Yeah, I guess that s how I m gonna start this review.
Listen, if you ve seen Just one of the guys or She s the man , you know this story by heart And I mean that 95% of EVERYTHING in this book is taken directly from those two movies I started wondering if this book was the basis for She s the man But that s impossible.
So This book gets a big fat 0 for originality.
Just imagine someone getting their Twilight fanfiction published That would be weird And dumb.
But ok Ignoring the fact that I ve seen this exact story before, I did enjoy the read Why Cuz I like those two movies I like the idea of a girl going undercover as a guy and falling in love I also like the series HanaKimi It s impossible Sure I mean, no girl as girly as the girls in these stories could EVER be believed to be a boy But, it s kind of like the whole Superman thing Yes, it s stupid that his glasses are his disguise, but if people weren t stupid enough to fall for it, there would be no story And that would be well, boring.
It was kinda funny It was well written It was an OK short read 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.
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 Full review posted at Amaterasu Reads From the summary, you d probably think of Amanda Bynes movie She s The Man A girl who disguises herself as a boy and went to an all boys school Ring a bell Or if you re familiar with Hisaya Nakajo s Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, which is also about a girl who went to an all boys school Or if you want to look even further, I would say this also reminds me a bit of Drew Barry s Never Been Kissed You re probably right in that part of the story, but I think that s where the similarity ends.
I have to give Jody Gehrman credit because as much as this book sounds familiar, she was able to make the story her own Putting in her own spin using cliche elements from books we ve read and movies we ve seen, and injecting a healthy dose of hilariousness that will surely tickle one s funny bones, along with a dash of wit and comedy that will make you forget it was similar to another story, Babe in Boyland is an insightful yet very entertaining sneak peek in what happens when girls try to understand what really can t be understood Boys.
I was already laughing my socks off after the first eight pages Natalie s voice is distinct and very funny, even comical Her editors from hell who insults her on a daily basis mocks her further when her advice column bombs and virtually all the males in school hates her because apparently she doesn t know a thing about relationships and boys She s a failed love goddess and a journalistic joke, to quote her own words So Natalie attempted to write her own expose, and maybe win the Story of the Year award while she s at it.
I can come up with a few adjectives to describe Natalie, a.
a Dr Aphrodite She s reckless, she s sassy, she s witty, she s awkward, and basically, she s just a girl trying to learn how it is that boys operate I love how Natalie puts in the effort to understand guys , even though she s crazy as a nut for infiltrating an all boys school She was trying to be dedicated and honest in her craft, which was mainly her driving force to do such a drastic action And for her sanity as a girl, she had to find out once and for all how to give right advices to those writing to her, and not just what they want to hear.
Emilio somewhat reminds me a bit of Alex of the Perfect Chemistry, though somewhat tamer, mysterious, and laid back He s the kind of guy you would love to just hang out with Not really part of the popular cliques, but he gets along with everyone I love how simple his character is, but easily lovable.
It s amazing how much I appreciated being a girl after reading about being a boy from another girl s point of view Aside from the obvious luxuries we have that boys don t, what she had to sacrifice, Natalie had to pretend to be someone she s not, and along the road she had experienced all kinds of failures I found myself rooting for both Natalie and Nat, and finding delight when they overcome situations which otherwise embarrasses the world out of everyone in a normal setting and basically existing in a world far different from her own, the world of boys.
The author s experience in theater is put into good use in this novel Natalie s character, aside from being a writer, is also an actress, and Jody was able to give an authentic feel on how it feels like to be a high school actress, or just being a part of a drama club.
But what I really loved about this book, was the lessons and realizations that Natalie has picked up along the way Sometimes its not about trying to decode or understand what boys want to say or do It s about us appreciating what we are and what we have Its true that Natalie had learned a few hard truths about relationships and boys, but what probably is the greatest lesson this book gives is what she discovered about herself But seriously, reading Natalie s piece about boys towards the end of the book It wouldn t hurt to think about what was written about the ever elusive, ever complicated boys, and why they behave like they do.
I loved this book I want to snuggle up and cuddle it and marvel in its sweetness It was fun, clever, made me laugh a lot and HELLOOOO EMILIO That boy made me swoon The characters in this book were so easy to love Natalie AKA Nat felt so real, she s the type of girl who d be great to have as a friend Chloe and Darcy were awesome, best friends so different but when matched with Nat, the perfect balance Tyler was a cutie, I have a thing for nerdy but shy and cute guys or POKSI as Natalie would say And as I mentioned, Emilio was certainly easy on the eyes or so I d imagine He s the kind of guy a girl would love to find.
This isn t a very good review the best thing I could say would be to read it for yourself.
