Publishers Weekly Review
Schwartz, a writer for the New York Observer and the creator of the popular @DystopianYA and @GuyInYourMFA Twitter accounts, debuts with the story of 17-year-old Nora Parker-Holmes, whose summer trip to Europe is upended by her mother's spontaneous decision to tag along. Nora and her mother bicker their way through Paris, Amsterdam, and Ireland, where Nora has been accepted as a summer fellow at an art colony. She longs to follow in the footsteps of her grandfather, a famous artist who has paid for this trip and given her art-related assignments for each city, such as sketching portraits on Paris's Left Bank. Nora's time in Ireland and the friends she makes there (including romantic interest Callum) help her character deepen beyond her anger at her mother. This story follows a predictable trajectory as Nora comes to see her mother's presence as lucky, but her journey to understand who she is, both as a person and an artist, is rewarding, as is the evident love behind her grandfather's assignments and advice. Ages 12-up. Agent: Dan Mandel, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-Art has been Nora's passion as long as she can remember. A junior in high school, she's already making money selling fan fiction cartoons through her Tumblr account. And now Nora is one of the select few chosen to attend the Donegal Colony for Young Artists in Ireland this summer. Her famous artist grandfather is paying for her to travel through Europe before and after her three weeks at the school. But the best part-Nora will be on her own, away from her judgmental mother for the first time. She has visions of wandering carefree along the streets of Paris, Brussels, and Florence; making new friends at the youth hostels; and sipping cappuccinos with gorgeous boys. Then, on the way to the airport, her mother announces that she's decided to tag along, and Nora's dream summer takes on a decidedly nightmarish hue. This light mother/daughter tale is told in the first person. Readers will feel Nora's mounting resentment toward her mother warring with the sympathy and understanding on which her mother is counting. When Nora is forced to question the extent of her artistic ability, then finds her summer crush in the arms of another, she sees all of her dreams crashing down around her. The protagonist's ever-present worries and frustrations are nicely balanced with dry humor, delightful description, and a little bit of naughty pleasure. Teens will relate to Nora's plight, delight in loathing her mother, and appreciate the satisfying conclusion. VERDICT A fun choice for summer reading shelves.-Cary Frostick, formerly at Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Nora Parker-Holmes just wants to make art, whether it's commissioned fan-art cartoons or portraits at design school. When she's accepted into the selective Donegal Colony for Young Artists, she celebrates even as she worries that it's the reputation of her grandfather, a notable modern painter, that gave her the chance. Said grandfather encourages Nora, sending her off on a European tour before she begins her program in Ireland. But Nora's plans for an independent, art-filled summer also a chance to forget the boy who broke her heart are derailed when her divorced, less-than-supportive mother decides to come along for the ride. How is Nora supposed to tap into her wild, artistic side when she's supposed to bond? Observer writer Schwartz, known for several Twitter parody accounts, brings her trademark dry wit to her first novel. Nora's European adventures, very real fears, and endlessly entertaining narration keep this exploration of what it means to be a creator, a friend, and a daughter firmly grounded, and readers will be happy to come along for the ride.--Reagan, Maggie Copyright 2017 Booklist