Elephant

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.
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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.

Book Description:

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.

If you would like to tell us your story, be sure to message us at @elephant_bookya on Instagram or tweet us at @Ebookya, using the hashtag #TheElephantInMyRoom

Summary Elephant by Natalie Rodriguez is a coming of age story about Matty Smith who went through inexplicable experiences that left him mentally unstable. There has been a tragedy in his family that he couldn’t remember. Then, a mysterious accident leaves him hospitalized. Not knowing the truth, he only has his own grandmother and friends to enlighten him, except they kept the truth from him. With unsettled mind, incessant attacks of anxiety, depression, and PTSD occupy his daily life, and the vagueness of the series of unfortunate events that happened to him isn’t helping. Will he find out the truth for himself? And if he does, will the truth make him suffer more? Review When I read the book, I had no background of the author - didn’t know if it this was her debut novel, didn’t know what connections she had, didn’t know a thing about her, except that she wrote the book. Then when I started reading, I was instantly captivated by the writing style. I thought, this couldn’t be her first novel. The vividness of details and descriptions and the metaphors in her narrative made me pause for a while and check out her background. Then I found out she’s in the entertainment industry and that she was an award-winning writer and filmmaker! And that explained why it didn’t make me feel like I was reading a book - it felt more like I was watching a movie. This book has mixed vibes – a cross between Christopher Pike and Stephen King. Screen-wise, it was like Black Mirror that didn’t revolve around technology. Truth is, it didn’t feel like it was written by a girl. It was hard to understand because of all the weird things happening, but it was one of those books where you just had to keep reading even if you were clueless about it. All the actions and emotions seemed like they were real, and almost as if the author experienced them herself. You could easily tell she has good visualizations while writing the book. In fact, this is a story that will be more appreciated as a movie, or a television series. Overall, I’m giving this 5 out of 5 stars. The storyline was insane, but I couldn’t stop reading because I had to find out the missing pieces. This psychological suspense and mystery drama would probably be more appreciated by male readers, or those who are interested in mind-boggling stories. I’ve had a rollercoaster ride of emotions in reading this and you will too. Warning: there are no rainbows, unicorns, and butterflies in this story.

-- SheySaints

Natalie C. Rodriguez (Author)

Author has recently published the book ▸Elephant. This book is avaiable on leading bookstores, get your copy now and help the author by writing a review of the book.
Natalie Rodriguez is an award-winning writer, director, and mental health and anti-violence/trauma advocate based in Los Angeles, CA. In 2014, she graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a Bachelor of Arts in Radio-Television-Film. Her first experience in entertainment was an internship at the Conan O’Brien show and Peter Guber’s Mandalay Pictures, where she worked at the offices of producers, Matthew Rhodes (“Cherry,” “Men in Black: International”) and Academy Award-winner, Cathy Schulman (“Sharp Objects,” “Crash”). Natalie was also a panelist at events, including Google, Hispanicize, and YouTube, where she has shared her story as a writer, filmmaker, and a female working in the entertainment industry. Some of her previous writing work can be found in publications such as the HuffPost Blog, Thrive Global, Anxiety Resource Center, Opposing Views, NowThis News, Zooey Deschanel’s Hello Giggles, The Mighty, and more. In 2017, she founded her production company, Extraordinary Pictures, focusing on both films, television, digital series, and social issue projects. The company has a list of projects in its roaster, including development on a TV sitcom, “The D,” which placed in top-ten for best comedy screenplays at Stage 32. At the moment, Natalie’s second directorial feature film, “Howard Original,” is in post-production and set for an August 2020 release date on YouTube Premium. The film is based on the award-winning short film about a washed-up screenwriter named Howard, who encounters more than just selling a story, a studio rejection, and writer’s block when his pet cat comes to life. Natalie’s directorial feature film, “The Extraordinary Ordinary,” which she also wrote, produced, and was the executive producer on, is making its round through the festival circuit. The film deals with young adults, mental health awareness, and the aftermath of trauma. The film won ‘Best Film About Women’s Empowerment’ at the Glendale International Film Festival and scored nominations in Best Director, Best Female Director, and Best Picture. The film also had a sold-out world premiere screening at the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival (LADFF), winning ‘Best Performance’ by the leading actress, Maddison Bullock. Further details on the project can be found @theextraordfilm, including recent film festival awards and nominations. Her other screenplays and films have also been featured and placed in the final rounds at HollyShorts Film Festival, NALIP: Latino Lens Film Festival, ShortsTV, Stage 32: Comedy Screenplay, Beverly Hills Film Festival, Culver City Film Festival, Indie Night Film Festival, Hollywood Screenplay Contest, Table Read My Screenplay – Austin Film Festival, and others. Natalie was most recently an ambassador for Jen Zeano Designs (JZD), a clothing company in association with USA Networks. While she continues to build her creative background, Natalie is always open to collaborating with other artists and advocates. Currently, she awaits the publication of her first young adult novel this April 2020, “Elephant,” a story about four childhood best friends who uncover a family secret. The book was also a finalist at Clare Books’ the Binge-Watching Cure II contest for ‘Best Novel.’ For details on previous and upcoming projects, be sure to check out @natchristinerod and @extraordpictures.

Summary Elephant by Natalie Rodriguez is a coming of age story about Matty Smith who went through inexplicable experiences that left him mentally unstable. There has been a tragedy in his family that he couldn’t remember. Then, a mysterious accident leaves him hospitalized. Not knowing the truth, he only has his own grandmother and friends to enlighten him, except they kept the truth from him. With unsettled mind, incessant attacks of anxiety, depression, and PTSD occupy his daily life, and the vagueness of the series of unfortunate events that happened to him isn’t helping. Will he find out the truth for himself? And if he does, will the truth make him suffer more? Review When I read the book, I had no background of the author - didn’t know if it this was her debut novel, didn’t know what connections she had, didn’t know a thing about her, except that she wrote the book. Then when I started reading, I was instantly captivated by the writing style. I thought, this couldn’t be her first novel. The vividness of details and descriptions and the metaphors in her narrative made me pause for a while and check out her background. Then I found out she’s in the entertainment industry and that she was an award-winning writer and filmmaker! And that explained why it didn’t make me feel like I was reading a book - it felt more like I was watching a movie. This book has mixed vibes – a cross between Christopher Pike and Stephen King. Screen-wise, it was like Black Mirror that didn’t revolve around technology. Truth is, it didn’t feel like it was written by a girl. It was hard to understand because of all the weird things happening, but it was one of those books where you just had to keep reading even if you were clueless about it. All the actions and emotions seemed like they were real, and almost as if the author experienced them herself. You could easily tell she has good visualizations while writing the book. In fact, this is a story that will be more appreciated as a movie, or a television series. Overall, I’m giving this 5 out of 5 stars. The storyline was insane, but I couldn’t stop reading because I had to find out the missing pieces. This psychological suspense and mystery drama would probably be more appreciated by male readers, or those who are interested in mind-boggling stories. I’ve had a rollercoaster ride of emotions in reading this and you will too. Warning: there are no rainbows, unicorns, and butterflies in this story.

-- SheySaints

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