Thinking about it, Babe in Boyland reminded me somewhat of the movie She s The Man It was just fun I know I ve used that word a lot, but it s really the best way to describe the emotions I felt when I was reading it Another Author to add to my watch out for future works list First, let s discuss the cover The girl has huuuuge eyes I suspect photoshop and the reason I mention it is because the huge eyes is common in shoujo girl s manga So, the huge eyes automatically led me to expect something a bit wacky because well, suspension of belief is quite necessary to read some manga the shoujo ones anyway and the mustache makeup is kinda genius You have to admit that It elicited a chuckle out of me anyway.
First, let me just say that I love gender benders I love the improbability of it and how it can create some pretty interesting situations I have read a lot of gender benders, seen many dramas about them they are a common trope in Asian pop lit and so I have come to expect certain situations that seem to go hand in hand with gender benders One of those situations is that the girl if she s in a boarding school, which she almost always is has a room mate and the roommate is the boy she is majorly crushing on This occurs in The Education of Bet by Lauren Baratz, Hana Kimi by Nakajo Hisaya, She s the Man movie and now Babe in Boyland.
It might be a cliche, it might be expected but I actually like it I like that the boy roommate is the love interest because come on now, how else is a girl in a boy s boarding school supposed to get all mushy and romantic with any boy other than one who is asleep at the time she is being mushy and romantic Well That sounds wrong But you get my point.
Anyway, let s talk about Babe in Boyland While Ms Gehrman does her best to plausibly set up circumstances that make Natalie s undercover week at a boy s boarding school seem realistic and possible, at a certain point, you just have to accept that this is a book and things are possible in it that will not be possible in real life Suspension of belief is very necessary Once you do suspend your expectations of reality, you are free to enjoy the book for what it is I certainly did.
The strengths in the book lie in the narrator Natalie is a very likeable person She is flawed to be sure but she contains a certain vulnerability to her, an honesty in her observations that you can t help but empathize with The friendship between girls is also refreshing as both the best friends are not just a means to an end you know, the accessory friend, the one who is chubby, or stupid, the one who serves to make the heroine look better Yeah, none of that in this book I like how all the side characters are solidly developed and feel like real people instead of caricatures of them The writing is flawless and the dialogues witty The pacing is perfect and the relationships compelling.
I liked how this book delves into the differences between the genders and instead of looking at it from just the perspective of the female I think, too often, we forget to give boys the same respect that women demand I know that most of the times they do not deserve it but I think that as we women fight not to be stereotyped and categorized, we should give the same consideration to the other gender What does it mean to be an adolescent guy I m not sure I want to know Haha But I think that Ms Gehrman correctly portrays that boys are just people Yes, shocking, I know The book takes a look at social status and divisions in high school and how a girl who starts out trying to understand boys ends up understanding herself and her gender.
Oh and the love interest in this book Smoking hot I was in love with him at first description I m sort of shallow like that Haha Anyway, final verdict I enjoyed the book A lot I think it is entertaining and has a bit of substance that saves it from being entirely fluff So I think you should check it out.
5 stars I do not really know exactly why I enjoy stories that picture girls masquerading as men so much I do not mean stories that focus on girls feeling wrong in their own female skins, but plots that show girls cross dressing because their gender would be an unacceptable obstactle to doing what they want or what they have to do like spy work, having a career or evading a certain unwelcome fate For instance, I loved Alle halten mich f r einen Jungen, in which 12 years old Simone just doesn t dare to contradict the teacher introcuding her to her new classmates, Star Crossed, in which the heroine applies for a job as a ship s surgeon after her master dies and leaves her jobless, Freedom Beyond the Sea, which shows a jewish girl fleeing the Spanish Inquisition as a hand on Christopher Columbus ship, the historical romance The Spy and the manga series W Juliet, Volume 1 plus I have to admit I almost became addicted to the Korean drama The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince when I watched it two years ago I felt compelled to watch episode after episode although night had already set in and I had plans for the day after.
In Babe in Boyland a lot of the possible, awkward situations that might occur when a girl pretends to be a boy in an boys only boarding school were covered and I liked the conveyed message that we all have different sides to us that we broadcast in the company of different people and that the conviction of really knowing someone is mostly founded by what our own interaction with the person in question triggers Plus, The heroine and her two best friends were rather cute and the love interest was hot and nice Still, Babe in Boyland was not perfect as a girl in boys clothes book It reminded me a lot of the Japanese drama version of the popular manga series Hana Kimi, Volume 1, which I enjoyed considerably inspite of all the unnecessary twists and turns and silly side plots a manga based TV series is inherently prone to In both stories the supposed new boy falls for her roommate And in both plots this leads to interesting dilemmas But the scenes in the drama were vivid, romantic, awkward They pushed the dangerous whoa she almost blew the cover angst at me with a firmer shove and made me wonder if the real boy, who tended to react grumpy or moody, but sometimes a little tender, was having difficulties at keeping himself from being attracted to someone he thought to be a guy.
