Author: Jody Gehrman
Pages: 292 (Paperback)
Release Date: February 17, 2011
Natalie boldly goes where no girl has gone before in this fresh, funny peek inside the male mind!
Natalie writes the relationship column for her high school newspaper. Then she is accused of knowing nothing about guys and giving girls bad relationship advice, so she decides to disguise herself as a guy and spend a week at Underwood Academy, the private all-boys boarding school in town. And in the process, she learns about guys, though in ways she never expected. But when she starts to fall for her dreamy roommate, things get even more complicated. The fun doesn't stop in this light, lively offering for teen girls.
This one has been on my to-read forever, so I was thrilled when I finally got my hands on a copy. The cover is super adorable and definitely matches the tone of the book. What unfolds within its pages is a fun, quirky, and hilarious tale of one girl's mission to reveal the secrets of the male mind.
I loved Natalie! She's got spunk and sass, and wants to prove herself as a serious writer. After her advice column gets attacked, Natalie re-evaluates what she actually knows about relationships. She realizes that she does indeed tell her readers (and her friends) exactly what they want to hear, rather than give actual, useful advice. She tries to ask some of her male classmates what they really think while at a party. Needless to say, that didn't go too well. This leads up to Operation Babe in Boyland: Natalie going undercover at the all-boys school for some answers into the inner workings of teenage boys.
All of the secondary characters are great, too! The author did an amazing job or creating a cast that feels real and well rounded. The boys are hilarious, and it was a lot of fun getting to see them in their natural element. They also have a lot of depth, which was surprising for Nat. Her two best friends are a riot! They're both sooo different, but their love for each other is obvious.
Natalie's insights are a lot more varied than she, and I, were expecting. Not only were the boys thoughts and actions surprising, but the girls' too. Natalie was able to discover things about her own behavior toward the opposite sex, that she didn't even notice until she took a step back to become an observer. She also comes across issues of social status, since she's not exactly Mr.Popular while she's undercover.
Of course since the plot is based on deception, something has to go wrong. The story is totally predictable, but it was a lot of fun, and I fully enjoyed reading it. Nat gets into a ton of awkward situations as she tries to blend in, but she also learns some important lessons along the way. This book has a ton of heart, contains big laughs, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a feel-good read.
"Play as many roles as you possibly can, but know who you are deep down."