And We're Off
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 study history's most famous artists. The only catch? Nora has to create an original piece of artwork at every stop and send it back to her grandfather. It's a no-brainer: Nora is in! Unfortunately, Nora's mother, Alice, is less than thrilled about the trip. She worries about what the future holds for her young, idealistic daughter and her opinions haven't gone unnoticed. Nora couldn't feel more unsupported by her mother, and in the weeks leading up to the trip, the women are as disconnected as they've ever been. But seconds after saying goodbye to Alice at the airport terminal, Nora hears a voice call out: "Wait! Stop! I'm coming with you!"

And We're Off Details

TitleAnd We're Off
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 2nd, 2017
PublisherRazorbill
ISBN0448493810
ISBN-139780448493817
Number of pages288 pages
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Travel, Fiction, Young Adult Contemporary, Audiobook, Family, Realistic Fiction

And We're Off Review

  • Katerina Kondrenko
    December 10, 2016
    8.5 out of 10 This was actually pretty good read. No happy-endings, no bad-endings. Just life. RTC.
  • TL
    April 29, 2017
    I received this via GoodReads Giveaways in an exchange for my honest review. All my opinions are my own.---- Writing 3.5 starsCharacters - 3.5 starsPlot 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 I received this via GoodReads Giveaways in an exchange for my honest review. All my opinions are my own.---- Writing 3.5 starsCharacters - 3.5 starsPlot 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 persevering? Awesome :) And (view spoiler)[She didn't completely lose her mind and throw everything away over a boy.. bonus points (hide spoiler)]This is one of those compulsively readable books perfect for a hot or rainy day... even one where you are feeling rundown/ill and just escape for a bit into someone else's life. I remember flying in 2004 to visit a friend in California (since lost touch with, her number and address kept changing and eventually, we faded from each other's lives... met over fanfiction for a favorite show back then funnily enough) and thinking I was brave for going by myself to the other side of the country. Not sure if I would have been as gutsy/brave as Nora for planning to travel on her own to a whole other set of COUNTRIES at that age (that makes me sound old haha).At first, her mom's attitude to her daughter's art had me growling a bit but as the story unfolds, you get a glimpse into what is going on with her and it's a bit deeper than what the surface shows (only one thing I guessed right). It had me wanting to give her a big hug and some hot chocolate.Nora does comes across as immature at times and it had me wanting to smack some sense into her (or GibbsGlare)It was nice to that her mom was present in the story and the ups and downs not portrayed as something unrealistic. It was, well fun isn't the right word but we'll go with it for now, to watch their relationship unfold and have its good/bad moments.The side characters in here make sometimes-brief appearances but they never did feel like throwaway characters... each had their own vitality and purpose to the story. Callum was a nice boy and I did love his character but couldn't fully get behind the 'vacation/trip romance' between them. Nothing wrong with it, perfectly well done and very cute at times... I just couldn't connect with it (maybe the asexual part of me? *shrugs*). The artist's colony sounded like a dream :) It wasn't a very deep novel but it did have some wonderful 'grounding' moments that had me smiling. I do wish some things had been expanded upon throughout the story and the epilogue didn't feel like quite enough after everything that had gone on (it was sweet but felt more like a regular chapter than an epilogue proper)Cons? Not many issues really than what I stated above, and it didn't deter my reading experience any. For a food equivalent... I would say this a ice-cold slushie and delicious funnel cake or ice cream for me, hits the spot at this moment.Hmm... that came out better in my head. Aah wellA worthwhile read, something light and fun to take your mind off real life for a day or two.Happy reading!
