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Harley (Harley Columba #1)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  334 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Who is my father? That's the difficult question faced by Harley Columba, the feisty 14-year-old narrator of Cat Bauer's debut novel.Harley lives in a suburb less than an hour from New York City, but it might as well be "four zillion light years away". She's sure she's adopted, since there's no way those "two psychos" -- as she calls her abusive father and bitter mother -- ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by Winslowhouse International
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Nov 24, 2010 Miriam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, realism
The protagonist is not an android or alien or anything else weird.

I realize this is not the author's fault. I misunderstood somehow. Possibly I was thinking of When Harlie Was One.
Apr 29, 2009 Hambread rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gene Pate
Oct 14, 2010 Gene Pate rated it it was amazing
This is a book about a 14 year old girl named Harley Columba who think's she's adopted. She goes through a lot to find proof that she's adopted. She has an abusive father and a mean mother. She find a doll in this attic place in her room that she's not suppose to be in and it had a little letter attached to it that was from her father (real father). Through the book she experiences relationships w/ this crazy boy she was dating, hardships w/ her parents and best friend, and drugs/alcohol. ...more
May 03, 2011 Emily rated it liked it
I like the subject of the novel a lot; a teen trying to find who she is is an interesting read. However, I didnt really like Harley sometimes. Yes, she's funny. But she's also a little too dramatic and angsty. I found her annoying as a character. There were also a lot of cliches in the novel. Harley's home life is the ultimate cliche of an unhappy teen, which can work in some cases, but didnt in this case.
Sonya Huser
Jan 07, 2012 Sonya Huser rated it it was ok
I guess I'm over the YA problem novel. Harley is 14. Her father is an alcoholic, she's drinking, smoking, smoking pot, sneaking out, fighting with her best friend, skipping class, quitting band, getting bad grades, dating a drug dealer, and to top it all off, she's pretty sure she's adopted but is having a hard time proving it.
Is it bad I don't feel any compassion for her? Honestly, I just felt bored.
Feb 05, 2015 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: want-to-get
this was one of the first young adult novels I ever read even I was about14. I instantly fell in love with it and still remember falling in love with "strawberry fields forever" by the Beatles because of that part of the book. awesome! I can't wait to read it again after do many years.
Jul 02, 2012 Ruth rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-read
Deeply touching novel! I read this years ago, but I've never forgotten Harley's story.
Nov 10, 2010 Cat rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
One of the best things I ever wrote.
Jul 12, 2012 Jade rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody
Recommended to Jade by: Madison
Shelves: borrowed, disliked
I just sat here for an hour writing a damn review and my computer deleted it all.
So you know what?! I'm not even going to type up all the points I made about how fucking horrible this damn book was. Excuse my language I'm extremely frustrated right now.
This book is a piece of shit.
I wish I could give this thing 0 stars.
It's the worst book I ever read in my entire life. And that is being compared to Twilight and the House of the Night series and every book I thought was horrible until I read th
Lisa Schensted
in a sentence: 14 year old Harley Columba is your average well-liked, smart, and charismatic teen. Until she realizes she is probably adopted, starts drinking and doing drugs, and loses her best friend. Did I mention her home life sucks too?

