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Harmless

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  1,070 ratings  ·  176 reviews
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
...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published February 13th 2007 by Wendy Lamb Books (first published February 6th 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,923)
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karen
this is a story that details the consequences of lies. when three girls get exposed in a teensy white lie, they decide to tell a much bigger lie because "go big or go home", right?? and "going home" will get them grounded.

"going big" will have much more serious consequences, but youth is shortsighted. and dumb. so very dumb.

for a while, the lying thing works out quite well - they even end up looking pretty heroic and get sympathy shopping sprees, and boys with curiosities. but then the lie catch
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Emily Cassady
Oct 30, 2007 Emily Cassady rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: YA readers and parents
Mariah, Anna, and Emma all come together during their freshman year at ODS. Mariah has an older boyfriend at public school who constantly is giving her hickeys. When the girls become friends, Mariah introduced Anna and Emma to his friends. There was alcohol at the party and Emma ended up having sex with one of the boys she just met. This fundamentally alters Emma. She knows it was not rape, but she also knows she wasn’t ready. She silently struggles with this issue.
Meanwhile, the other girls ar
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Brian Herrera
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa
WOW, that was INTENSE. I haven't felt that uncomfortable reading a book since The Shining. Mariah, Emma, and Anna told a big lie. And this is what happened. I was so uncomfortable reading this because I WAS a teenage girl, and I'll soon HAVE a teenage girl. And these girls were not bad girls. I or you or anyone could have a lapse in judgement as a teenager and make such a mistake, and then not have the maturity to correct it. The three different points of view made the story really strong. Anna ...more
Jasmine Drayton
Apr 28, 2014 Jasmine Drayton rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys mysteries and consequences
Harmless is about three girls who are best friends. One day they go out to a party without their parents knowing. At the party some of the boys stake interest and In them. Before they know what's happening, they find out that their parents don't know where they are. Their parents didn't find them where they said they were going to be. They didn't want to get in trouble so they made up a little white lie to cover the truth. But this lie turns into a big lie that will change their lives forever.
I
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Amber Gibson for TeensReadToo.com

Everyone's told lies. Most lies aren't even that bad. They don't hurt anyone...they're just harmless.

One night, Mariah, Anna, and Emma are off at an older boy's house, instead of at the movies like they said they would be. But when their parents show up at the movies and can't find them anywhere, they are caught in their lie. They're okay, but they don't want to be grounded for life. Telling a little lie would be a lot easier than telling the truth,
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Kristen "Kirby"
Didn't enjoy it.

I felt the major conflict, 3 girls lying about being nearly raped as a cover for being out partying, was unrealistic. I would hope that 15 year old girls wouldn't believe such a story is taken lightly and craft that sort of lie. Sure, they'd fib, say they met up with someone and got a ride someplace, but claim to be attacked? Doubt it. (Being a teen myself, I wouldn't concoct such a story.)

The characters were highly unlikeable, by not only sticking to their lie, but reeling in an
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Erin
Emma, Anna and Mariah are somewhat unlikely friends: Mariah is the girl everybody would like to be, Anna is frumpy and unkempt, and Emma has always hung around with Anna in the background. When the three decide to go to Mariah's boyfriend's house for a party, they have a good time hanging out with a few of the local high school guys. A good enough time that they decide to do it again the following weekend.

However, this time the parents begin to ask questions. Panicked, the three girls concoct a
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Jenny
A great story about how small lies can turn big. Well, their lie wasn't so small, but the consequences were much more far reaching than the girls ever imagined. The voices of the characters, 3 freshman girls, are distinct and lend believability to an otherwise after-school-special kind of story. Explores the usual theme suspects; popularity, family relationships, individuality, etc but the real heavy hitters are teen sexuality, violence and self acceptance. Yeah yeah, I know. What's new? But Har ...more
Abby Woodhouse
I liked this book SO much more than I thought I was going to. Watch my full review of the book here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cU1k...
Melissa
"This is what I know about the truth, the farther you get away from it, or it gets away from you, the harder it is to tell.” In Harmless, the three main characters discover that one harmless lie can grow to get them in a lot of trouble. If only the lie they told had actually been harmless. This story is based on three best friends making up a lie about where they had been one night, just to keep them out of trouble with their parents. That one lie changes everything. Harmless is a suspenseful pa ...more
Amy
Anna wants to be popular.
Mariah wants more time with her older boyfriend.
Emma wants to hang out with her brother and his girlfriend.
These three friends lie about going to a party. Afraid they'll get in trouble for being very late for curfew, they concoct a story about Emma being attacked, and Anna and Mariah fighting off the attacker.
Just a little lie, right? Nothing can go wrong if they stick to the story, right?

