Airhead by Meg Cabot
Came out: May 13, 2008
Age Group: Young Adult
EM WATTS IS GONE.
Emerson Watts didn't even want to go to the new SoHo Stark Megastore grand opening. But someone needed to look out for her sister, Frida, whose crush, British heartthrob Gabriel Luna, would be singing and signing autographs there-along with the newly appointed Face of Stark, teen supermodel sensation Nikki Howard. How was Em to know that disaster would strike, changing her-and life as she'd known it-forever? One bizarre accident later, and Em Watts, always the tomboy, never the party princess, is no longer herself. Literally.Now getting her best friend, Christopher, to notice that she's actually a girl is the least of Em's problems. But what Em's pretty sure she'll never be able to accept might just turn out to be the one thing that's going to make her dream come true . . . .NIKKI HOWARD IS HERE TO STAY.
I really liked this book, but it was really really strange. I mean, brains into another person's body? Sci-fi and modeling is a strange combination. If you think about it at least. And this book makes you think a lot about the weirdness of science AND modeling. Like I said, really strange. When Meg Cabot decides that she wants to do science fiction or fantasy, the end result reminds me a lot of Scott Westerfield's novels (quirky and strange, yet fascinating).
Em was a likeable character but sometimes I felt that she was too narrow-minded about things. The Walking Dead? Her sister? Appearance? She was way too "whatever" about everything and that kind of irked me. Nobody wants to have a heroine that's unlikeable. Nikki was just obnoxious. She was spoiled, rude, and vain. I didn't really like either of them.
That was the weirdest idea for a book though. I found it strange that a "paintball gun" was used in the accident and Nikki just "happened" to have a brain disease (which is later explained in the following books). I read Being Nikki first because I thought that it was the first one and I liked it better. I can't say that this is one of my favorite books, but it is overall pretty good.
I liked the setting. Stark Industries seemed like it was ripping off everything else so I don't get how it could have been so popular and less quality ("Angels"?). I liked Christopher but he came off as slightly crazy to me. Her family's reactions to the situation were puzzling. I wouldn't expect to have any family agree to a risky surgery like that or enjoy having their sibling/daughter trapped in another girl's body.
And strangely, this book was actually pretty good. Although I do think that Meg Cabot is better at writing realistic fiction than sci-fi or fantasy.
Recommended for anybody who loves: Model Spy; Across the Universe; Ultraviolet; Scott Westerfield novels; modeling books; Maximum Ride; etc.
Possible book club questions:
Why do you think Em is so opposed to popularity and fitting in?If you were Nikki, would you have represented Stark?Why do you think Em's family did not tell Christopher?Would you make the same decisions that Em did? Discuss.