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  • Lightrainbow
    March 4, 2017
    Мой отзыв и оценка не будут объективны, учитывая, сколько времени я провела с этой книгой, пропуская через себя каждое слово и эмоцию. И ни капли об этом не жалею. Я безумно рада, что именно она попала в мои руки и очень вовремя! Не знаю, что это: совпадение или судьба, но я не верю в случайности.)) Мне, как художнику невероятно близка героиня, ее переживания, проблемы, поиски. Во многом (касаемо творчества) наши истории похожи, несмотря на разницу в возрасте. Но я часто ловила себя на мысли, чт Мой отзыв и оценка не будут объективны, учитывая, сколько времени я провела с этой книгой, пропуская через себя каждое слово и эмоцию. И ни капли об этом не жалею. Я безумно рада, что именно она попала в мои руки и очень вовремя! Не знаю, что это: совпадение или судьба, но я не верю в случайности.)) Мне, как художнику невероятно близка героиня, ее переживания, проблемы, поиски. Во многом (касаемо творчества) наши истории похожи, несмотря на разницу в возрасте. Но я часто ловила себя на мысли, что вижу в героине себя.История написана легко, интересно, насыщенно (объем у книги небольшой, но у меня сложилось впечатление, что за это время столько всего произошло) и с замечательным юмором. Бывает, что в книгах попадается юмор какой-то неуместный, несмешной, с претензией на сарказм. Но это не тот случай, мне действительно было смешно, мне понравилась самоирония героини, которую хочется отметить отдельно. Здесь есть над чем посмеяться, над чем поплакать, над чем подумать - по-моему отличный симбиоз. Очень реалистичная и жизненная история, в нее веришь, в ней нет каких-то притянутых за уши вещей.Возможно, исполнение неидеально, есть шероховатости, какие-то недоработки, но мне это не помешало, я закрыла на них глаза, потому что сама история мне все это компенсировала с лихвой.
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  • Sylvie Bower
    July 28, 2016
    GOODREADS YOU SOLD ME AT GILMORE GIRLS
  • Marochka
    May 3, 2017
    Если честно, книга мне понравилась не слишком сильно, хотя я очень ее хотела, и поначалу была просто в восторге.Но сюжет оказался совсем не таким, как я думала и какой хотела.Я поняла мораль этой книги, поняла, чему она должна научить читателя. Но мне было невыносимо читать про девушку, которая недовольна буквально всем.Да, я понимаю, ей семнадцать и ей испортили поездку (как мне испортили книгу, потому что, хотя я и люблю «семейные истории», здесь я ждала совсем другого), но она же все равно пу Если честно, книга мне понравилась не слишком сильно, хотя я очень ее хотела, и поначалу была просто в восторге.Но сюжет оказался совсем не таким, как я думала и какой хотела.Я поняла мораль этой книги, поняла, чему она должна научить читателя. Но мне было невыносимо читать про девушку, которая недовольна буквально всем.Да, я понимаю, ей семнадцать и ей испортили поездку (как мне испортили книгу, потому что, хотя я и люблю «семейные истории», здесь я ждала совсем другого), но она же все равно путешествует по миру, погружается в культуру новых стран. Как может не нравиться при этом буквально все? У меня огромный опыт в путешествиях по Европе, и да, я знаю, что там далеко не все происходит так, как запланировал. Да, бывает, что ты в каком-то городе, в который приехал ради, например, определенного музея, на один день, и именно в этот день он закрыт... Обидно, не спорю. Я, например, была в Лондоне, но мне не хватило билетов на тур «Гарри Поттера». Так что я понимаю, что чувствовала героиня, не попав туда, куда хотела. Но это не значит, что я разочаровалась в поездке, я была в диком восторге от всего остального. Если бы у меня сейчас была возможность вырваться хоть куда, я бы ни за что не стала ныть и «звереть», как героиня, как бы мне ни портили поездку (посмотрела бы я на нее, если бы все ее вещи перед поездкой в Лондон потеряли в аэропорту, как было у меня, вот это бы реально испортило настроение, а не то, из-за чего она всю дорогу ныла и чем была недовольна).Да, согласна, в Брюсселе особенно некуда пойти и нечего смотреть, но при этом я не ругаю последними словами Бельгию, как это делает героиня. Мне понравилось, как, например, когда я зашла в один из тысячи магазинчиков с шоколадом, о которых недовольно говорила героиня («Для кого они вообще?»), там играла русская песня. Мне понравилась атмосфера. И пусть Бельгия из всех стран, где я была, мне показалась действительно наименее интересной, в отличие от автора я никогда не назову её «недоразумением». Романтическая линия вообще какая-то убогая. Т.к. книга короткая, автор толком не смог все прописать (вообще почти ничего не смог прописать, кроме нытья героини). Я не ждала любви до гроба, но вот то, что тут было, это как раз «недоразумение» (а вовсе не Бельгия).Конец логичный и, вроде как, должен научить читателя следовать за своей мечтой, любить своих близких, но я, если честно, 5 раз перепроверила, не обрывается ли у меня книга где-то на середине, потому что… как-то слишком внезапно она кончилась.В общем, я так много ждала от книги, что она оказалась для меня сплошным разочарованием. А все так замечательно начиналось… А остались одни негативные эмоции от недовольства героини буквально всем на свете.
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  • Book of the Month
    May 1, 2017
    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 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 for adventure.— Book of the MonthRead more at https://www.bookofthemonth.com/and-we...
