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.
Note, if you’re going to state to have a book about body positivity do not have your character guess every lady’s weight and have the “Mean Girl” be the cliche skinny girl. It will annoy your reader who would’ve otherwise enjoyed your book.
Okay, that opening paragraph is pretty much a summation of my thoughts of Mammoth. It had a lot of potential, there were parts I liked but with many so called “empowerment” books this one ends up skinny bashing AND emphasizing weight more than it should’ve.
At least it had paleontology. That was cool, and it was the primary reason why I kept reading the book. Because I was interested in the paleontology bits, even though it got ridiculously unrealistic with how successful the MC was.
Also, seriously, she really thought wearing a dress and heels was smart for a dig sight?
Really, all of the clothes she bought weren’t fit for Texas summers let alone being outside all day long in the Hill Country.
The MC, Nat, was really annoying. Baguchinsky does excerpts of Nat’s fashion blog throughout the book, and she is one of those obnoxious fashion bloggers that I would absolutely hate. Seriously, I don’t need to know what lipstick you like to wear Nat (Pinup Girl, it’s always fucking Pinup Girl). Nat has that over the top quirky style that I think the audience is suppose to find quirky and empowering, but soon it’s revealed she relies heavily on Spanx and that’s a good part of the novel besides telling us what every single FEMALE character weighs.
Oh, yes, this is just the female characters. As for the love interests not surprisingly weight isn’t mentioned just abs and biceps.
Oh, and did I mention that the 110 pound girl is obviously a bad character for flirting with a boy that Nat might like and having a rich dad. She’s skinny and rich so…
Here’s the thing about books that state they’re about body positivity, if THAT’S true the book needs to be accepting of all body types. It just annoys me when there’s skinny shaming as much as there is fat shaming. Honestly, I wish that the main character’s size wasn’t mentioned all the time. Just have it mentioned she’s a plus size blogger and leave it at that.
And really, while I get the fashion thing was used to show her self esteem it really had little to do with the rest of the novel.
The paleontology internship itself was a little eye rolling. Again, I’d had a hard time believing a complete novice like Nat would have as much success as she did. Also, her randomly finding a document that dismisses a lawsuit….ha, ha, ha, no. If only it was that easy. I’m sure her randomly finding fossils with next to no experience would be just as laughable to paleontologists too.
There’s a part of the novel that had my inward Slytherin (yes, Slytherin and DAMN proud of it) fuming when we hear about how being too ambitious is bad.
Pro tip if you’re a woman in any professional industry you’re going to have to be helluva ambitious or else…well, your fucked. Nat being told to get over someone taking the credit of her work had my little head exploding.
At the end of the day, I didn’t hate Mammoth enough where I DNF’d it or anything like that. It also wasn’t terribly bland because it did have the paleontology plot to it-though the love interests in this book can die a slow death.
So, I’m giving it a middle of the road rating. As annoyed as I got about finding everyone’s weight out within the first twenty or so pages, after I go past it, I enjoyed it (enough).
Overall Rating: C+