Friday, April 11, 2008

How to Build a House

This summer, Harper is running away from home. She’s running away from Gabriel, her former best friend. She’s running away from Tess, her former sister. She’s running away from Los Angeles, her former life. Her recently divorced dad is even paying for the trip. Harper arrives for twelve weeks of volunteer work in rural Tennessee to help a family rebuild their home after a tornado destroyed it. Harper doesn’t know what to expect from the experience, but she hopes to spend the summer alone, recovering from the relationships she has lost. Instead, she finds herself with a roommate, drawn into the group of teenage volunteers, learning to use power tools. Although they don’t know anything about construction, the group will learn how to build a house, led by a man named Linus who bears a striking resemblance to a lumberjack. Harper often works alongside Teddy, the oldest son in the family whose house was destroyed. While the other teenagers around her are looking for a summer romance before returning home, Harper is struggling to understand what she left behind. Even if Harper can learn how to build a house, can she learn to love and trust again?

From the first page of this book, I was drawn in by Harper’s original and captivating voice. Her story unfolds in alternating vignettes labeled HERE and HOME that bring together the events of her present and her past. I laughed and I cried, but mostly I wished I could keep reading this story and enjoying Harper’s unique perspective long after the book had ended.

Check out How to Build a House by Dana Reinhardt.
I read an ARC from PLA. 227 pages.


Blogger Tasha said...

I liked Reinhardt's use of the alternating Home and Here chapters. I liked seeing Harper's story unfold gradually, rather than knowing it all from the beginning. I felt like I was figuring things out with her as she went along.

10:00 PM


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