Author: Jill Baguchinsky
Genre: YA Fiction
Publisher: Turner Publishing (November 6,2018)
A few thoughts:
When I read a novel, this thing often happens where the female protagonist will do or say something that completely turns me off to her story. That NEVER happens here with Natalie, which is only one of the reasons this is such a fantastic read.
The book is 340 pages full of humorous, light-hearted, wholesome teenage fun! One of the reasons I loved her character so much is because the author doesn’t try to stick her in a box. Natalie isn’t just the plus size girl or the paleontology nerd. Natalie is just your average, paleontology loving, fashionista blogger. Characters like this show the next generation that it’s more than acceptable to be interested in different things and labels don’t matter.
Something that I was really intrigued by, during my reading, was the blog posts that Natalie shares. I think it’s interesting how the illustration never gives her a full face. We see an outline of one, but her cell phone selfie always blocks it. I don’t know if this was the author’s intention but it definitely gives me a better sense that Natalie could be anyone. You know? The reader always tries to fit herself into the shoes of the character, and I think that her anonymity really gives the reader that chance.
Another reason I love Natalie is that she was bad at talking to her crush, Chase, but she never changed who she was to impress him. She makes the whole interaction with the opposite sex seem more true-to-life than most television shows do and I think that that’s something important to show teens. We don’t always know what to say and it’s okay to be awkward, as long as you always show your true self.
I don’t want to share too much detail because I am afraid of giving any little thing away. This book is so great, and I read it during a low period in my life. Natalie’s journey during her internship is an experience that other teens, and other women in male-dominated fields, will encounter.
Read below for the description of Mammoth as told by the back of the book:
The summer before her junior year, paleontology geek Natalie Page lands a coveted internship at an Ice Age dig site near Austin, Texas. Natalie, who’s also a plus-size fashion blogger, depends on the retro style and persona she developed to shield herself from her former bullies, but vintage dresses and designer heels aren’t compatible with digging for fossils.
But nothing is going to dampen her spirit. She’s exactly where she wants to be and gets to work with her hero, the host of the most popular paleontology podcast in the world. And then there’s Chase, the intern, who’s seriously cute, and Cody, a local boy who’d be even cuter if he were less of a grouch.
It’s a summer that promises to be about more than just mammoths.
Until it isn’t.
When Natalie’s paleontologist hero turns out to be anything but, and steals the credit for one of her accomplishments, she has to un-earth the confidence she needs to stand out in a field dominated by men. To do this, she’ll have to let her true self shine, even if that means defying the rules and risking her life for the sake of a major discovery. While sifting through dirt, she finds more than fossils – she finds out that she is truly awesome.