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Review: Babe in Boyland

my thoughts in a few sentences: Have you guys ever watched She's the Man starring Amanda Bynes? Babe in Boyland is just like that. The hilarity and the awkward moments just make this such a fun read! Yes, it takes a bit (okay, A LOT) of suspension of disbelief to buy that a girl like Natalie could ever manage accomplishing something as crazy as infiltrating an all-boys school, even for a week. Still, between getting set-up on a date with a girl to getting socked in her make-believe balls in Gym, Babe in Boyland is so full of this irresistible humor that makes you quake with side-splitting laughter. The unexpected friendships, the swoonworthy crushes, and two bffs that never leave the main character's side all create warm, happy feelings, the pages hemorrhaging pleasurable endorphins or something. Barrels of fun, Babe in Boyland is a light, hilarious read that managed to calm the emotional aftermath of yesterday's dive into Pandemonium.

first few lines: "My name is Natalie Rowan. Everyone knows that. Only a select few, however, know I'm the evil genius behind my nom de plume, Dr. Aphrodite. That might be a pretty hefty title for a seventeen-year-old junior who's not even sure she's officially made it to what my mom refers to as "heavy petting.""

Rating: Sud-Kissed | Dial/Penguin • Borrowed • Contemporary Romance • 2/17/11 • $8.99



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?
First, isn't that such an adorable cover? And it suits the story so well! Babe in Boyland gives us so many causes for laughter, it doesn't seem like we find much of a reprieve. Natalie's sad, pitiable lack of know-how when it comes to boys alone is enough to produce a few chuckles from us, as we shake our heads at her arrogant, know-it-all behavior. From the moment she transforms herself into an astonishingly pretty boy, we can't contain our mirth, because the fun is just beginning. Dodging mean girls capable of exposing her, fleeing locker rooms infested with naked boys, and puckering up and fluttering her eyelashes when her cute new roommate happens to peer into her face a little too closely, Natalie has to put so much effort into making her image believable, and this whole experiment proves to her just how pitiful her knowledge of her counterpart species actually is. And what begins as a serious study for her newspaper column, Babe in Boyland ends with Natalie's understanding of herself, of how to stay true to her personality, and of how to treat others.

The plot of Babe in Boyland is obviously predictable and cute, but never falls to cheesy. Besides, we don't hunt down a book like this for hard twists and turns, severe intensity, or thrills. The whole point of a book like Babe in Boyland is to enjoy ourselves, and Jody Gehrman makes that tremendously possible. Even so, this story isn't all about snort-worthy jokes and situations, but actually brushes some serious things. Gehrman introduces excellent advice and insight into not only boys but people in general. It spreads a healthy message, one that encourages us to be ourselves, whoever we might decide that is. We are chameleons, claiming the ability to be whatever we want, however many people we want, and the possibilities are limitless. It's fun to reinvent ourselves every once in a while and make changes, and we learn to appreciate every facet that makes up the whole.

With a believable, exciting romance, and hilarious, multifaceted characters to fall in love with, Operation Babe in Boyland is a total success, and the perfect release valve for those wrenching emotions from our previous reads that we haven't quite been able to get rid of. Dousing any lingering pain or tension, Babe in Boyland incites laughs short and long, giving us something warm and glowy to take away with us as soon as we're finished.

There, standing before me, is a half-naked guy so gorgeous I do a double take. He's got dark, liquid eyes, close-cropped black hair, and smooth brown skin. His bare torso ripples with muscles: sculpted shoulders, well-defined pecs, and washboard abs. He's perfectly cut without veering into scary bodybuilder bulk. My attention jerks back to his eyes, which take me in warily.
"Hi." I can feel everything in me shifting into flirt mode. My hip automatically juts out to one side and the word comes out soft and fluttery.
Tyler and the guy at the door both look at me like I've just farted.
"I mean yo, what's up?"
Yo? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (82)

28 comments:

Michelle Chew said...

Great review! I've added it to my TBR list. :) Seems like a cute read. 

Asher_Knight said...

It is such a fun read! I laughed so much :D

Mimi Valentine said...

You compared this to She's the Man?? SOLD! That movie is one of my favourites of all time and this book sounds so hilarious! I never really mind predictable books as long as they're sweet and fun and have awesome characters, so from your review, Babe in Boyland sounds exactly like that! :)

Operation Make Mimi Want to Read Babe in Boyland is a total success!! And I ADORE that cover too! x) <3 Lovely review, Asher!

Asher_Knight said...

 MIIIIIMMIII! <333

Yes, it totally reminded me of She's the Man. A little bit different on getting into the boys school and the delivery, but it's the same concept, and a lot of the scenes were so reminiscent of the movie. But, yes, this story is sweet and fun and likable.

Hehe. I'm glad. AND THE COVER IS ADORKABLE. Total love. :D

kimba88 said...

