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3.42  ·  Rating details ·  1,423 ratings  ·  213 reviews
Best friends Emma, Anna, and Mariah are out doing something they shouldn't. They make up a story so they won't get in trouble at home. It seems like the easy way out. What happens next challenges their friendship, their community, their relationships with their families, and their sense of themselves.
Told in the voices of the three girls who must learn to live with the
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 9th 2008 by Ember (first published February 6th 2007)
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Average rating 3.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,423 ratings  ·  213 reviews

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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
Emily Cassady
Oct 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This is one of the best young adult books I have read in a long time. Very realistic, not sappy, dealing with real issues high school girls go through. Awesome portrayal of consequences that accompany bad choices and actions. This book reminded me of the Pretty Little Liars series but on a more mature level. The story is told from the alternating point of view of three girls who decide to tell one harmless little lie.
Brian Herrera
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Amber Gibson for

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,
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
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
Jun 15, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yafiction
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
Jasmine Drayton
Apr 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 06, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 28, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, young-adult
I liked this book SO much more than I thought I was going to. Watch my full review of the book here:
Dec 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yabooks
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.
Laura Basaldua
What the eff!!

(view spoiler)
Daniela Joya
This was essentially a good book, but I think the synopsis offered more than what was delivered, or maybe it was just me expecting too much.

It was fast-paced enough not to be boring but devoid of any real action. It can most definitely be described as a coming of age story accompanied by some tension that hardly builds up to anything. In truth, that's really for the best because the ending doesn't deliver either and flops spectacularly right before the finish line.

It is a good story with poor
This is a quick, poignant read about the aftermath of what can happen when three girls decide to make up a lie. I just needed more. More consequences for Owen. Help for Emma. Emma and Anna to talk openly about what happened to Emma that night. Mariah help for her behavior of acting out and trying to mature herself too early. Justice for David Allen.
Jackie Senerchia
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was about being caught in a lie and then making a bigger lie to cover up the little lie. It was a good read especially about how a lie spirals out of and gets bigger and bigger. Recommend this book.
Gina  Clabo
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book should be a required read in grade schools, high schools, colleges and some adults too.. such a eye opening book and I think even though this was fiction it has happened somewhere by someone...There is a reason God has a commandment Thou Shall Not Lie!!!! Gina Clabo
One of my favorite books of all time!
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
This was a short yet very impactful book. A little predictable at times but still enjoyable to read.
Becca House
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a good book I love the twist in it and the different point of views!
Amy Butcher
This book was ok if was not at all what I expected.This book was hard to get into and slow paced it was just ok with a bad ending.Not a book I would choose to read again.
Brynna Gaines
I really enjoyed the story, loved the different narratives. Nice quick read and the book keeps you going as soon as you pick it up.
Currently listening to the audio version. I'm almost finished. It's ok. I like that it tells the story from all the girls' point of view. The one thing that is bugging the heck out of me is the authors CONSTANT use of the word odious!!! OMG! I didn't even know what that word meant. I had to look it up & I'm in my thirties! I highly doubt hs kids know what it means, let alone use it in EVERY dang sentence! Anyway, not a bad book, but could be better. The point of the book is good.
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has a small obvious ending but it is told in a deeper and longer extended version.
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Harmless, a young adult fiction book written by Dana Reinhardt, takes place in Orsonville, a small town in which everyone knows everything that is happening. The three main characters, Anna, Emma, and Mariah, are all freshman at a private high school in Orsonville. Mariah is very popular, as she has dated many seniors at the local public high school. Anna and Emma are best friends and hardly anyone at their school notices them. Their friendship, status at school, and lives all change by the end ...more
Despair Speaking
Well, that filled me a whirlwind of emotions that I have to take a break to sort things out. It's not good to write while you're still emotional because you might end up typing words you didn't mean to write or end up scoring the book more than it ought to simply because it managed to break your heart near the end.

Harmless is a book about how a simple lie was blown into some sort of scandal that will change the whole town. We read from three perspectives, from Anna to Emma to Mariah. It's
Trish Simon
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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