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And We're Off

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,663 ratings  ·  316 reviews
Seventeen-year-old Nora Holmes is an artist, a painter from the moment she could hold a brush. She inherited the skill from her grandfather, Robert, who's always nurtured Nora's talent and encouraged her to follow her passion. Still, Nora is shocked and elated when Robert offers her a gift: an all-expenses-paid summer trip to Europe to immerse herself in the craft and to s ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published May 2nd 2017 by Razorbill
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Trent A good chunk of the book takes place in Ireland, and the native residents swear casually. It's never really hateful, just used for emphasis.

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3.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,663 ratings  ·  316 reviews

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Katerina Kondrenko
8.5 out of 10

This was actually pretty good read. No happy-endings, no bad-endings. Just life.
Apr 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received this via GoodReads Giveaways in an exchange for my honest review. All my opinions are my own.
Writing 3.5 stars
Characters - 3.5 stars
Plot 3 stars

(Where's the half-stars??? ;-P)

Right away I liked Nora for being a fellow fangirl... her drawings sound like something I would have loved to have if I could cough up the spare cash for a print in a fancy or semi-fancy frame. And the fact that she wasn't a prodigy when it came to Art and still had doubts about herself and still persever
Book of the Month
The story of an all-expenses paid summer trip to Europe could be the pinnacle of the kind of escapist beach read that spreads a little ray of sunshine upon readers any time of year they choose to pick it up. Book of the Month judge Dana Schwartz makes her YA fiction debut with her signature wit and plenty of voice, following the highs and lows of a mother/daughter team making their way across the Continent. As bubbly and fun as a glass of champagne, And We’re Off is sure to quench your thirst fo ...more
Aug 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars, read-in-2017
Easy summer read, yes. But I still can't get past the horrible relationship with her mom, how everything just seems to go wrong, and how so many things are just left unfinished at the end. This book definitely could have been longer and explored way more.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Funny and spent an admirable amount of time describing pastries
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun summer read about a budding artist trying to spend a summer being artsy and independent, but being thwarted by her mom tagging along. All the characters felt very authentic, the dialogue was very real, and I loved that. Nora, the main character, had a lot of problems, but they were all also very realistic and I never felt like they were made up to make her more interesting or layered. Her parents are divorced, and neither she nor her mom are really deal well with it. Her best friend is datin ...more
Sylvie Bower
Jul 28, 2016 marked it as to-read
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, 2017
Very quick read. This one's tough because I expected more growth from Nora and Alice, and what you get instead is a final chapter resolution with little build-up. The book had little to hold on to other than a few nice moments between the mother and daughter sparsely sprinkled throughout.

Plus there is both domestic and international boy trouble that I wished had dominated less of the storyline.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think it was a solid contemporary that was pure and pretty relatable to life in general !! a great summer read :))
Jaime Arkin
I read this summary and I was so excited to read this book! I even found myself laughing a bit in the first chapter, but I honestly don’t know where the story lost me exactly. I obviously have mixed feelings about this read. While I didn’t love it… I certainly didn’t dislike it.

Nora lives and breathes art… it doesn’t help that she has a grandfather who has famous paintings and helps nurture her talent. Her mother on the other hand is less than supportive. When Nora gets accepted into a prestigi
Kate ☀️ Olson
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Vacation Review #5 🌴While technically this book is billed as YA, it will satisfy anyone who has ever traveled with a parent....or a daughter. Nora and her mother's relationship was one I could relate to so closely both as a mother and as a daughter, and I swear some of the conversations were replicas I had when traveling with my own mother as an adult! The travels through Europe were detailed and a joy to read about, and the art storyline will surely please any art lovers. This is a light and qu ...more
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Rosemary
Cover Story: Suspiciously Familiar
BFF Charm: Yay
Swoonworthy Scale: 4
Talky Talk: Straight Up
Bonus Factor: Europe
Relationship Status: Summer Fling

Read the full book report here.
Lisa (lifeinlit)
Travel - check! A swoony guy - check! An annoying, intruding mother - check check!

Nora loves art. Her very successful artist grandfather has always encouraged her passion for art, yet her mother doesn't offer up the same support to Nora. When Nora's grandfather offers her the chance of a lifetime, an all-expenses-paid trip to Europe to study art, Nora is beside herself with excitement. That is, until her mother drives her to the airport to drop her off, and at the last minute decides to accompa
This was mediocre at best.

There was not a lot of depth to the characters and the relationships between them did not seem genuine. I expected a little more from the mother. The characters just seemed to be written and not well developed.

The story itself was sufficient. I didn't feel the need to pick the book back up as soon as I put it down, but it help my interest enough to be curious as to what would happen next. I truly felt like there was going to be a HUGE deep dark secret from the mother t
Maude VM
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.75⭐ While this book was nothing exceptional, it was a well writing book about growing up and knowing what to do with your life. The MC was a bit annoying and selfish sometimes, but I liked the story very much! Plus, Irish accents 😍
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, contemporary
3.5 stars
Hannah Bierwirth
Jun 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: botm
A cute little young-adult read about a high schooler and her mother trying to find themselves in a summer trip to Europe. Some typical teenage angst clouding the narrator's judgment that also allows her to find personal growth. Easy but nothing super special.
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
2 stars from me. I didn't dislike this book but I certainly am not going to be pushing it on people. I had issues with the angsty teenager routine and the vague & disconnected mother suddenly wanting to reconnect with her daughter. Plus, that ending. *insert heavy eye roll here* I really wish authors would stop trying to fix everything in the last five pages. It does not ever work that way.

