Monday, June 27, 2011

Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman (Book Review)

Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman
Release Date: February 17, 2011
Publisher: Dial
Pages: 304
Received: Library
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads Page


From Goodreads:

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?


Ok, here’s the deal: The story isn’t all that original (except for the part where Natalie—as Nat—gets set up on a date…with a girl. Too funny!) and it does require about a beach-full of grains of salt to believe that a girl like Natalie could actually pull something like this off…but so what? Really, none of that matters because you don’t read a book like this for an original and believable story. You read a book like this because you want to laugh and swoon and just have fun. On that front, mission totally accomplished!

I loved Natalie. In the beginning of the book she’s so completely clueless about guys and relationships, but she thinks she knows it all. I was shaking my head at her throughout this whole part, but you’re supposed to be thinking that. Her mistakes, as embarrassingly bad as they are, are also pretty understandable. This whole part set Natalie up to be a character I could relate to. She only got better as the book progressed and she began to look at herself more honestly.

I said that you read a book like this because it’ll be funny, but I wasn’t prepared for how much I was going to laugh. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed this much from a book. Full on, out loud laughter. There’s this one scene (and for those of you who have read the book already all I’ll say is “Basketball”) that had me practically in tears. Not just a chuckle or even a bark of laughter, but side-splitting, tears falling, gasping for breath laughter. I was still losing it pages later at the memory of that scene. And that’s not the only scene that made me laugh like this.

Even with all that humor, there’s a serious side here that I wasn’t expecting at all. Like in Allison van Diepen’s Oracle of Dating series, Jody Gehrman actually includes a lot of good advice. I liked the observations Natalie made about how girls can make guys feel and why guys behave the way they do. I also appreciated how Natalie still embraced her girly side. I almost grabbed a little notebook to jot down all of Natalie’s lessons learned. I wish I could travel back in time and send my younger self a copy of Babe in Boyland.

The only thing I wasn’t really feeling was the romance. That’s why this isn’t a 5-star Special Shelf book for me. I didn’t find the guy she ends up with particularly attractive (or unattractive), and their scenes weren’t especially swoon-inducing for me. He wasn’t bad or a turn off, but he just didn’t have that spark. Even with this little disappointment, I loved the book so much that I will be purchasing my own copy and getting a copy for my library.

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 

This book satisfies the following challenges:

Looking for another book like this? You might like:
The Education of Bet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted


  1. This books sounds really fun to read :) I can't wait to find out what she thinks of boys lol!

  2. This makes me think of the film "She's the Man," which I find hilarious! and definitely makes me more interested in reading it; I'll admit I was turned off by the weird cover even if it does seem to make sense.

  3. Great review, this sounds like a fun book! I like the cover too, lol

  4. AND SOLD! I've been in the mood for some fun contemporary reads and this sounds super enjoyable. I'll definitely be adding it to my list. Weee, thanks for the review! :D

  5. This sounds awesome. I love books that you can't stop laughing in. It's sucks the romance wasn't quiet as strong as the rest of the book. Sounds like it was missing that special spark. Great review Small :)

  6. This one sounds so fun! I hadn't really considered reading it until I read your review!

  7. Mmm... interesting. You're swaying me toward reading this book - I've never been particularly interesting on it, but I like the idea of a good laugh.

    I think I might give it the benefit of the doubt, :D

  8. That's awesome, I've been wondering if this one was a good read or not. I actually know someone who really tattooed their finger so they could do that mustache thingy. Weird huh?!

  9. Thanks for this review, this one hasn't ever jumped out at me but it does sound like a good book. I love books where they are fun but can have a bit of seriousness in them.

  10. This sounds so good! I've been looking for more 'funny' books recently, as I've been reading a lot of the more serious stuff over the past month or so. I'm going to have to bump this one higher on my wishlist!
    Thank you for the review :)

    Books of Amber

  11. There she learns a lot about guys and girls in ways she never expected--especially when she falls for her dreamy roommate, Emilio

    This is so like the movie with Amanda Bynes where she plays football! Hahaha!

