Sarah's Stars

Meg Cabot. Airhead
Point $18.99 ISBN 978-0-545-04052-5  340 pg.
Reviewed by Lindsey, Age 14

"Frida! Move!" I yelled, my heart giving a lurch.

I darted forward to push her out of the way just as the last wire holding the giant television in place broke with a pinging sound that was easily audible, even over the music blasting from the Stark Megastore's speakers.

And then the whole thing came crashing down

On me.

Emerson "Em" Watts wasn't really expecting to die the day she was forced into babysitting her younger sister at the grand opening of a new mall. She didn't even want to go. She'd much rather play Journeyquest with her best friend Christopher than stand around fawning over teen supermodel Nikki Howard and listen to heartfelt songs by Gabriel Luna, a musician from across the pond. And she'd pretty much rather stick pins in her eyes than have to be surrounded by a crowd of screaming tweenaged fangirls. But then when protestors accidentally shoot down a huge plasma screen TV with paintballs, Em has to think fast. The TV is coming down right over her sister's head, along with the model Nikki. So in a daring move, Em races over and pushes her sister out of the way. And then everything goes black.

When she wakes up again, she is shocked to discover that Emerson Watts is dead as a doorknob but Nikki Howard is very much alive. Using secret technology for brain transplants, Em's dead body is discarded but her still-useful brain is implanted into Nikki Howard's brain-dead body. Most girls would be thrilled for such an opportunity but a shy nerd like Em is horrified, especially because she can't tell Christopher about her secret. Throw in Nikki's clueless best friend Lulu, a modeling contract to fulfill and a few potential suitors and life becomes even more complicated. But there are a few perks, like a bulging bank account, adoring fans and well, Nikki Howard's body is hot. And so, the unlikely supermodel sets out to try to return life to its normal state. Well, as normal as you can get it when you're a world famous supermodel. But why has the company Nikki works for bugged her cell phone and her laptop? And why won't Christopher notice her? When Lulu said modeling wasn't easy, she sure wasn't kidding!

Meg Cabot's latest book Airhead is an interesting mix of teen literature and science fiction. Of course there's a bit of romance splashed in for good measure but thankfully it's not the main focus of the book. The concept of brain transplants is a bit far-fetched for a "girly" novel but I guess coming from an author who also writes about princesses, ghosts, witches and King Arthur, it doesn't seem too crazy. If you can get past the fact that it's not specifically a science fiction story and just accept that there are some science fiction elements, the story can really draw you in. Now it's not really a heavy story but compared to some of the other fluffy, cheesy girl books out there, it's not too bad. But I will note that it's definitely not one of Meg Cabot's best works. The pacing of the story works and it was very well written yet I still couldn't really find it in myself to care too deeply for the characters. Compared to some of her other characters, Em seems pretty one-dimensional and flat. There were a few questionable scenes but overall, Airhead is a pretty clean book that girls ages 12 and up can enjoy. The ending points to a sequel in the works called Being Nikki so hopefully the next installment will be better.

For now though, I'll give Meg Cabot's Airhead four out of five stars.


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