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November 13, 2018
Blurb: 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 unearth 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.
SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW
In Jill Baguchinsky’s Mammoth, Natalie Page, who’s been bullied before because of her weight, has two passions in life: vintage fashion and paleontology. Good grades and hard work get her an internship at a besieged archaeological site in Texas where she gets to work with cute boys and learn the skills that she hopes to make her future career.
Natalie Page is a character I was rooting for throughout the pages of Mammoth even when she does things that are cringe-worthy or incite eye rolls. An element of being a fashionista is to always wear the proper attire for a given situation, right? So a dress and heels are not exactly appropriate for an archaeological orientation nor Chanel flats for a site tour. But we give her the benefit of the doubt because she’s a kid and we also realize that these things, like the shapewear she puts on each day, are part of her armor.
This internship proves eye-opening for Natalie who discovers that her paleontologist hero actually has feet of clay and that not all cute boys are the same.
Despite being smart, she does dumb and impetuous things. Traits of being a teenager? Probably.
There are lots of details and action and I found the novel hard to put down because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I especially appreciated that Natalie changed throughout the novel and came to worry less about her weight and more about who she was as a person and also that actions have consequences.
I recommend Mammoth for readers who enjoy YA fiction with elements of romance, geekiness, science, fashion and self-awareness.
I won a copy of Mammoth from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers in exchange for an honest review.