Babe in Boyland

Babe in Boyland

4.0 76
by Jody Gehrman
     
 

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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?

Overview

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?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Having reworked Much Ado About Nothing in Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty, Gehrman uses the Shakespearean vehicle of the cross-dressing heroine in this lighthearted but insightful romantic comedy. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Rowan writes an overly optimistic relationship column for her high school paper, yet has no relationship history to speak of. After being accused of cluelessness about males, she launches a secret mission, assuming a male identity and attending a nearby boys' boarding school for a week to write an investigative article about "the most mysterious of animals: the human boy." Despite a string of embarrassing (and often hilarious) incidents, the plan is off to a good start until Natalie falls in love with her roommate, encounters a girl who could blow her cover, and begins to see the world from a male perspective. Although the ease with which Natalie infiltrates Underwood Academy and misses a week of class requires significant suspension of disbelief, Natalie's exuberance and humor carry the story. Unlike her protagonist, Gehrman has no trouble getting inside the heads of boys—or inside the environment of a boys' school. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)
VOYA - Nancy Pierce
High schooler Natalie uses the nom de plume "Dr. Aphrodite" for a love advice column she writes for her school's newspaper. Natalie believes her column is great until she receives feedback that trashes her advice and claims she has no idea what boys really think. Rather than throw in the towel, Natalie decides to do some undercover investigative work by disguising herself as a boy and attending the nearby all-male Underwood Academy. With her theater experience, Natalie plans to use make-up tricks and voice training to deliver a command performance as a male—her alter-ego, Nat. A friend's cousin hacks into the school's records and enrolls her. The plan falls into place, and Natalie/Nat is ready to ask the boys of Underwood some important relationship questions. The experience, however, does not go as planned. Natalie did not plan on some basic elements: how to eat like a guy, bathroom realities, and seeing how her friends act around boys. And, she certainly did not count on the complications of having a roommate, especially when her roommate, Emilio, turns out to be the guy of her dreams. Babe in Boyland is a sweet, predictable story that will appeal to younger readers. It contains many similarities to Shakespeare in Love (girl dresses as boy, boy falls for girl dressed as boy), and other disguised-identity stories. It is somewhat contrived— it is too easy for Natalie to slip into the world of Underwood and fool all the adults (including her non-existent parents)—and a little far-fetched—she learns all about the difference between the sexes a bit too quickly. Ultimately, however, this is a satisfying teen romance that does not expect too much from the reader. Reviewer: Nancy Pierce
VOYA - Ishita Mehta
Will Natalie, or Nat, be successful in decoding the opposite sex and their mystifying ways? Or will it be a total fiasco? In Babe in Boyland, Natalie battles through "foreign" land as she searches for answers, but ends up finding more than just that. The plot becomes a little cheesy, but overall provides an amusing read. It is successful in conveying the author's message about the sexes while offering insights about human relations and how we communicate with each other. It would be most appealing for a fast read over the weekend; just something to think about as one goes through a normal day at school; or while hanging out with friends. 3Q, 3P. Reviewer: Ishita Mehta, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Girls dressing up as boys are a staple of Shakespeare and teen historical fiction. The device works in this likable modern comedy even though it sometimes strains readers' suspension of disbelief. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Rowan writes an advice column about relationships for her school paper. While "Dr. Aphrodite" is wildly popular, she's accused of only supporting the girls' points of view and telling them what they want to hear. When she learns about the Story of the Year Award for investigative reporting, she decides to go undercover as "Nat" at a local boys' academy for a week to discover how the other half thinks. She hits bottom socially but, after she's discovered cavorting with her two girl friends in a theater storage room, she's considered a "player." Meanwhile, she falls for her roommate, Emilio, a sensitive guy who opens up to her thinking she's a he. The plotline gets more absurd as Emilio sets Nat up with his sister. Natalie is unmasked by a theater rival whom she upstages while appearing as herself and pretending to be Nat's cousin. At first, Emilio is unforgiving but all's well that ends well. Natalie flubs up so much as a boy, it's hard to imagine that she doesn't get caught earlier. She endures plenty of guy nudity and grossness as well. The conclusions she draws in her article are thought-provoking but heavy-handed. Natalie and Emilio are well-rounded, appealing characters, and this book will challenge girls' perceptions about the opposite sex even as they enjoy a quick humorous read.—Tina Zubak, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Kirkus Reviews

Natalie (aka Dr. Aphrodite) pens the love column for her school's newspaper. Criticized for her lack of understanding of how guys think, she decides to go undercover at Underwood, an all-boys boarding school. Drawing upon her experience as an actress and her friends' knowledge of make-up and wardrobe, Natalie transforms herself into Nat and infiltrates the school. She soon finds out that guys are as varied as girls and that they are equally clueless in their dealings with the opposite gender. In a breathless, first-person narration, Natalie manages to tiptoe through the minefield of urinals, gym class and neckties only to find herself facing her biggest challenge: her attraction to her yummy roommate, Emilio. Brash and clueless as a girl and unconvincing as a boy, Natalie is barely likable and infrequently real. Hobbled by the overfamiliar girl-in-boy-drag premise, one-dimensional characters and predictable plot twists, this story never makes it out of the starting gate.(Fiction. 12 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803732742
Publisher:
Dial
Publication date:
02/17/2011
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile:
HL720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Jody Gehrman is a Betty of all trades. She writes novels for adults, is a playwright, an actress, and a singer-songwriter. This is her first foray into young adult literature. She lives in Potter Valley, California.

