Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Release Date: 9/8/09 (Paperback Release)
About the Book: Harper is spending the summer rebuilding a house that was destroyed by a tornado in Bailey TN. She's partly running away from her family which is falling apart around her. Her father and step-mother are divorcing and her step-sister and best friend is drifting away from her. While building a house, Harper learns to rebuild her life as well.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I picked this one up because it's on the preliminary Gateway nominee list for 2010-2011. I wasn't sure what to expect, but this ended up being the perfect lazy Saturday afternoon read (or listen).
The story alternates between "here" (in Tennnessee) and "home" (Harper's life before the summer). Because of this, things are revealed slowly-which slightly annoyed me. There were times I wanted a little more info on the home part. For the most part though, I liked how the two timelines were weaved together.
Harper is a geniune and likeable narrator-she's building a house because she really does want to help and she's doesn't come of as snotty about it. She's also trying to escape the pain from back home-and you feel her pain and frustration. She's sympathetic and I think that's what made me like her.
There is a romance, but it doesn't overpower the book and it's very sweet. Even though there are a lot of tough issues, this isn't a sad heavy book. There was just something lacking in this one (I think maybe it was short and I wasn't a fan of the ending?) which prevents me from rating it higher. I felt like there were a lot of things that were touched on in a minor way that never really got resolved or mentioned again. I liked it, but it wasn't a book I would re-read.
How to Build a House was a good read and I'm planning to check out Dana Reinhardt's other novels, as I was impressed enough with the author's writing to give her other books a try.
Full Disclosure: Book recieved from library