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Book: Elephant

Author: Natalie Rodriguez


MY TAKE: This book belongs to young adult suspense genre, something I have been exploring a lot lately. Okay, so the protagonist Matthew Smith is a teenager who live with his grandma, Matthew was going through a mental trauma that caused him depression, his life was quite chaotic. Depression and anxiety are the star topics of this book also, it being quite usual these days it's important to talk about it as much as we can and normalise it. This definitely has grown my fondness for the book. Why elephant? The word elephant is just a metaphor or figure of speech in layman language that is been used to describe the mental state of matt. I don't know but I felt sympathetic towards matt, I mean his mental situation was disturbing, the monotonous events that were happening with him were leading him towards a dull place in life. I'm really intrigued by the whole book, Matt's journey, the narration, the plot and everything but I'm kind of disappointed by the ending I think it could have been better.


When was the last time you were shut down for experiencing a mental health struggle or feeling unheard by others, including those closest to you?

Summer of 2006. Four childhood best friends. A family secret.

After a strange encounter leaves him hospitalized, a timid teenage boy named Matt "Matty" Smith comes home to a continuous series of events met with anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

Under the guardianship of his grandma, Lucia, Matt lives with unspoken questions about his grandfather and parents. The elephant in the room. As Matt develops over the summer, the secrets only grow more profound and complex. Will the answers ever come? While searching for answers, Matt and his three childhood best friends encounter the meanings of love, forgiveness, and fate.

This story is for those who feel their voice is unheard and for children, teenagers, and the adult who never had the chance to heal from their pain.

AUTHOR SPEAKS: Hello, my name is Natalie Rodriguez. I am the author of new young adult fiction novel, “Elephant.” The idea for “Elephant” started out as a fifth grade school project, where the students and I had to write and create a short story. At first, I hated the project, but I also wanted to pass the fifth grade. The project was a big assignment to complete, which determines if a student moved on or not to the next grade level. After pouting for a few minutes over the project, I came up with the title first, which was originally “The Strange Wind of Skull Hollow.” At the time, I was obsessed with drawing and coloring Halloween theme images such as pumpkins, bats, mummies and skeletons (hint “skull”). I am also a filmmaker. My hobbies consist of writing, reading, hiking, jogging, and shopping for the latest horror films and apparel wear. During this quarantine, like most, I have my ups and downs. Something that keeps me on my feet is steering towards other creative outlets and catching up on the latest movies and TV shows on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Shudder TV.

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