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Babe in Boyland 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 72 reviews.
Aik More than 1 year ago
Having not read any of Jody Gehrman's other books, I opened Babe in Boyland, not knowing what to expect. The synopsis reminds me of Amanda Bynes' movie - She's The Man, K-Drama He's Beautiful and Taiwanese drama, Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, in which the heroines go cross-dressing as a guy in a foreign place, but with different motives. I was a little worried that Babe in Boyland will fall into the same mold as the movies/dramas, but turns out, it doesn't fall back on tired stereotypes. The cross-dressing is just a factor in the story that enables our gutsy heroine to find out the Top 7 Secrets about Guys. In fact, Jody Gehrman does a great job in explaining how Natalie goes undercover as a new (male) student - Nat Rodgers - in Underwood High. The details on how she does certain things are brilliantly explained, like how she mimicks a guy's strut, how she practices to keep her voice low and manly, and ultimately: how she keeps her identity a secret to the guys at Underwood. She uses Natalie's character to give readers an insight on how people act around different surroundings, which is quite true considering how multifaceted us humans are. This story is told from Natalie's (a.k.a. Nat Rodgers) perspective, which is a good choice since we get to see things through her eyes. What makes this book so entertaining is that the author has a wry sense of humour which never fail to make me chortle like a maniac. Really, it is hilarious! There was one particular scene where I laughed until my tears start rolling down, and my distracted little brother peeled himself away from his computer game to ask me what's wrong. LOL. Although Babe in Boyland seems to be funny and cheery, it has a real depth within. The story itself actually offers truths about real friendship and why love relationships get strained or broken. Tolerance and acceptance is indispensable to maintain a loving relationship between a couple. With witty dialogues and realistic scenes, this book is bound to capture your heart. Overall, Babe in Boyland is a refreshing, light and quick read. Jody Gehrman definitely deserves a bunch of compliments for creating such a highly lovable and enjoyable story. Well done, Jody!
writingirl_15 More than 1 year ago
Natalie Rowan, seventeen of Mountain View High becomes Nat Rodgers, seventeen, of Underwood in this extremely funny and compulsive page-turning book. Natalie (a.k.a Dr. Aphrodite, a relationship guru for her school's newspaper) just got the shock of her life. The guys at her school think she knows nothing about boys and have been feeding all the girls out there BS! Seeing how she hasn't been in a relationship before, she comes to the conclusion that they might just be right. When she hears about the Story of the Year contest she decides she'll write her story about decoding boys. It kills two birds with one stone: it'll help her with her column and it'll show that she's a real journalist to her editors who think she's a joke. But her plan doesn't work out as well as she thought it would, so she comes up with a plan B. Go undercover as a boy at the local all-boys high school for a week and report about her findings. Let the fun begin! Babe in Boyland was hilarious! All the characters were well-rounded and fleshed out. My favorite character has to be Natalie. She had a little bit of every kind of girl in her, which makes her very relatable to most every female reader, in my opinion. The situations Natalie gets into, and how she deals with them, are extremely funny. At the end of the book I felt like I knew a bit more about guys than I did starting it. The one issue I have with Babe in Boyland is that it reads a lot like the movie She's the Man, starring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum, would if it were a book. I don't know if the author ever watched that movie but there were many times when I was reading a scene where I had a sense of déjà vu. Overall, it was a light and hilarious summer read. A perfect book if you need some laughter in your life.
Sami Weiler More than 1 year ago
I loved this book i would defentily recommend this book!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't listen the the negative people writing the reviews. If you think you'll like it, read it. You won't waste your money just because other people didn't like it . I'm 15 and I love this book so far and I'm only half way through. Its not cheesy, its reality.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book have ever read in my life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so well written. A funny comedy slash romance between Emilio and Nat (Natalie), makes me want to never put down the book. Beautifully made!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey your here hey max remember how we met omg that nite was fun wasnt it well that nite i got turned down by my crush which is y ive called you here to reason #1 boys they get in your way and their jerks but not max he was sweet funny loving and all that hes perfevt but i used him the first nitethats reason #2 i was hollow empty and alone and he was vulnerable so it happened go to pork res #13
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey its me
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
1 Found this book. 2 Loved it. 3 Cried when it was finished. 4 Loved it even more. 5 Spread the word. 6 Bought it for my friend for her birthday. Beautiful work Jody !!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Leorise5 More than 1 year ago
it's a cute story , very much like she's the man , it's funny and a fast read , i definitely enjoyed it and would recommend it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didnt hate the book but i didnt like it.Therfore this enigma has compelled me to write a review.Remember that cute little movie Shes the man...this was basically that,with no twist or anything.Not only did get on my nerves but i kept saying to myself that if she says scheisse one more time i will personally smack her.I mean how many times can rhe girlsay schiesse.This book just felt shallow and overdone.Sure its cute if u want something light and kinda stupid,but after a while i just kinda felt pissed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book could have so easily been cheesy, but Ms. Gehrman does a lovely job handling the subject matter. The read was fun and offered some insightful points. I really enjoyed it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! My friends and I call this our girl bible because u learn so much about yourself from this book. I love her paper of the year peice because it made me relieze i sometimes change myself for boys. Great book !!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was funny,crazy ,and overall amazing! It is a must read!I couldn't put it down! It will make you laugh and cry at the same time!A truley great book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Suks your p uss y
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! From begining to end it was amazing