HARMLESS, told in short chapters by the three friends, is a fast paced, compelling
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Sheryl
Powerful. Everyone should read this! It is scary to think how often this happens and how often those people living on the margins are accused of crimes and misdemeanors when they are completely innocent. Repeating hearsey -just as dangerous. Reinhardt makes the reader question themselves. Reading this book should make us all a bit more selfaware.
Mara Halpern
Life is going just fine, until they end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, attending a party they shouldn’t be at. When their parents discover they are nowhere near where they said they would be, Harmless, by Dana Reinhardt, is an book. It tells the story of three best friends, Anna, Emma, and Mariah. Life is going just fine, until they end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, attending a party they shouldn’t be at. When their parents discover they are nowhere near where they said the ...more
Lisa
Three girls sneak off to a party. To avoid getting in trouble with their parents, they make up a story: they were attacked, and one of them was almost raped. I really felt the girls' unease and dread as the lie grew beyond their control. Lying is bad, kids.
Fifi Barash
Harmless, by Dana Reinhardt, is a book about three best friends named Mariah, Emma, and Anna. Everything is normal until the night of the party. Their next choice will change their lives forever, and will put their friendship to the test.
Dana Reinhardt’s writing is very good and kept me engaged but I think it could have been more explanatory at times. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys strong female characters and romance because romance is a very strong topic in the book and Emma,
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Nono
I really liked this one. A story about how a small lie can have a life of it's own. Also about good kids making bad choices. The characters were likeable and totally believable.
Lilah
Harmless, by Dana Reinhardt is about three best friends Anna, Mariah and Emma and a life changing lie. When the three girls lie, and go to a party they shouldn't have gone to, and their parents find out, their plan falls apart. They end up telling a lie, and their parent are determined to punish someone. The police are involved, and the girls have to work together to get through their rough times. This is an exciting book with a lot of romance throughout this story. Many times there was too much ...more
Trish Simon
I thought the book was very good. It was about these three girls named Mariah, Anna and Emma. They went to the same school together. Emma and Anna had been best friends for like forever. Emma met Mariah at school and they had to work on some project together and that's when they became friends. Then Anna came in the picture and her and Mariah became friends too. Mariah was popular at school, she was dating a senior named DJ. But people called her names like really nasty names but they weren't tr ...more
Mrs. Tongate
Emma, Ann, and Mariah are out late one Friday night doing something they shouldn't. The three girls are just trying to get out of trouble by making up one little "harmless" story. However, it turns out not to be so harmless after all.

Emma, Anna and Mariah are freshmen in high school and best friends. One night they lie to their parents and attend a party with a bunch of senior guys from a neighboring high school. When they are caught in the lie, the three girls invent a story about being attacke
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Diane
To avoid getting in trouble at home, three, ninth grade girls: Mariah, Anna and Emma, make up a story about a strange man trying to attack Emma in the park on a Friday night. The truth of the matter was that these three freshmen girls were at an underage drinking party, not where they told their parents they would be.

When the parents of the girls get the police involved, one lie becomes so much more. The teachers and community are outraged, that a ninth grade girl was almost raped, and soon they
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Kimberly
This is a story of three girls who came up with a lie to cover up the truth. They told their parents that they were attacked by an unknown man by the river, when in truth they had been at a party. I don't want to go into to much detail about the story its self (id hate to ruin it for anyone). but I gave this book 3 stars because for me their was always something missing and I really had to force myself to finish the last 40 or so pages. I was into the book right off the bat, mostly because I wan ...more
NebraskaIcebergs
Harmless by Dana Reinhardt is about three adolescent girls who try to avoid being caught in a lie by telling a bigger one. The difference in the two lies is that being caught in the first would have only resulted in their own suffering, while the success of the second brought suffering mostly to an innocent vagrant, but also to the girls’ families, school, and even their community. As a result of the second lie, the girls are forced to face questions not only about who they want to be but also a ...more
MaryAnn Harlan
Mariah, Anna, and Emma are 3 very different girls who for different reasons become friends. As friends they make choices, embolden one another to act in ways they might not have before. And when one of their bad choices may lead to them being in trouble they make another choice, and this one is monumentally bad.

It didn’t have to be, but inaction on their part, a small community who feels threatened, and parents unprepared for their children to be different all lead to it being monumentally bad.

Y
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Kim
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mire Ajeti
Ever since the 3rd grade, Emma and Anna have been best friends and still strong. But till this new girl, Mariah, comes along. Mariah, a speedy wild beautiful girl, enters this town with a reputation already! As the girls grow closer and become more like sisters, they all let each other in on their secrets and whole life. Having a college year boyfriend, Mariah believes she has to impress and stay with him. The girls plan to have a sleepover with Mariah's older boyfriend and his friends at their ...more
Zoë
"This is what I know about the truth: the farther you get away from it, or it gets from you, the harder it is to tell."

Harmless by Dana Reinhardt is the story of three friends, Emma, Anna and Mariah who after getting caught in a lie, they didn't really attend the movie they told their parents they were, make up a bigger lie to cover it up. There was a man. He had a knife. He attacked us down by the river. So is planted the seed of a crime which never really occurred, and as it grows it becomes
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Taylor
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Arthur Pengerbil
Reading Level: Grades 7 and up

Once you tell one lie, it gets easier and easier and easier. All it takes is just one little lie.

Emma, Anna, and Mariah weren't supposed to be at a party with senior boys, but they were anyways. Emma wasn't supposed to fall in love with one of them, but she did. Anna wasn't supposed to be a bad girl, but she was. And Mariah wasn't supposed to even be friends with Anna and Emma, being a popular girl and all. But she was.

All of these things culminate in the lie that E
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Samantha Tai
I really enjoyed this audiobook. The book is told from the point of view of the three main character: Anna, Emma and Mariah and each part is narrated by a different person. Alternating chapters from the point of view of each character, the three best friends find themselves enveloped in a lie they have created to escape punishment from their parents after lying about their whereabouts on a Friday evening. After telling their parents they are going to a movie, but actually going to Mariah's boyfr ...more
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Why don't you have a bio section?

Because I hate writing about myself.

But wouldn't that be easier than answering a whole bunch of FAQs?

Maybe. Probably. Go on...

So where are you from?

I'm from Los Angeles, but now I live in San Francisco. Except for the summers where I go back to Los Angeles in search of the sun.

What are you doing when you aren't writing?

Laundry, usually. Sometimes dishes. And I re
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“There's no going back from what happened. You can go back and understand the past, but you can't go back and change it.” 16 likes
“Sometimes things happen. Things happen even when you don't intend them to happen. Maybe at the beginning you had good intentions, or intentions you thought were harmlessm but before you knew it things got out of your control.” 15 likes
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