Mammoth by Jill Baguchinsky
ARC provided by the publisher for a fair review.
Publish Date: November 6, 2018
Natalie is a plus sized fashion blogger paleontology geek – a self proclaimed fossilista – and she is about to embark on a special internship before starting her junior year of high school that will put her working at a dig site of woolly mammoths. It promises to be an exciting summer, until the new friends she makes aren’t what they seem and even when she meets her paleontologist role model she is let down by his decision to claim fame to a discovery she made.
Mammoth is a refreshing story that shows that outer confidence is not always a reflection of what is within. I love that this story followed a girl that was driven and knew where her passions lie. Not all 16 year old’s are aimless, and it’s nice to see a writer give Generation Z some credit. While some of the decisions Natalie makes may land her in a little bit of trouble, her intentions were usually good natured if not just naive.
The book had some alternating first person narration to blog posts featuring LoTD pictures. Both included fun factoids about fossils and the digging of, which made the book entertaining to have some extra learning in a field that hasn’t been visited in YA contemporary (that I am at least aware of).
While it wasn’t the most edge of your seat read, it was certainly entertaining enough. The ongoing setting and background paled in regards to the focus of Natalie’s character ARC as she learns that she is awesome and she is just as awesome with or without all her make up or body shaper.
Trigger warnings: self harm, fat shaming/fat phobia, unwanted sexual advances,
Not once in the book is Natalie shamed for her smarts and it was wonderful to have a young character who is so passionate about something. Her character ARC is flawless as she learns to appreciate the effort she has put into her looks but know that it’s not necessary to feel beautiful. Though she exudes confidence she still is human and therefore shows an emotional response to trolls on the internet, even while she tries to not let it affect her. While Natalie’s character is certainly refreshing, the supporting cast is about as cookie cutter as you can get. Fortunately, Natalie is so lovable it didn’t overcast her standing out.
Hailee Steinfeld – Love Myself