    Okay, i didn't expect you to read this book. :p Nice to know your thoughts on it though. There is a slightly chance to try it.

  12. This actually sounds really good- it will be a great summer read :)

  13. This sounds like another fun, fast and light read. I wasn't really drawn to it until I read your review, now I'm going to have to give it a chance. I do like boarding school stories, for sure.

  14. The humor is a real draw for me!

  15. I feel like I need to read this just so I can see what this basketball scene is all about. I love funny books!

    This reminds me of that Young Americans show from years ago where a girl goes undercover as a boy in a prep school. Good stuff.

  16. This does sound like a hoot. I'm definitely interested. Especially about where Natalie gets set up with a girl. Always nice to have books that make you laugh and good characters.

  17. I agree with you. The point of reading a book like this is to get some good laughs and judging from your review, it seems like this one accomplishes that. I'm a little disappointed that the romance isn't swoon-worthy.

    I have this one on my wishlist and think I'll save it for after the start of school. I'm going to need some funny stories to read then.

  18. Steph, So, so fun! Oh gosh, in the beginning her thoughts are so bad. But she learns :)

    Bookworm 1858, Yup, just like that movie! I don’t really like the cover either.

    Belle, Thanks! It’s a lot of fun.

    Stephanie, Yay! I hope you enjoy it!

    Nic, Well, the romance didn’t grab me but I think you might like him. :) Even still, there’s plenty of laughs that I actually don’t mind that I didn’t feel the romance.

    Leanna, I think you might like it. It really is a lot of fun.

    Alex, I hope you like it! I think since you like the Princess for Hire books that you’ll like this. It doesn’t have magic, but it’s a similar light and sweet feel.

    Lah, Oh gosh, yes that’s a funny tattoo to get! If you read it, I hope you like it :)

    Books for Company, I love those kinds of books too. I really do wish I had read it when I was younger. I really could have used some of that advice!

    Amber, This is definitely a good book to balance out some heavier reads. I hope you like it!

    Yiota, Yup, it’s a lot like that movie! It was The Story Siren’s review that convinced me to read it. And she’s right, the closet scene was hilarious!

  19. Kelsey, Oh yes, it would be a perfect summer read! Just be careful, because if you read it on the beach your loud laughter will probably attract some looks :P

    Gina, Totally fun, fast, and light!

    Alyssa, I was laughing more often than not throughout the whole book.

    Logan, When you read that scene you’ll realize just how juvenile my sense of humor can be. :P Look out for the closet scene, too! Young Americans? Oooh, that was the one with young Damon, right?

    Alison, The part where she was set up with a girl was so funny, and surprisingly insightful.

    A Canadian Girl, I didn't fall for the guy in the romance, but you might! Saving it for school sounds like a good idea :)

  20. Oh! Don't you just love that feeling. When you remember a scene in a book that made you laugh and you laugh again!

    Despite the lackluster romance, you know I need my swoon worthy guys, I will still have to read this one just for the laughs! This book definitely sounds like it is worth suspending belief just to enjoy the story.

    Awesome review, Smalls!

  21. I've read such good reviews of this one! I really need to get my hands on a copy of it, so I can experience laughter-filled scenes :D I love how Natalie slowly grows throughout the story as well. This one reminds me a lot of the movie She's The Man with Amanda Bynes. It was the same concept. Awesome review!

  22. This sounds like fun but I'm disappointed to hear that the romance wasn't all that great!

  23. Oh my goodness, right?! I seriously loved this book HARD. I laughed out loud, in public, more than once reading this book... Both the basketball AND the sock scene... I got a lot of weird looks reading this one :P

    I love finding books like this- They don't need to be anything super original or deep or whatever, they are just super fun & funny and a killer good time :P


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