Saturday, June 09, 2012
Babe in Boyland, by Jody Gehrman
The premise is cute and hard to take seriously, but the story's appeal to an adolescent audience is obvious enough. While implausible (it's a little hard to believe that Natalie is able to successfully pass herself off as "Nat" for an entire week) but the story is entertaining. This isn't very heavy stuff (and the conclusion tries too hard to tie everything up with a happy ending), but good points are made in the quest to demystify the opposite gender. In this particular subgenre, I think E. Lockhart's Fly on the Wall really does a better job of explaining boys to girls, but Gehrman's novel is sweet and pretty digestible. The editorial intervention towards the end (when Natalie tells the readers what she's learned) will be helpful, even if it seems artificial and forced.