A humorous, heartwarming romp from the author of Exercises of the Heart. When Holly learns that her mother plans to move to Iowa, her best friend Max, a portly, pompous entrepreneur (also in seventh grade), arranges for her to spend the summer with his family. But things get complicated: Max entangles Holly in his scheme to start a party-help company and at first jealously refuses to let her new girlfriend, Leni, join; Holly also has trouble adjusting to the glitzy, whirlwind life-style of Max's show-business family and has to conceal her crash on his handsome older brother, who dashes around in pajamas and a cape, spouting Shakespeare. Worst of all, Holly finds her secret plans to remain in Manhattan marred by growing unhappiness at having abandoned her mom. Although the preteen ""Parties with Pizzazz"" company is a bit implausible, the characters' interactions are laughably real. Holly's relationship with her divorced, working mother is especially apt and well drawn: they cook together, feel responsible for each other, and make brunch dates to discuss their problems. By the close, Holly has learned a lot about family dynamics and what it means to ""initiate action"" (Max's phrase) in her own life.