Harmless

 
0.0
 
3.3 (3)
2543 0
Harmless
Age Range
10+
Release Date
February 13, 2007
ISBN
9780385746991
Buy This Book
      
There was a man. He had a knife. He attacked us down by the river. It was just a harmless little lie. Anna, Emma and Mariah concoct a story about why they're late getting home one night—a story that will replace their parents' anger with concern. They just have to stand by it. No matter what. Suddenly the police are involved, and the town demands that someone be punished. And then there is the man who is arrested and accused of a crime that never happened.

User reviews

3 reviews

Already have an account? or Create an account
Consequences of Lies
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
0.0
Learning Value 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by carmen alexis

This book sucked me in from the start. I loved the plot of it and the characters were great as well. The way that the story was told through three different narrations made it that much better and the characters of Emma, Anna and Mariah were well-developed and ever-changing.

Emma was the one who came up with the story of "something bad" happening to her, as the victim. She had started out as a pretty confident, if isolated because of her best friend, young girl and ends up being the one who's remorseful and having the most trouble with the lies. From the start of each narration, all three girls say that they should/would have told the truth if they could do it again, but I believe that only Emma really would have done so, if not obvious by the way the story runs out.

Anna at the beginning seems sincere, but through the eyes of Emma and Mariah, you begin to realize just how dependent she was on her friends and how much popularity means to her. From being the timid and frantic girl, she gains confidence... but not in a good way. She starts to enjoy herself and even fancies condemning an innocent man because she's finally noticed. Although Anna proclaims throughout the entire novel that she would have came out with the truth, I don't believe it. Even when the truth unraveled, you get the feeling that she's going to be the one who'll miss it the most. She was the one who ultimately ran away, unlike Emma.

Mariah was a little harder to decide whether I liked her or not. But I like her complexity. She was a little poor girl, a little rich girl, and ultimately, a girl who's just confused. Although she was like Anna, enjoying the lies, she eventually gets too caught up in it and you get the feeling she wants out.

I hope I didn't exactly spoil it for readers who haven't read this novel yet. It's a great read with a sense of morals behind it.

Reprinted here with author's permission.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Just Okay
Overall rating 
 
2.0
Writing Style 
 
2.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
0.0
Learning Value 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Vanessa

Expected more out of this book but nonetheless it was good. About three girls who become good friends: Mariah, popular, dates older men, Anna, quiet, not really popular, family-girl, and Emma, close to her brother, best friends for a long time with Anna, started to hang out with Mariah.
Mariah starts seeing DJ who invites them over to a party. At first it was a little lie and they got away with it. But having lied once will just surmount and you'll consequently lie again and again to cover up the last lie. Emma seems to have found a new guy (one of DJs friends) and soon becomes quiet. Of course she got drunk, had sex and she wishes to take it back (my interpretation, anyway). Mariah gets heavy with DJ, who in the end basically ditches Mariah for another girl who he ultimately takes to prom. Mariah feels stupid. Anna feels left out, both Mariah and Emma seem to have gotten with a boy and she hasn't. Between all this there's more drama: that lie I told you about? Well, it was a bigger deal than I made it seem. To get out of their lie about going to yet another party instead of the movies the girls decide to lie about it--saying they were almost attacked by a homeless man that they see around the river. Of course it never happened, but its a story they manufacture to get out of trouble.
Manufacturing that story is more trouble than they awaited, their parents take the to the police to inform the authorities about the supposed attack. Questions asked, they give false answers. Can't they see its against the law?
A little girl goes missing. The authorities think of that maybe the girls' case and this new girl, Eleanor's case are connected. The cops cuff the homeless man, a suspect in both cases now. An overly dramatic (reminds me of Kiss My Book, look down... its a horrible book I read) march about women and them not being attacked because they have their rights and their getting together for a purpose........
In the end Mariah, Emma, and Anna get in trouble for it, they're caught. The homeless man decides not to press charges because the girls are "just kids and make mistakes and should be forgiven". So the girls move away to different places and never speak again, with a chance at a new beginning.

Reposted at whatvanessareads.wordpress.com
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
kind of a weird story...
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
0.0
Learning Value 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Katherine Worden

In Harmless, Dana Reinhardt writes of what happens when a lie goes too far. Its one of those books when you want to hit the characters over the head, grab them by their shoulders, shake, and scream, what the heck do you think you are doing? You may think Im overreacting, but Im not. Starting out with mistakes like, not telling their parents they are at a party, doing the old, Im at her house, shes at mine trick, and getting caught. Instead of just admitting where they were, the three girls, Anna, Mariah, and Emma decide to come up with the story that a man grabbed them while they were walking, and tried to rape Emma. They got away though. Anna tells his story to her parents, expecting them to say, well, were glad you got home safe, lets forget about this. Hello? You were attacked? And lets just forget about it? That is probably not the smartest story they could have come up with. And it gets even better. Their parents call the police, and the girls still keep up their story, even when it means sending an innocent man to jail. What is their problem? This is a mark of a good writer, making me feel emotion towards the characters, but these girls are old enough to know, you dont joke around about rape, and with police. Just tell the truth for Petes sake!! In my opinion, the characters were really annoying, and kind of stupid. The book was kind of confusing, but not bad as far as story wise, showing how telling lies is bad. In my opinion however, they get off way too easy!
-Katherine Worden


Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Peppermint Post
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
'Twas the night before Christmas, when the North Pole's Peppermint...
Stolen from the Studio (Case Closed, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lauren Magaziner’s hilarious and high-stakes middle grade series gets a...
The Wizenard Series: Season One
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Reggie has never felt destined for greatness. He dreams about...
TURBO Racers: Escape Velocity
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Fast and the Furious meets Transformers in the second...
Bread Lab!
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
It’s a sleepy Saturday morning for most people, but not...
A Thousand No's
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
This empowering picture book teaches readers that even great ideas...
Ronan Boyle and the Swamp of Certain Death (Ronan Boyle, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The hilarious sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller,...
Sharko and Hippo
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
With tongue-twisty wordplay and escalating absurdity, this is a fall-down-funny...
The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A LOVE POEM FROM A FATHER TO HIS TWO SONS,...
The Faithless Hawk (The Merciful Crow, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Kings become outcasts and lovers become foes in The Faithless...
Zora's Zucchini
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first zucchini of a summer garden is always exciting,...
Libby Loves Science
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Libby loves science! In this STEM-themed picture book, a companion...
The Hidden Rainbow
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
All the colors of the rainbow are hidden in the...
The Places We Sleep
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A family divided, a country going to war, and a...
Chasing Starlight
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Movies, mansions, and murder in the Golden Age of Hollywood!...
Crossing Lines
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Midwestern high school seniors and swim teammates Alli and Brandon...

Latest Member Reviews

Peppermint Post
 
5.0
"PEPPERMINT POST is an adorable new story about Christmas and Santa. The Peppermint Post is the busiest post office in..."
Stolen from the Studio (Case Closed, #2)
 
4.0
"STOLEN FROM THE STUDIO is a fun middle grade mystery with a choose-your-own-adventure plot. Carlos travels with his mother, a..."
The Wizenard Series: Season One
 
4.0
"THE WIZENARD SERIES: SEASON ONE is written by Wesley King and created by Kobe Bryant. The MG fantasy follows Reggie,..."
The Triumphant Tale of Pippa North
 
4.0
"THE TRIUMPHANT TALE OF PIPPA NORTH combines magic and humor in a middle grade fantasy full of charm. Pippa is..."
TURBO Racers: Escape Velocity
 
4.0
"TURBO RACERS: ESCAPE VELOCITY is a fast-paced, high-stakes adventure. Mace Blazer is a TURBOnaut, a high-speed vehicle racer. He recently..."
Bread Lab!
 
4.0
"BREAD LAB! is a cute picture book that walks through the steps of making sourdough bread through the eyes of..."
A Thousand No's
 
3.5
"A THOUSAND NO'S is a cute picture book about the way that feedback can change an idea. A girl has..."
Ronan Boyle and the Swamp of Certain Death (Ronan Boyle, #2)
 
4.0
"RONAN BOYLE AND THE SWAMP OF CERTAIN DEATH is a comedic middle grade fantasy that features a young boy on..."
Sharko and Hippo
 
4.5
"SHARKO AND HIPPO is a clever and comical book about two best friends who are going fishing for the day...."
Zora's Zucchini
 
5.0
"ZORA'S ZUCCHINI is a delightful picture book that explores growing vegetables and sharing with neighbors. Zora is a little bored..."
Libby Loves Science
 
4.5
"LIBBY LOVES SCIENCE is a cute picture book that brings a love of science to all the fun of ice..."
The Hidden Rainbow
 
5.0
"THE HIDDEN RAINBOW is a delightful picture book that combines counting, colors, and nature in a beautiful exploration. Each page..."
The Places We Sleep
 
5.0
"THE PLACES WE SLEEP is a moving middle grade historical that takes place around 9/11. The book is written entirely..."
Paola Santiago and the River of Tears
 
3.0
"Paola “Pao” Santiago loves science and hanging out with her best friends, Emma and Dante. She doesn’t love how superstitious..."
Kamala and Maya's Big Idea
 
5.0
"KAMALA AND MAYA'S BIG IDEA is a picture book based on a true story about pursuing your goals and doing..."
Harvey Holds His Own (The Harvey Stories, #2)
 
4.0
"HARVEY HOLDS HIS OWN is a contemporary middle grade told from three perspectives: Maggie, Harvey, and Austin. Maggie is starting..."
Ghost Boys
 
5.0
"Jewell Parker Rhodes writes electrifying middle grade stories that pack emotion into every sentence, and GHOST BOYS showcases that skill..."
And Then I Turned into a Mermaid (And Then I Turned into a Mermaid, #1)
 
4.0
"AND THEN I TURNED INTO A MERMAID is a cute and funny middle grade fantasy that follows Molly. Molly is..."
After the Worst Thing Happens
 
5.0
"AFTER THE WORST THING HAPPENS is a compelling middle grade about dealing with death and loss. Army Morand absolutely adores..."
Sheep Dog and Sheep Sheep: Baaad Hair Day
 
4.0
"SHEEP DOG AND SHEEP SHEEP: BAAAD HAIR DAY is a comical picture book about haircuts. Sheep has lovely curls that..."