Mac on the Road to Marseille by Christopher Ward

mac

Mac on the Road to Marseille by Christopher Ward
Published March 28, 2015 by Dundurn
Young Adult/Middle School
Format: e-book; 164 pages
Also By This Author: Mac in the City of Light
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Synopsis:

Fifteen-year-old Mackenzie returns to Paris to attend the Christmas Eve wedding of her Dad’s old friend, Rudee Daroo, and the love of his life, dancer Sashay D’or. Mac is told about the annual New Year’s taxi road rally, this year hosted by the Marseille Marauders, the nastiest lot of drivers you’ve ever seen.

Partnered with hulking cabbie Blag Lebouef, Mac manages to convince her parents that the road rally is more like a carefree drive in the French countryside than the death-defying cutthroat rivalry it’s always been. Negotiating brutal weather, cryptic signage, outright sabotage, random flocks of sheep, and zigzagging back roads, Mac and Blag might be the perfect combination of cunning and brute strength, though they are both extremely strong-willed and rarely agree.

On the road, she makes the startling discovery that the clues the drivers have been given during the rally could lead to the discovery of some valuable missing artwork. Is that worth losing the rally over?

Thoughts:

So, I did not know that this book was a sequel before I started reading it. Oops! Although, to be fair, it wasn’t listed as a sequel when I requested to review it. About a quarter of a way through reading it and not being able to understand who all the characters were, I did some searching on Goodreads and found that Christopher Ward published Mac in the City of Light a year before Mac on the Road to Marseille, and suddenly the book became easier to follow & enjoy.

Mac is a 15 year-old California native who is visiting France when she gets coerced by a friend to be a passenger-seat navigator for her friend Blag who is competing in a scavenger hunt type road race. Mac has to figure out destination points during the race based on clues laden with “French-isms.” This part was particularly enjoyable for me because I could make out the puns and the allusions to French culture.

Weaved in among the road race, there is also an art theft mystery that Mac becomes entangled in. If you decide to read this book for yourself, don’t become confused when the story suddenly plunges into the world of art museum robberies. But don’t worry, the road race and the art theft are woven together at the end.

Read This Book If…:

…you have a vivid imagination (it will help bring the descriptions of France to life).
…you enjoy the thrill of a race!
…you are familiar with France and/or enjoy experiencing it through literature.

Final Musings:

This book felt more appropriate being labeled “Middle Grade/Middle School Reading” than “Young Adult.” If I was a parent to an imaginative pre-teen, I would probably purchase Mac on the Road to Marseille and it’s prequel Mac in the City of Light for him/her to read. Christopher Ward’s style of writing would be even more enjoyable if it was read aloud, with all the emphasis on the French idiosyncrasies and nuances :)

Advertisements

January Highlights

It’s hard to believe February is upon us. January didn’t necessarily fly by for me, but a lot of things happened in my life and I know February is going to be just as eventful.

So here’s what I was up to last month!

I read 12 books!

Lonely Postman IMG_0063 from-the-15th-district mac amostinconvenientmarriage
princess diaries princess in the spotlight earnest soulprint Legend
                                             mara dyer theevolutionofmaradyer

This was a huge surprise for me, because last month I was all upset that I couldn’t find enough time to read as often as I did before finding a full-time job.

Most Popular Post

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Club Reads – I had so much fun chatting with other bloggers about these books! Tuesday’s posts always bring the best conversations :)

What I Watched

Gilmore Girls – Ok, HUGE surprise to everyone: my dad has gotten hooked on Gilmore Girls. My mom and I started watching the show back in September, but we’ve been taking our time. And this month we started watching it again and my dad watched one episode with us and was completely pulled in. So much so that he’s gotten upset when we watched episodes without him. I feel like I’m in some alternate universe where my dad, whose favorite shows are The Walking Dead and Forensic Files, suddenly enjoys Gilmore Girls. But hey, I’ll take it!

East & West Vlog – A new YouTube series based on Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. It’s just starting, but I really enjoy the actress who plays Margaret (also, she goes by Maggie!). I’m looking forward to seeing what the creators have in store for this one.

The Writing Majors – Another new YouTube series, but this one is really unique! It imagines Jane Austen, Emily Dickenson, and Oscar Wilde as grad school roommates. The actors are incredible and the episodes so far have been very enjoyable.

What I Listened To

This month I really dived into audiobooks! With my long commute, I’ve been trying to use the time for books, and it’s only taken me a couple of months to really get adjusted to listening to audiobooks. It’s amazing how weak my listening skills have become over the years. I have to really concentrate to actively listen, but I think it’s a good exercise :)

I also listened to Serial! For those who know me, when I discover something I love, I completely binge watch/read/listen. So, I listened to the first Serial podcast on my way to work last Friday, and I finished it just after midnight on Saturday. I HAD to know how it ended. The story-telling was so captivating that it’s hard to stop listening.

January Highlights

  • Watching Gilmore Girls with my family!
  • Starting to find my feet in my new job – things are finally starting to make sense!
  • Having deep conversations (or just really interesting conversations) with fellow bloggers! Meeting and conversing with other readers and bloggers is my favorite part about having a blog :)
  • Feeling more “adult” – This month we bought a car and paid off more bills, and I also just did a lot more “adult” things, like wine-tasting and making more independent decisions.

January Challenges

  • Although we moved back to the States at the end of August, we’re still transitioning. We’ve had to make big decisions about our future, and although I can’t reveal them yet, I am excited about them & about sharing them with the blogosphere in a month or two :) (and before anyone speculates, NO, it’s not about a baby).
  • Trying to multitask less. I read this blog post from I’d Rather Be Reading about singletasking, and it really helped me grasp how attached I am to multitasking. If I’m not doing two or more things at a time, I literally feel like I’m wasting time. So I’ve been actively trying to only do one thing at a time sometimes, for instance, while I’m eating. Lunch time at work is a great time for me to just take a step away from the computer or my phone or even from reading. It gives me a half hour of reflection time instead, and it’s also nice to detach from technology, too.
  • I almost forgot this one: we bought a new car!New Car

In February I’m Looking Forward To

  • Crossing off as many things from my 25 Things List as possible! I feel so behind, but some of those things I’ve known for a while I won’t be able to do (like visit England), and that’s ok. I made this list thinking we would still be in France and hopping on a train to the UK was easy to achieve. Instead I’m trying to enjoy the bucket list items I am able to cross off. Right now I’m crocheting myself a nice afghan :)

February To Be Read

MTLGTM IMG_0061 athousandpiecesofyou

I’m still getting through My True Love Gave To Me for my book club (our next read is A Thousand Pieces of You which I’m stoked about!). I’ve also started the last book in the Mara Dyer series, but I’m sad for it to be over so I’ve been taking my time.

What were some of your highlights from January? Are there any books you’re looking forward to reading this month?