Title: Babe in Boyland
Author: Jody Gehrman
Released: February 2011
Summary: 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? - from Goodreads.
My Review: Babe in Boyland is a funny and cute read that is sure to please those who are into the whole cross-dressing girl in an all boys school thing (yes, it's a thing with a strong following or so I here). With striking similarities to the Amanda Bynes movie She's the Man, Babe in Boyland treads familiar ground as 17 year old Natalie Rowan dresses as a boy and infiltrates an all boys school to gain insight into why boys do the things they do (man, if it only it were that easy).
Yes it's a little far-fetched, yes you must suspend your belief in reality, yes there are cliches to no end, and yes it is quite predictable. There were no big surprises here. And I honestly wasn't expecting or wanting anything too deep when I started reading this novel. The cover of the book screams zany, fun times, and that's what it delivered. That's not to say that there is not substance to Gehrman's genderbender tale because there are lessons to be learned and interesting observations on teenage relationships and self esteem.
Natalie is a funny and likable protagonist who despite being a little full of herself at the start of the novel is a relatable and three dimensional character. The only pitfall of the novel was that the romance between Nat and her sensitive and hot roommate Emilio seemed a bit rushed given that the story took place over one week. Nevertheless, Babe in Boyland is a light, fluffy, amusing read that is sure to entertain and delight.