventeen or eighteen year old guys either. But they're a bit naive. A bit innocent. But they won't stay that way for long. One night, their little lie about going to the movies is found out. The fun is over. Their lives are ruined. They have no hope for a social life unless....unless they tell an even bigger lie to cover their tracks.

Harmless is the story of how a "justifiable" lie becomes a devastating one to three girls, three families, and one community.

Sometimes things happen. Things happen even when you don't intend them to happen. Maybe at the beginning you had good intentions, or no intentions, or intentions you thought were harmless, but before you knew it things got out of your control. (208)

What I liked most about Harmless were the perspectives. This story has three very different narrators. Each girl has a unique side of the story to tell.

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