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  • Lisa
    February 22, 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.
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  • Jamampoline
    March 17, 2017
    Funny and spent an admirable amount of time describing pastries
  • Jaime Arkin
    April 18, 2017
    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 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 prestigious art seminar over the summer … in Ireland… her grandfather encourages her to go and he offers her an incentive. He’ll pay for several extra weeks to see other European sites the only catch is that she has to create something from a prompt he provides at each location he suggests. I think where I struggled a bit was in my feelings for Nora. I think I had expected more growth from her as a character. I felt at times that, yes, she wasn’t happy with her mother tagging along with her on this trip that was supposed to be hers, and I get that, but she let that dictate her attitude and demeanor and let it pretty much ruin a whole trip. She kept saying how this was her trip to be an adult and be independent, yet she just acted so immature. I just thought it was kind of irritating. I really struggled with the relationship between Nora and Alice, her mother. I hated that her mom was so negative about the things that Nora loved and wanted to do. I thought it was really inconsiderate how her mom hijacked her trip too, and then tried to dictate what they would do. Of course there are some boys… one who is in the past and still impacting her life, and Callum the boy she meets when she arrives in Ireland. I guess I didn’t have any strong feelings for either the past or the present if that tells you anything at all. I kind of wish I had connected a bit more to the relationship that was building between Callum and Nora, but I just didn’t. This was a pretty quick read, though I think that’s in part to the way the story is told… I feel like I would have liked to see a bit more depth to the characters and the story itself to have me a bit more invested in what I was reading… and I would have loved to see more of this dedication to art that Nora was supposed to have, I felt like that took a backseat to the boy drama.
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  • Lisa (Lost in Literature)
    April 24, 2017
    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 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 accompany Nora on the trip. Well, let's just say Nora and her mother, Alice, don't have the most warm and fuzzy relationship. You see, Alice doesn't approve of Nora's passion for art, as she feels it isn't a successful career and that Nora should be focusing on something that will bring her more success in her future. The last thing Nora wants on her trip is her mother's company... but without a choice, the two set off to travel Europe together, in hopes of finding what they're each looking for.As you can imagine, the settings in this story were a lot of fun!! I've always wanted to travel to Europe myself, so any time I can travel through the eyes of characters in books, I'm all there! This story was cute and exactly how I thought it would be. Nora is the typical teenager, hoping to find a tall, dark and handsome boy on vacation to sweep her off her feet. I mean, really... what teenager traveling alone wouldn't want that?! But with her mother always around to cramp her style, Nora is finding it harder and harder to have the trip of a lifetime that she really wanted.My favorite thing about this story was the writing style. I loved Dana Schwartz's sassy, witty and fun writing! When you open a book and immediately connect with an author's style... it's such a wonderful feeling!! My issues with this book surround the characters themselves. I was expecting more growth for both Nora and Alice. I thought the last few chapters would have been more impacting, leaving more of an impression about how these two had grown from their experiences together. It was definitely missing something there, something that would have brought this story up a few notches for me. I also struggled with Nora's and Alice's behaviors on the trip. I can completely understand how Nora was bothered by her mother basically taking over their trip... but I struggled with how she let it impact her entire trip. Instead of acting like an adult on taking over the trip like she had originally planned, she let the fact that her mother tagged along affect her entire attitude day after day. I also thought it was pretty crappy of her mother to basically just crash her trip, and then take it over, planning out their days entirely. The behavior of these two day after day on their trip made it hard for me to really connect with them. Honestly, I wanted to smack them both a time or two. Get it together, ladies!Overall though, this was a really fun contemporary story involving travel, one of my favorite things! Since I don't travel a lot myself, I adore reading books about others venturing out in the world. This was a cute story that would be perfect for a day at the beach. A quick, easy read. And just look at that cover!! *heart eyes* This type of story, one involving travel, particularly, is a lot of fun on audio. I tend to really enjoy travel, road trips, and other stories of discovery on audio. I feel like I'm right with these characters, taking in the sights myself. I had the opportunity to listen to this audiobook, as well as read the physical copy, and I enjoyed both formats quite a bit. Whether you want to go the audio route or the hardcopy, this is a cute story to add to your Summer tbr!  (Thanks to Razorbill and Penguin Audio for the review copies!)Find this review and others like it at Lost in Literature!
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  • Mic
    July 15, 2016
    I will take it now please.
  • Cambear
    April 6, 2017
    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 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 wish the rush ending packed a bit more punch.Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of the book for review.