Harley faces some real struggles in this novel. While some of them might not reach all teens (feeling adopted, physical abuse, etc.), I feel that the emotions and the way she deals with them are very true to the young adult experience. As the adult reader, I
May 03, 2016 T added it
Shelves: young-adult, rf-teens
A somewhat unlikable narrator who continues to make mistake after mistake while trying to figure out her identity and struggling with her "good-girl" reputation. Partially in response to a verbally abusive father and a typically compliant mother, Harley struggles with her gut feeling that she is not really her father's daughter. Alternatingly strict and too permissive, her parents seem unable to control her as she spirals out of control. A page-turner, but lacking truly believable characters and ...more
Sep 11, 2012 Jezza rated it liked it
The first time I read this, I thought it was a really unique story. Harley is viewed as a "troubled kid" who's passionate about art but not-so-good at regular subjects in school. Later on, when she finds out that her father isn't really her father, she finds her biological father and discovers who her half-sister is (her ex-best friend). I continued to read it, I realized that this was a book about her "growing up" and discovering herself. She's made a lot of mistakes, but in the end she ...more
Oct 17, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, novel
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I read it while I was a teen because my best friend recommended it and I really enjoyed it then. I enjoyed it reading it again because it reminded me of my high school years and Harley is definitely a relate-able girl and could easily be a girl I went to school with. She goes through a journey of figuring our if she is adopted or not and on her way goes through typical things of an adolescent such as liking boys, fighting with siblings/parents and the ups and ...more
Christine Labelle
Aug 04, 2011 Christine Labelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was afraid that this was going to be more of a book for younger teens and such but I actually enjoyed it. It pretty much was exactly what I went through in highschool. Thinking I loved a boy, the next week loved someone else. Basically all that she went through, was me. Except the silly dance 'cause I never went to one of those unless you count prom. I guess also the fact that Im not adopted but I sure felt like it sometimes! Overall it was a good book that I would recommend to others.
Debbie Hoskins
May 16, 2011 Debbie Hoskins rated it really liked it
It's been a while since I listened to this. I liked that she was an artist. I loved the part where she goes to the John Lennon memorial in Central Park. I've never gotten to visit it and would like to.
KJ Shadows
Sep 07, 2011 KJ Shadows rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I read this when I was 13 years old. I don't remember much except that I enjoyed it enough to name my cat Harley after this book. It also was a cute name I thought. I'm 24 years old and Harley the cat is still alive, and this book name still sticks in my mind.
Sarah Tilatitsky
Jan 18, 2011 Sarah Tilatitsky rated it it was amazing
This book talks aobut self-confidence and whatever self something there is. I could really connect with Harley, in a way. Just read it. You may feel what she is/was. JUST READ IT! PLEEAASSEEEEE? (yay!)☺ Look, just read it, becuase, one day...well, who knows what might happen?
Dec 08, 2007 Kathryn rated it liked it
Recommends it for: teen girls, YA fiction fans
Shelves: young-adult
I like the way the author explores identify issues and the sense of not really being part of your family. It's pretty cool the way Harley uncovers the mystery of her past. It gets a little overwrought with a lot of other drama added to the central issue, but that's teendom for ya.
Laura Leonard
Apr 16, 2008 Laura Leonard rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who liked Hard Love & Rats Saw God.
Harley is fourteen and a very talented artist. She lives with her alcoholic father and hot tempered mother and is convinced that she is adopted. After finding a harlequin doll with a note from "Papa," she heads to New York City in search of her biological father.

Jul 12, 2009 Sue rated it really liked it
Thid book is about a girl who feels she is adopted, but her parents are not talking. She searches until she finds the real truth. It has a surprize twist to it. I loved it a nd feel the junior high kids will as well.
Josue Aka
Feb 28, 2009 Josue Aka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
well this book is tense. it talks mainly bout a teenager emotional life. A teenager struggling with love and frustation. Its good to the last drop.
Dec 31, 2007 Jeevan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my friends
this book is very interesting. It is about a girl who learns that she had another father than the one she has now.
Real, without being too dark. A good complex story about discovering the complexities of life, and about understanding and forgiveness.
Jul 20, 2014 Steve rated it it was ok
Shelves: available-books
Other than the fact the book is set in a fictionalized version of my hometown, it's not that great of a book.
Mar 15, 2010 Lydia rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-read
Have you ever thought you were adopted? What if you found out that was true? This is a story, written truly for the YA audience, who feel out of place.
Aug 02, 2011 Allison rated it really liked it
I forgot all about this book! And, I shouldn't have. It was fantastic! Such a great book for teenage girls trying to find their way. It's funny, sweet and sarcastic. I highly recommend!
Apr 06, 2010 Annie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The opening chapters kind of turned me off, but something kept me reading. Good thing--I ended up really liking it by the end.
Yashira rated it liked it
Mar 12, 2013
Christen rated it it was amazing
Dec 18, 2012
Kristine rated it it was ok
Apr 30, 2010
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Creator of Harley Columba
More about Cat Bauer...

Other Books in the Series

Harley Columba (2 books)
  • Harley's Ninth

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