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Elephant by Natalie Rodriguez : Book Review

Updated: Jul 11, 2020

Elephant is a YA psychological suspense book written by Natalie Rodriguez. It is the story of a teenage boy Matthew Jimmy Smith (Matty/Matt) who lives with his grandmother Lucia. Matt has three dear friends Derek, Lisa and Jamie. A strange incident leaves Matt in a trauma which consequently turns into Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Because of all this, he ends up being hospitalized, where he still gets a memory of that incident with a lot of unanswered questions. He keeps asking his friends and grandma, but they don’t tell him the exact truth, and he keeps getting panic attacks one after another. Weird things keep happening, and his life becomes chaotic.

“ Life is nothing but an assault. It messes up with you and won’t ever take the blame for it”

I was kind of clueless at a point and was unable to understand anything, I still kept reading because I wanted to know what happens next. It is that kind of a book. This is the story of strong friendship and many other emotions with a hint of secrets. I loved how childhood memories of Matt with his grandmother are added into the ongoing story. I felt emotional at some points.

One of such memories :

The wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round, ‘round and round, ‘round and ‘round.’” The boy pulled back. “‘The wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round, all through the town.’”

“Why you are singing the ‘boo-boo’ song?” she asked and lowered to his level, matching his height.

“So, I can take your boo-boo’s away.”

Saying anything more about the story line might force me to give out some spoilers so I will stop here.

About the title Elephant, it is a metaphorical one, more like ‘Elephant in the room’. It addresses how mental health issues like depression, panic attacks, traumas are critical, but most of us choose to not talk about them.

“ There are no big or small achievements in life. Everything is larger than life."

You should read this book if :

  1. You want to read a book with beautifully portrayed teenage friendships

  2. You are looking for psychological suspense and mental health-related reads

  3. You like on-point Character development. The author has given equal importance to the characters in highlight. No less, No more. I liked that.

  4. The language of this book is easy and narration is straightforward. It is not so bookish or complicated.

There are some points where slightly triggering content is there. So, if that bothers you, read this book when you feel comfortable reading such content.

I recommend this to everyone whose voices go unheard, and they feel alone, insecure and helpless at some point in there life. Overall, it was a good read and you can go for it.

Update : This is a first book in the series and second book 'skeleton' is going to release in 2021.

Check out this book here :

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