Review: And We’re Off by Dana Schwartz

And Were OffTitle: And We’re Off

Author: Dana Schwartz

Pages: 261 Pages

Publisher: Razorbill Books

The Blurb

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 . . . they’re off.

The Review

Oooh, it isn’t rare that a book will get me incensed but usually it is because I am screaming at the choices the characters make it is not usually because of an individual character. This is exactly what happened when I read And We’re Off by Dana Schwartz.

The set up of the story is that protagonist Nora Holmes is going away for the summer to study at an art institute in Ireland. She is travelling through Europe for a few days before and after her course and it will be her first sense of freedom. There is only one problem though – Nora’s overbearing mother.

I can’t honestly recall a time when a character has angered me as much as Alice Parker did. I love my mum, she is my best friend but if I had planned a holiday and she announced that she was tagging along and she then started changing my plans I would be fuming. During this book there were very few redeeming features of Alice Parker. I felt so much sympathy for Nora who had to endure her mother’s antics. My anger was tangible.

There were some things that I would have liked from the book that I didn’t get. I wanted to see more from Callum at the end and I also wanted the crazy wild goose chase to find a café in Paris explained but overall And We’re Off was a one sitting read and I really, really enjoyed it.

And We’re Off by Dana Schwartz is available now.

For more information regarding Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) please visit

For more information regarding Razorbill Books (@RazorbillBooks) please visit

4 Stars

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