Welcome to my stop on the MTMC tour for Aix Marks the Spot!
We’re having an interview with the author and there’s an INTL giveaway over on my instagram!
This book is like tumbling into a picturesque postcard of France, and honestly the descriptions and scenery were just gorgeous. It makes me want to travel 😍and I’m a big homebody so this is an impressive feat. It centres around Jamie, who is packed off to an estranged grandmother’s house in France while her mother heals from an accident…that Jamie blames herself for causing. So Jamie definitely arrives with a lot of emotional and personal baggage and she has a lot of entitlement to work through. In Provence, she discovers (a) a treasure map her parents left and she decides to follow it, (b) LOTS of gorgeous sight-seeing stops, (c) and Valentin 😌super adorable nerdy French boy who is so soft and lists being able to read memes as a big reason he wanted to learn English. Honestly Valentin is a gift and so sweet the whole time.
Try this book if you like:
- getting to travel and see new places through books (there’s a lot of touristy descriptions here!)
- books that wax poetic about the gorgeousness of CHEESE and BREAD and PASTRIES (I am so freaking hungry now)
- soft romances that are a little bit awkward and a whole lot adorable
- family angst and secrets!
THANK YOU TO MTMC TOURS FOR HAVING ME!
Aix Marks The Spot by Sarah Anderson is out June 16, 2020.
Sent to live with her estranged grandmother in Provence, 16yo Jamie finds her parents’ old love letters – and clues to a secret treasure hunt that could save her family after the accident that tore them apart.
Jamie has been dreaming of this summer forever: of road trips and intensive art camps, of meeting cute boys with her best friend Jazz. What she didn’t count on was the car accident.
Exiled away from her family as her mother slowly learns to walk again, Jamie is sent to Provence and trapped in an isolated home with the French grandmother she has never met, the guilt of having almost killed her parents, and no Wi-Fi. Enough to drive a girl mad. That is, until, she finds an old letter from her father, the starting point in a treasure hunt that spans across cities and time itself. Somehow, she knows that the treasure is the key to putting her shattered family back together and that whatever lies at the end has the power to fix everything.
Armed only with a high-school-level of French and a map of local train lines, she must enlist the aid of Valentin, a handsome neighbor who’s willing to translate. To save her family, she has castle ruins to find and sea cliffs to climb; falling for her translator wasn’t part of her plan…
Amazon | Goodreads | Book Depository | B&N
About Sarah Anderson
S.E. Anderson can’t ever tell you where she’s from. Not because she doesn’t want to, but because it inevitably leads to a confusing conversation where she goes over where she was born (England) where she grew up (France) and where her family is from (USA) and it tends to make things very complicated.
She’s lived pretty much her entire life in the South of France, except for a brief stint where she moved to Washington DC, or the eighty years she spent as a queen of Narnia before coming back home five minutes after she had left. Currently, she is working on her PhD in Astrophysics and Planetary sciences in Besançon, France.
When she’s not writing, or trying to science, she’s either reading, designing, crafting, or attempting to speak with various woodland creatures in an attempt to get them to do household chores for her. She could also be gaming, or pretending she’s not watching anything on Netflix.
Can you introduce us to Jamie? Who she is, what she looks like?
Jamie is your typical sixteen-year-old. She’s got light brown hair she keeps in a ponytail, dresses in comfortable shorts and t-shirts in the summer heat. She’s excited about life, loves her friends, has a growing passion for art.
But at the start of Aix Marks the Spot, she’s not herself at all: after a car accident she believes to be the cause of gravely injures her mother and she’s sent to live in Provence with the grandmother she’s never known, she’s quite lost. She’s too shaken to draw, and too isolated to thrive. She might come off as brash or even bratty, but she’s hurting and has a lot of ingrained toxic behaviors she needs to work through. Hopefully the summer sun and a heaping dose of good food can soften her a little.
What are Jamie and Valentine’s first impressions about each other?
Jamie’s first reaction is overwhelming attraction: not only is this strange boy hella cute, but he’s actually able to communicate with her in her own language and help her navigate his culture. So it’s easy to see why she’s besotted.
Valentin is just thrilled to meet someone new. His summers can get a little dull and repetitive, especially living in such a small town with no incentive to leave. Jamie pushes him out of his comfort zone while simultaneously reminding him of how much he loves his world. It doesn’t hurt that her attempts to speak French are pretty adorable…
How did you decide your characters’ names? Any stories behind the choices?
When coming up with Jamie’s name, I was trying to think of one that would NOT work as a bilingual name. Many names work in both cultures, and having so many friends coming from cross cultural parents, we see a lot of names that work in both French and English. But due to the nature of Jamie’s parents’ exodus from France, I thought it would be fitting that they pick a name that only works in English to mark the finality of their departure.
Valentin was harder. I wanted a name that was quintessentially French, but it also couldn’t be the name of any of my friends seeing as how he was the male romantic lead and I didn’t want to put them in an awkward situation. I actually had him called Etienne in the first draft until someone reminded me that Etienne was also in Anna and the French Kiss. Dangit!
What’s Jamie’s favourite food?
If you could give Jamie three recent YA books, what would you recommend she read?
I would probably suggest she read Anna and the French Kiss (to see another cross cultural romance), Wayward Son (to remind her why it’s important to talk to the people you love) and The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (so that she stops complaining about how hard it is to get around Europe!)
Thanks for stopping by, Sarah! It was lovely to chat with you! 💛
@rebireads – Bookstagram
@womanon – Bookstagram
@tata.lifepages – Bookstagram
@ve_xo – Bookstagram
what country would you like to travel to? would you like to go to France? is this one on your tbr?