But a non perfect book is by no means a book that is not good or not recommendable So if you like light and short chicklitty romances that involve a little cross dressing, cute boys, friendship, Shakespearean drama and a teenaged heroine, who shows some character development, I show you you both my thumbs turned upwards Babe in Boyland provided my with some much needed fun hours and a wonderful respite from wading through an endless historical fantasy that entirely revolves around sex and dark obsessions.
Natalie Rowan wants to know a couple of things 1 When you say you re going to call and you don t, what happened 2 What are you do different when your friends are around Which one is the real you 3 What do youreally look for in a girl 4 Is it true that guys think about sex every eight seconds, or is it just a myth 5 What s the surest way to tell the difference between a guy who s being sincere and one who s just looking to score 6 What can make you lose interest in a girl overnight 7 If you won t talk about your feelings, how are we supposed to know what they are This was supposed to be funny I chose this book to get a good laugh Right now, I am laughing at myself for even finishing it This was like watching Amanda Bynes in her gender bending like a cross dressing one teen flick a couple of years back What do these two have in common A teenage girl dresses up as a boy, lives with them, gets to know them and along the way makes friends then meets the guy of her dreams Don t get me wrong I loved the tampon scene in the movie, But this book doesn t even have anything close to that Now, for a truly hilarious ride of the same type of story one would be better off watching the Japenese rom com Hanazakari no Kimitachi e Now, that was hi larious Plus it has Ikuta Toma in it.
This book was HILARIOUS So many laugh out loud moments and such a feel good novel I could read it again right now Despite being a novel full of humor and witty one liners there is also an important underlying message, that not only teens but all readers can appreciate.
If you haven t read Jody s Triple Shot Bettys books I d recommend you pick those up as well I love Jody s characters and her depictions of friendship That s something that I can always expect when picking up her novels and Babe in Boyland was no exception.
Natalie is a fantastic character and one that you can t help but relate to and admire She s witty and sarcastic I loved her And the dynamic between her and her two friends was refreshing Her two best friends couldn t be different, yet Jody seamed their friendship together perfectly and realistically.
The story was a little predictable I mean, you know with a crazy concoction like a girl posing as a guy isn t going to end as well as the MC is hoping and the love interest isn t too hard to guess, but I know you ll be rooting for Natalie and her boy, like I was The backdrop of the high school theater was another element of the story that rocked I loved how the two worlds came together and how Natalie was able to do most of her observations there And how HILARIOUS was that closet scene so glad I was reading at home because I lost it Babe in Boyland is a feel good, hilarious read with a great message Just be yourself.
Which is exactly how this book feels to me Granted, sometimes this premise is done well But mostly, it s not.
I actually think that this theme could use a reboot, especially in this day and age, with gender roles becoming and fluid and undefined I would love to see one of these characters discover that the old, Men are From Mars, Women Are From Venus paradigm is a load of crap and that we re all actually just human beings, similar than we are different Why do boys say they ll call but then don tPerhaps because they re playing into age old stereotypes about how they re supposed to act, or perhaps they re just nervous about failing miserably, like we all are Is it true that boys think about sex every eight secondsNo, that s not true They actually think about it every five seconds, just like we all do.
So yes, this book does not exactly bring anything new to the table In fact, while I was reading it I was so strongly reminded of that 1980 s film, Just One of the Guys that I made my entire family re watch it with me in the name of research On Christmas It s a good thing that they love me.
It turns out that there really are quite a few similarities Both main characters are high school journalism students, who cross dress in the name of research and are hoping to win a prize Both characters infiltrate a new school Both are popular as girls, but then become losers as boys Both characters are bullied by the popular guy Both can t seem to get their boy persona quite right, until they give in and stuff a sock down their pants Both have that scene where they run to a boys urinal, only to stare at it in dismay Both must fend off unwanted advances from a girl Both end up falling for a boy who s a loser fringe type guy but also has a perfect physique and a winning personality because you know, that happens.
But I guess that I could have just described many of the large number of movies, television shows, and books that have all capitalized on this idea.
I did enjoy Natalie learning to appreciate the underdogs hiding in plain sight around her, and her growing respect for the non superficial characteristics But then most of that seems nullified when she falls for Emilio, a character who has very little substance at all, and seems mostly defined by his stellar abs and caramel skin And if anything, Natalie emerges from her little experiment with gender roles even solidly definedThere is a divide, though, between male and female worlds, and those worlds have different rules, different customs, different culturesShe exults in her freedom from boyhood , becoming even girlier by wearing pink and glitter and indulging in exaggerated emotional responses This is a fun, fluffy, cute read but it s been done before Many times If you re looking for something novel or revolutionary, I would give this one a pass.
Perfect Musical PairingMidnight Star Girl s Got Something Boys Ain t GotIf you re going to flash back to the eighties anyway, might as well just go there For journalism antics, cross dressing, and traditional gender roles only slightly challenged, I would actually suggest watching this movie It has a zany brother And thirty year olds playing high schoolers And boobs Also seen on The Readventurer.
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