What I Liked: Em Watts is just wonderful, the dialogue is very realistic (says this mother of a 15-year-old girl) and the story is pure fun.
BUT: it’s more of a prequel, and at the end, I felt like it wasn’t really a complete story on its own.
Ms. Bookish’s Very Quick Take: A great read for Meg Cabot fans; just be warned, you’ll be really wanting to get your hands on the sequel as soon as it comes out, because Airhead doesn’t really feel like it has a proper ending.
The Full Review of Airhead
Video gamer and feminist teen Em Watts suffers an accident at a Stark Megastore grand opening, and wakes up to find that her brain has been transplanted into the body of supermodel Nikki Howard.
It’s quite the story line, and obviously, a suspension of disbelief is required. But once that’s done, you’re in for a fun ride, Meg Cabot style.
As with her other young adult books, Cabot’s dialogue is pitch perfect (well, I think so, anyway – the conversations sound just like the talk that goes on around here when my daughter has her friends over.)
I must admit, I felt a little reluctant when I discovered that Em actually ends up WITH supermodel Nikki’s body. I personally love those Cinderella-type stories – you know the ones: dorky, geeky girl discovers she’s really beautiful on the outside (and then goes on to discover she’s even more beautiful on the inside). You know the ones.
So I felt a little bit funny about Em not actually having her own body anymore. But then I thought to myself, seriously, what teenage girl hasn’t had a dream (even if it ended after 1.2 seconds) of BEING a supermodel – as in, really being her, body and all? Well, okay, there are probably a few girls who haven’t ever had the thought, but I think it’s usually not until you’ve been around a bit and have learned to fall in love with yourself and who you are that you might feel a little horrified at the thought of not looking like, well, you, rather than entertaining the idea as a fantasy. (And Em is actually a little horrified that she doesn’t look like herself anymore.)
Once I got over that reluctance, and flung my disbelief out the window, Airhead was quite enjoyable. Cabot sets up the whole situation as realistic as possible, given the rather fantastical twist, and from there she explores Em’s reactions to the situations that Nikki has to deal with all the time.
If I could have my way, I would have had Em deal with the whole Christopher situation better. Christopher is Em’s best friend (and she has a secret crush on him), and he doesn’t know that she’s not dead. There are twists and complications that explain why Em isn’t supposed to reveal her new identity to him, but if you looked at it logically (and Em is definitely smart and logical), breaking the rules imposed and telling him wouldn’t lead to disaster. I hated seeing his unnecessary grief and I felt Em could have done something about it (and for all I know, she might, in Being Nikki, the next book in the series – but that’s still a long time of suffering for Christopher).
My only complaint about Airhead is that it doesn’t really have an ending – it reads more like a prequel, and I personally would have preferred to have read Airhead back to back with Being Nikki (only I can’t, because as of the date of this review, Being Nikki isn’t out yet). I like books to feel complete when I get to the last page, but the only resolution I got out of the ending was that Em was starting to feel more comfortable in her new body.
But despite this, I found Airhead a fun read, and it’s sure to please Meg Cabot fans (at least, it made me happy, and I’m a huge Meg Cabot fan). I’m eagerly awaiting Being Nikki, though. Ms. Bookish’s Rating: B+: Good Read Plus ?