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  • Kara
    April 26, 2017
    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 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 still think this would be a great book for the right person, but I am not that person.
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  • Tasha Robinson
    April 25, 2017
    Review upcoming for NPR.
  • Billie
    March 17, 2017
    I never warmed to Nora and couldn't figure out why Callum was interested in her because she really was boring. And, considering that she was at some supposedly prestigious artists' colony, I never really felt like her art was as important to her as she claimed it was. (Show, don't tell.). Alice, Nora's mother, was uniformly awful until her moment of redemption at the end of the book (which came out of nowhere and was inconsistent with her character as it had been portrayed up to that point). Not I never warmed to Nora and couldn't figure out why Callum was interested in her because she really was boring. And, considering that she was at some supposedly prestigious artists' colony, I never really felt like her art was as important to her as she claimed it was. (Show, don't tell.). Alice, Nora's mother, was uniformly awful until her moment of redemption at the end of the book (which came out of nowhere and was inconsistent with her character as it had been portrayed up to that point). Nothing was given enough time to develop&emdash;the story felt like snapshots, rather than a film. It wasn't awful but it really felt like it needed more work before it was truly ready.
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  • Megan Pizzini
    May 3, 2017
    So far, I really enjoy the story, but this book would have benefited from a good editor. I'm about half-way through and have stumbled across numerous typos and repeated metaphors/pet phrases. Maybe it's a style choice?
  • Tina
    March 17, 2017
    Rating and review to come
  • Deanna Schwartz
    March 14, 2017
    Dana continues to be my favorite person on earth.
  • Jesse
    October 9, 2016
    This sounds like everything I never knew I wanted to read.
  • Michelle Zeng
    February 8, 2017
    Privileged white girl wishing to become an artist on a completely paid-for vacation in Europe with a wealthy mom. Her life is sooooo hard. No.
  • Aslee
    October 14, 2016
    Cover reveal!! https://twitter.com/DanaSchwartzzz/st...
  • Nat
    May 3, 2017
    ***This book was given to me by the publisher for an honest review***Review to come
  • Dana Schwartz
    November 12, 2016
  • Adam Armstrong
    May 1, 2017
    After following Dana Schwartz on her hilarious parody Twitter account, GuyinYourMFA, of course I had to inhale her debut novel as fast as possible. And I'm really freaking glad I did. This story follows a turbulent summer in the life of Nora, a 17 year old budding artist, who's just trying to enjoy an all expenses paid European trip, hone her talent and skills at a prestigious artists retreat, find herself, get over a boy, all the while dealing with the fact that her mother has unexpectedly tagg After following Dana Schwartz on her hilarious parody Twitter account, GuyinYourMFA, of course I had to inhale her debut novel as fast as possible. And I'm really freaking glad I did. This story follows a turbulent summer in the life of Nora, a 17 year old budding artist, who's just trying to enjoy an all expenses paid European trip, hone her talent and skills at a prestigious artists retreat, find herself, get over a boy, all the while dealing with the fact that her mother has unexpectedly tagged along. The reader becomes so invested in the distance between mothers and daughters, that gray area between knowing and not knowing who both of you are, or who you think that person may be. The story focuses itself over the plight artists of all forms have: wondering if you're talented, and, perhaps more importantly, if the talent you do have is even enough. It's about questioning whether you've suffered enough to be an artist, and striking out on your own path, even if other people need you or if you need other people, for the chance to be self-sufficient. This story, which is full of hilarious dialogue that pings off one character to the next, stakes the claim that it's okay to be content in where you're supposed to be, doing what you're supposed to be doing, but not necessarily liking it.
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  • Sami
    April 13, 2017
    Aspiring artist Nora longs to break free from her overbearing mother, so when her grandfather pays for her to spend the summer in Europe and train at an artist's colony in Ireland, Nora is ready to fly out the door. Her plans for independence come to a screeching halt, however, when her mother decides to accompany her. Schwartz uses her trademark humor to great success here, and tackles every type of teen relationship, from best friends to that guy you almost dated, giving the book unexpected de Aspiring artist Nora longs to break free from her overbearing mother, so when her grandfather pays for her to spend the summer in Europe and train at an artist's colony in Ireland, Nora is ready to fly out the door. Her plans for independence come to a screeching halt, however, when her mother decides to accompany her. Schwartz uses her trademark humor to great success here, and tackles every type of teen relationship, from best friends to that guy you almost dated, giving the book unexpected depth.
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  • Jen
    April 29, 2017
    Read a few chapters and just not feeling it. The part I read was just ... trying too hard.
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