Saturday, May 7, 2011

Babe In Boyland by Jody Gehrman

Babe In Boyland by Jody Gehrman
Release Date: February 17, 2011
Publisher:  Dial

When high school junior Natalie--or Dr. Aphrodite, as she calls herself when writing the relationship column for her school paper--is accused of knowing nothing about guys and giving girls bad relationship advice, she decides to investigate what guys really think and want. But the guys in her class won't give her straight or serious answers. The only solution? Disguising herself as a guy and spending a week at Underwood Academy, the private all-boy boarding school in town. There she learns a lot about guys and girls in ways she never expected--especially when she falls for her dreamy roommate, Emilio. How can she show him she likes him without blowing her cover? -

Years ago, I watched a cute and funny 80s movie called Just One of the Guys.  I read Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and loved Viola's switch from woman to man in the service of Duke Orsino.  I also watched Amanda Bines pull off a modern retelling of the play in She's the Man.  I have always loved the cute girl becomes a guy to understand guys better stories, and Babe In Boyland is no exception.

Jody Gehrman did an awesome job of bringing a unique new voice to this cute idea and I found myself really enjoying this story.  Natalie is a typical teenage girl.  When the guys at her school attack her anonymous persona of Dr. Aphrodite, claiming she knows nothing about boys and that she hands out bad advice to girls, she tries to make amends by interviewing the guys in her school.  But they either take her interest as a pick-up line, get scared off, or just don't want to answer.  Thus the idea of enrolling in an all-boys boarding school for a week is born.

Her roommate is, of course, a hot, muscle-rippling guy that she falls hard for immediately.  This sudden fall is very believable, because Emilio is such a great character.  He's smart, he's sweet, and he treats her like a good friend.  She can be herself around him, not always having to put on the "show" she'd typically put on if out on a date with a new guy.

In the course of her week of research, Natalie a.k.a. Nat, begins to see the true nature of guys, as she lives as one.  She finds herself doing and saying things she's seen guys do and say, but now she understands the motives behind it.

Natalie's journey isn't so much one about learning guys, as it turns out to be a journey of discovering herself.  It was a pleasure to follow Natalie around as she went through this journey and learned a lot more about people in general, and life.

This was such a fun, enjoyable, and satisfying read.  I adored this book and look forward to seeing other stories from this author.  A definite must-read.

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