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How to Build a House by Dana Reinhardt
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How to Build a House

by Dana Reinhardt

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I loved this story. The chapters alternate between Here (Harper with other teen volunteers helping to build a house for a family whose home was destroyed by a tornado) and Home (where Harper slowly fills in the story of her life and her family) It is hard not to take Harper into your heart. ( )
  lindap69 | Apr 5, 2013 |
Well written and a unique plot. ( )
  repplinger | Aug 24, 2012 |
How to Build a House is an exceptionally compelling and well-written book that was full of drama, romance, and the struggles of a teen’s life.

Harper, a thoroughly believable and exceptionally resilient teenager decides to join a teen volunteer program that helps rebuild houses for families who have lost everything because of horribly destructive natural disasters, like tornadoes. There, Harper meets a wonderful crowd of people: Captain, Frances, Linus, Marisol, and Teddy. Soon her relationship with Teddy develops to be something much more than a friendship; could it be love? The scars of her previous “relationships” deeply haunt her, but love seizes her anyway with its firm and undeniable grasp, only to leave her breathless and head over heels. But, while an innocent summer romance blossoms like a beautiful red rose, the memories of her once warm and comforting home life still resonate painfully in the back of her mind like a single gunshot; back at home, her family has been ripped apart. Adultery, lies, depression, and longing flood Harper’s home life to the very brim until the water pours out freely, just like the tears that she had cried many a night. Thus, as Harper falls in love, deals with the drama at home, and tries to mend the lives of others, she must glue together the smashed pieces of her life.

I loved this book so much for many reasons. First of all, I loved how Reinhardt parallels the construction of a house with the reconstruction of a shattered family by using the “HOME” and “HERE” partitions of the book. It gives you a whole new perspective on how Harper was thinking, and what happened. Not to mention the fact that it frequently left me on the edge of my seat! I also enjoyed the fact that Reinhardt concocted amazingly believable and enjoyable characters, like Harper, who was put in real-life situations and forced to handle them in the inscrutable way that she would. The way in which Reinhardt described the past events and memories of Harper’s life and the events that were just occurring utterly amazed me. Everything was so intricate, detailed, and well-thought out, it stunned me! The way in which she molded and shaped her careful words like a meticulous sculptor was consummate.

In my opinion, this book was positively fabulous. I loved the author, characters, plot, and thought provoking, gut-grabbing situations that appeared in this excellent book. I would recommend it to anyone looking for an enthralling novel to devour, or anyone who enjoys realistic fiction and romance. This story was an absolute grand slam.

Not only was this book about a summer love and a broken family, it was about rebuilding things; rebuilding homes, families, people, and . . . lives. ( )
  ctmsrapa | Dec 20, 2011 |
How to Build a House is only somewhat about building houses. The main character, Harper, is giong to Tennesse for the summer to join a teen group in rebuiliding a house that has been torn apart by a tornado. She is doing this to get away from her parents' divorce, her stepsister, and her best friend who has been using her. Once Harper is in Tennessee, she finds Teddy. They fall in love. The problem is, Harper will have to leave Teddy behind when seh goes back home. As the summer comes to an end, Harper learns 'how to build a house" and how to build better relationships.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading about summer romances or teenage relationships. I personally did not like the book because I don't like reading about other teens' cmplaints and dramatic lives. I found that I couldn't really relate to Harper's dramatic life, so I was left without a connection or any feelings about her. ( )
  ahsreads | Feb 18, 2011 |
A well written, dynamic and cleaver story. Reinheardt does an excellent job connecting with her YA audience - topics very relevant. Greer reads the story in an engaging and humourous way which captivates the listener. (some mature language/content)
  StaceyMiller | Sep 19, 2010 |
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What I really want to say is that nothing lasts forever, no matter how solid it seems. I know this. I've always known this. This knowledge is with me like a smooth stone in my pocket. There are days I worry my fingers over the stone's surface at every waking moment and some days I forget that the stone is there at all.
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Good story about how relationships change. Setting is doing service work for others. There is language and sex, so this would be for older readers.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375844538, Hardcover)

HARPER’S DAD IS getting a divorce from her beloved stepmother, Jane. Even worse, Harper has lost her stepsister, Tess; the divorce divides them. Harper decides to escape by joining a volunteer program to build a house for a family in Tennessee who lost their home in a tornado. Not that she knows a thing about construction.

Soon she’s living in a funky motel and working long days in blazing heat with a group of kids from all over the country. At the site, she works alongside Teddy, the son of the family for whom they are building the house. Their partnership turns into a summer romance, complete with power tools. Learning to trust and love Teddy isn’t easy for Harper, but it’s the first step toward finding her way back home.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:05 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Seventeen-year-old Harper Evans hopes to escape the effects of her father's divorce on her family and friendships by volunteering her summer to build a house in a small Tennessee town devastated by a tornado.

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