Full review to come soon.

Review can be found here:

By looking a
May 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: summer-2017
You know when you're making cookies and don't mix the dough well enough so there are pockets of flour and chunks of rock hard brown sugar?

This book feels like that.

I was so disappointed after finishing this because all of the scrumptious ingredients are in there: Europe, an author with a hilarious online presence, mother-daughter bonding. Somehow it never fully comes together. Even as a former Tumblr queen, I struggled to sympathize with the main character. There were some funny first person POV
Apr 26, 2017 added it
Shelves: 2017-releases, dnf
I read about half of this. I'm DNFing because it's pissing me off. Both characters are insufferable and annoying, plus this is really triggering for me as my mother and I did not have a great relationship when I was this age. I understand Nora being pissed off because her mom is being selfish and sabotaged her trip, but at the same time, you're traveling through Europe for the first time, and all she does is complain about how horrible everything is. I hate both of them.

The writing is fine. I st
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel-books
If you're looking for a fun summer book, read this! Don't expect a intense or meaningful story, but it's a perfect "fluff book." Light and easy! There were elements I loved, but the plot itself was too intriguing... yet I still wanted to keep reading. I've seen it described as "compulsively readable" and that's perfect. Good short summer read!
Mary Clare
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Full review!

Format: Hard Copy

Nora's mom doesn't really understand or support her passion for art, which is all the more bewildering to Nora considering that her grandfather is a world-famous artist with painting hanging in the most famous museums all over the world. So, she hasn't been getting along well with her mom. Luckily, Nora has her grandfather's support when it comes to art. When Nora is accepted to a prestigious art program in Ireland one summer, her grandfather offers to expand her tri
Jul 30, 2017 rated it liked it
And We're Off is the coming of age story of a seventeen year-old artist from suburban Chicago. Her grandfather is a successful American artist, and she worries her talent isn't good enough without his name behind her artwork. Accepted into a young artist camp that meets for three weeks in Ireland, the main character receives a European trip from her grandfather, but her mother (recovering from her ex-husband's recent remarriage and career troubles) decides to crash the vacation and join without ...more
Joséphine (Word Revel)
Initial thoughts: Travel and art sounded like a very promising combination, which is why I couldn't wait to pick up And We're Off. I loved how seriously Nora took her artistic pursuits and that she had a grandfather who fully supported her. Throw in a summer art programme and visiting places significant to the visual arts, and I was hooked. This, however, was only half the plot.

The other half was all about her mother unexpectedly tagging along and the conflicts that arouse as a result. The reas
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: travel
My original rating for this was three stars,. but after sitting back and thinking about it the more, I realized that the main character, Nora (I had to look up her name), bothered me. She was very annoying and was hard to connect to/ feel bad for. She was very whiny for a seventeen year old; she complained about a lot of different things and was very judgmental of everyone. At one point (not going to go into detail because spoilers), Nora judges a woman for wearing her glasses at her wedding
I love Dana Schwartz's Twitter presence, whether it is as her irreverent, funny self or as her hilarious parodies (@GuyInYourMFA and @DystopianYA), and I have generally enjoyed her writing for The Observer. However, even though this is a good story, I didn't enjoy it quite as much as I expected.

Swchartz's debut novel has been compared to a "wanderlust version of Gilmore Girls" and while it bears some similarities, it's also unique on its own.

The romance was sweet and dramatic but it overshado
Apr 06, 2017 rated it liked it
And We're Off is a quick and fun adventure. There are some terrific descriptions of so many places that you'll think your passport will have some additional stamps. (I miss real Belgian waffles so much!)

I have a pet peeve about really bratty teen characters and Nora gets close to the line sometimes. Her mom is a prominent figure in the story and gives contradictory advice to the way she behaves so I wish both of these characters had better resolutions to their issues.

It's a solid read, but I w
Sarai Davila
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
This book had all of the elements of being amazing. It was a fun premise, and the narrative was well-written and compelling. But it felt rushed. It felt like the book wasn't super-well thought out in some places. For example, the grandfather. I wanted more of him. I wanted to learn about him. The mother and daughter stuff was good, but sometimes it also felt a little forced. The hardest part to take seriously was the romance though. No chemistry, and a very fake-sounding dialogue. However, I lov ...more
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love aaaallll the European travel novels, and this one was no exception. Nora is a great, complex character: at times I was totally on her side, at times she frustrated me, and at times I could relate so much to what she was feeling. Fun, funny, and at times moving, this was a quick read that I really enjoyed.
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Nora complained constantly. She was travelling around Europe but didn't seem to appreciate it at all. Her mother wasn't perfect, but Nora sounded so ungrateful. The constant whining when she was on this amazing trip was beyond annoying.
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“You get to choose what you want to be. You don’t need skills you were born with or permission. If you want to be an artist or whatever, just work harder than everyone else and become an artist!” 2 likes
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