The summer before her junior year, paleontology geek Natalie Page lands a coveted internship at an Ice Age dig site near Austin. Natalie, who’s also a plus-size fashion blogger, depends on the retro style she developed to shield herself from her former bullies, but vintage dresses and perfect lipstick aren’t compatible with prospecting for fossils in the Texas heat. But nothing is going to dampen Natalie’s spirit — she’s exactly where she wants to be, and she gets to work with her hero, a rock-star paleontologist who hosts the most popular paleo 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 hero turns out to be anything but, and steals the credit for one of her accomplishments, Nat has to unearth the confidence she needs to stand out in a field dominated by dudes. To do this, she’ll have to let her true self shine, even if that means defying all the rules for the sake of a major discovery.
The fact that the book Mammoth exists makes me so happy! It’s about a plus sized girl who also happens to be both a fashion blogger and a science geek! How cool is that? This is the first Young Adult I found about Paleontology. Ross Geller would be proud!
Natalie is a paleontology enthusiast who gets an internship at a Ice Age digging site. She’s a fashion blogger and a science geek which makes her such a cool protagonist on paper. But once you peel the layers, she’s just a girl who wants to prove herself. She’s insecure about her weight, uses fashion and makeup to don a different persona that makes her awesome. She thinks that she can either be awesome or herself. These two are mutually exclusive. She also has an anxious habit of snapping an elastic band on her wrist when she’s stressed. But as the story goes on, we see her change slowly.
I loved the details of the internship. The procedures were fun to see. My favorite part about the book was the friendship between Quinn and Natalie. There were feminist aspects to the book that I absolutely loved. The supporting characters were all amazingly written and played important parts. I just found the whole premise and concept so refreshing that I didn’t need much in the plot to please me.
Natalie, though? I was so frustrated by her. When I read the synopsis, I was expecting a confident and badass heroine. The only time Natalie impressed me with her badassery was when she didn’t look back once when her crush let her down. And I was mighty impressed, I tell you. But then a few pages later, she makes another mistake that made me feel like shaking her! I know that I was supposed to root for her because she’s a plus sized girl and her insecurities are legit. But here’s the thing. I knew that I should root for her. But I just couldn’t! There was no connection. She simply kept disappointing me time and again with her ill-advised decisions. I found myself liking Quinn more.
I appreciate it when a protagonist is flawed and has a growth arc. But when 251 pages down the line, she keeps making stupid mistakes, the flaws stop looking fascinating. That makes me want to give this 3 stars. But I’ll add a star just for the refreshing themes explored in the book.
My Rating: ★★★★☆