This sounds adorable..although when i read something or watch something where someone is awkward .i usually have to cover my eyes or walk away..LOL

Sam @ Realm of Fiction said...

I have wanted to read this for so long! it sounds like so much fun and I love the idea of a girl infiltrating a boys-only school. I could do with a laugh and this book sounds perfect! :D

Awesome review, Asher! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it. I must grab a copy of this soon!

Jenny said...

"The whole point of a book like Babe in Boyland is to enjoy ourselves, and Jody Gehrman makes that tremendously possible"

Love it! When reading, I just want to be entertained, and if a book does that, it's a successful story in my eyes:) I like the books that are just fun, they're such a nice break from some of the heavier stories (which I of course adore), and I need those kind of breaks now and then. Thanks for the review Asher!

Missie Bee said...

A book simply for the enjoyment of reading! I could definitely use one of those. I loved She's the Man.  And I like the sound of that believable romance and the touches on a serious side mixed with all the funny. Really, this book seems like a win win!

Asher_Knight said...

 Hehe, I'm like that too. I either cover my eyes, burrow under my special movie-watching blanket, or blush up to my ears. It just depends on the situation. BUT, I think you'll be okay in this one. I think you'll be too busy laughing to care much *LOL*

Asher_Knight said...

 Definitely. I lent it to my sister and she came home, about midway in the book, and was grinning from ear-to-ear, rehashing all the LOADS OF FUNNY. You will laugh.

Asher_Knight said...

 I needed some untarnished entertainment and laughter after Pandemonium, and it felt good to unwind with this kind of book. And anything that was tensed loosened with the laughs pouring out of me. I definitely recommend this for people in need of a serious smiling/chuckling session :D

Asher_Knight said...

 Oh, yeah, I snorted so bad with this book. Yes, I snort when I laugh xD And I did with this one. A LOT. Inciting much staring. I hope you get to enjoy this one soon!

Allison said...

I love that you compared this with She's the Man! I thought exactly the same thing after reading it.

Asher_Knight said...

 It was like a replay, but at the same time unique. :)

Cindy said...

This sounds like such a cute book and I am glad you found it fun! This is definitely one I want to read, just because. Great review :)

Asher_Knight said...

 Expect to laugh. A LOT. And it is one of those just because books. Just because you're in the mood to read it :)

Liz. R said...

I thought this was a lot like She's the Man too! It was really fun - agree about the suspension of disbelief (there was a lot you just had to overlook :P), but it was a cute and funny read overall. Great review! :)

Asher_Knight said...

 I know, right?! She's the Man is one of my fave movies and so I found this book so hilarious and likable as a result.

Angie McDowell said...

This is the book I've been looking for but forgot what it was called!! You are a lifesaver, Asher. Literally you saved my life. Probably? Okay maybe not, but you saved my sanity for sure. I know the situations in these types of stories aren't that plausible, but I love them anyway. The whole "girl disguises herself as boy" thing is pretty popular in Japan and I've watched many a J-drama about it. Plus, I do love me some She's the Man. Okay enough babbling. I have to go in search of this book.

Asher_Knight said...

 Hehe. I'm glad you've rediscovered it! And yes, they aren't plausible but you don't go into a book like this for believability, you go in to have fun. And I know what you mean! Have you watched Ouran High School Host Club? Only the anime is much funnier than this book XD She's the Man is great too, and I don't mind babbling because I've been known to do it myself a time or two :D

Caroline Taylor078 said...

Anything thats like Shes The Man sounds good to me, I love that film, Amanda Bynes is so good in it and it was Channing Tatum before he got a bit too steroidy!!

Asher_Knight said...

 Yes. Totally agree with you. Movie was amazing. And Channing does seem a bit... too big. Loved him in She's the Man though!

YearningtoRead said...

You've just totally made me want to read this 10x more than before!  I love that quote at the end and am going to get this from the library ASAP!!  Great review!

Asher_Knight said...

 I laughed so hard, like gasping with it, so I couldn't help but adore it. And that quote is jut a taste. Read it soon, you won't regret it :D

Angie McDowell said...

I LOVE Ouran High School! I also love Hana Kimi. Have you seen that one? You should also watch the live actions of both if you haven't. I think they're just as awesome. Though the anime/manga of Ouran will always be much better.

Asher_Knight said...

 YAY. Another fan. No, I haven't watched Hana Kimi, but I've heard of it and I'm pretty sure one of my sisters watched it and loved it. WE're all anime freaks in this household, including my mom. Ouran cracked us up. Tamaki is one of my fave fictional boys ever. :DD

Candace said...

I ALMOST picked this one up yesterday since it's in paperback now.  It's been on my WL for AGES!  And now I want it MORE!  It sounds so fun!

Asher_Knight said...

Oh, man, I'm sorry you couldn't get it! I would love to own it in paperback at some point, since it's so funny and fab. Hope you get to it soon! :D