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Anna and Emma have been best friends since third grade and are completely inseparable. That is, until Mariah comes to town. With her wild ways and fast attitude, Mariah enters their school and turns their lives upside down.

Emma is the product of two university professors and has an older brother, Silas. She is talented and outgoing, and participates in school plays. Anna is an only child who is responsible, dependable and an all-around good girl. Mariah has an older boyfriend who attends another school and likes to show off her hickeys. The three of them coming together is pretty far-fetched, but, oh well, opposites do attract.

As the girls grow closer, Mariah decides to let Emma and Anna in on her secrets. She introduces them to her boyfriend's buddies, and they all plan a sleepover at his house. During the slumber party Emma decides to takes things to the next level with one of his friends and joins the "I'm a woman" club with Mariah. Anna is feeling left out but is content with being the third wheel, or so she thinks. Preparations to spend another evening with the guys go terribly wrong, and they end up being caught. To cover their tracks the girls invent a story about Emma being attacked, which should have cleared everything up, right?

WRONG. Their parents are so worried and concerned that they report the incident to the police. To make matters worse, everyone in town hears about what supposedly happened and start looking for the nonexistent assailant. None of this attention was anticipated, and it begins to negatively affect the girls' relationship. Anna loves being in the spotlight, Emma withdraws into a shell and Mariah finds out that being "a woman" isn't all that it's cracked up to be. When an innocent man is sent to jail, the truth must come out. Are they ready to face the consequences?

Dana Reinhardt, author of A BRIEF CHAPTER IN MY IMPOSSIBLE LIFE, sheds light on how innocent white lies can become glaring blemishes that can't be fixed. She focuses her story on growing pains, learning to take responsibility and knowing right from wrong. HARMLESS is an accurate account of how telling the truth at all costs really does matter. After all, in life, nothing is really harmless. Is it?


Reviewed by Belinda Williams on October 18, 2011

by Dana Reinhardt

  • Publication Date: February 13, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
  • ISBN-10: 0385746997
  • ISBN-13: 9780385746991