Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1691
A Tornado of a Book
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Harper Evans life is like a tornado, just like the one that hit Bailey, Tennessee. Her parents are splitting up and, as a result, she and her sister, Tess, arent talking to each other. Actually, theyre living in separate houses, because theyre really half-sisters, although theyve always acted like sisters. To make matters worse, Harper caught Tess and Gabriel, her best friend (and love interest, sort of) kissing at a party. The best thing she can do is put distance between herself and her messed up family.

So, Harper, actually her dad, found Homes from the Heart, an organization that builds houses for victims of natural disasters. Since Harpers passion is saving the world, this is the perfect opportunity to escape and do something constructive. So, off to Bailey, Tennessee she goes, to rebuild a house that was destroyed by a tornado. Dont get her started on whether tornados are naturally occurring or caused by human intervention with the atmosphere.

Harper isnt the type of girl guys typically get attracted to, even though shes blond and pretty. Tess is more the boy magnet. Harper is not adept at playing the dating, flirting game. So a summer of anonymity would be the perfect summer. In Bailey, no one knows Harper and Harper knows no oneperfect anonymity. She didnt count on Teddy and Captain and Marisol and Frances.

How to Build a House is a great book. But, then again, you expect that from Dana Reinhardt. I read it in 24 hours. I devoured her first book, A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life. The book alternates between HERE (Bailey, TN) and HOME (the events leading up to and subsequent to the announcement of her parents separation). Reinhardts descriptive language allows readers to get to know Harper and Teddy and relate to all the emotions she is feeling. The secondary Tennessee characters are fun. The home characters are real. In the course of the summer, Harper learns about herself and her family and friendship. The ending is real life. How to Build a House surpassed my expectations. I know youll enjoy it.
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