Airhead - Meg Cabot

Good afternoon !

It is with utmost shame that I confess never having read a Meg Cabot book before last week. I know, I know, stop looking at me like that !
Anyways, I didn't know which one to choose so I browsed the few titles in my bookshop and ended up with Airhead on which I had read a few good reviews.
Ok, so I have a thing for pink shiny covers too, it's hardly a crime ;-)

Airhead is the incredible story of Emerson Watts, high school tomboy-geek, who finds herself in the body of Nikki Howard, the superhotmodel of the moment, after a freaky accident *nooo I would have dared a play-on-word with Freaky Friday?!! Shame on me!*.
Emerson discovers that celebrity isn't what you read in the magazines, that some friendships are real and others not and that a busy love-life is hardly fun when you are the object of all the attentions. Em has to play the part of Nikki, being friend with socialite Lulu and going to photoshoots, to save her parents and little sister Frida from enormous bad consequences *now you can be scared* after they made a pact with the Stark company to save their daughter. At any cost. Even if that would mean putting her in someone else's body.


I loved this book !

When I read the back cover and saw the whole body swap thing, I thought it would be something slightly unbelievable like Freaky Friday. I was more than pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be some conspiracy thing from super rich people who have the power. Because, let's face it, everything is true.

I liked that the book takes many many stereotypes and just turns them around. I am not surprised that geeky Em has a sister who wants to try out for cheerleading. I am not surprised that Nikki Howard has a busier love-life than Elizabeth Taylor and Paris Hilton put together. Nor that Brandon, Nikki's ex and son of the Boss of Stark Enterprise, hates his dad. But it is written in a way that you actually discover things. I'm sure all the Meg Cabot fans here will tell me that it's no surprise, but she is clearly a talented writer to write purposefully about stereotypes and create an interesting and amazing plot.

I think the characters are great. I absolutely adore Em Watts. I can totally relate to her. If you're interested, you can read the poem Portrait of a Woman by Wislawa Szymborska that gave its name to this blog (which is here), where the poet draws a portrait of a woman (of every woman) which is full of contradictions but which, in a way, makes complete sense. Part of those contradictions is the line "Reads Jaspers and ladies' magazines" (Jaspers being a German philosopher). And during the entire book I laughed so much when Em, the super geek, says she has read her little sister Frida's CosmoGirl, Romance Novels and others, "just because they were lying around". I mean I can talk to you about Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan (which is only useful if you study political sciences) as much as the biography of Kristen Stewart, so I totally relate to that, and I thought it was hilarious ! And I'm sure all the geeks like me found it fun that the name of the company is Stark, like Tony Stark Iron Man ?!! Or maybe I'm the only one !!

I also like the fact that Nikki Howard's life isn't as glamorous and fun as people might think. I would personally hate to be paraded around as a half-naked piece of meat and taken for stupidity personified, but that's just me. It is important to show that no matter how money, fame and beauty can be attractive, it's not entirely fun and fulfilling, and I think the book does just that.

I love the secondary characters. I am a huge fan of Lulu who erm... might not be the brightest tool in the shed but has ideas of her own and is extremely loyal and kind-hearted. Frida is such a sweetheart that even though she thinks Cheerleading is an acceptable activity which it isn't, I would have loved to have her as a sister. I found it funny and cool that Em's mother is a Uni teacher and a real feminist and that Em is so into school, I was starting to get mad at YA literature because of the two last YA books I read....

The style is actually pretty simple, you get into the story and never get out. It is not entirely centred on romance and boys, which is a big plus because these aspects in YA books are slightly tiresome at times. Why are you frowning at the screen?! They are at times !

I really really like the whole conspiracy-hidden-medical-facilities thing. It's awesome ! And it gets even better in the second volume of the Airhead trilogy, Being Nikki, that I will probably review tomorrow.

Anyways, reading this book made me go back to the 1990s where I was a devoted Spice Girls fan (not that I ever was a fan per se, I happened to listen to the songs quite by accident actually) and girl power was the only acceptable behaviour there was !

So I would strongly advise it to the Chick Lit and YA afficionados because, you know, Meg Cabot and all that, and to the hidden Chick Lit and YA fans among you (yeah you, hiding behind your philosophical essay and your New York Times, we all know you just finished reading Elle and Cosmo in secret), this book is extremely fun to read and is made just for you !

What did you guys think of the book ?



  1. Oh my gosh, Caroline, this is your best review yet! I agree with pretty much everything you said and I love all your little comments (the smaller font) that you included! You've got to give Meg's The Princess Diaries series a try. They are sooo funny! I think you'd really get a kick out of the humor. Meg is AH-MAZING, and you totally captured the essence of her writing. Great job! (Also, I luurve your copy of Airhead much more than the US cover. Go pink!)

  2. Caroline, you're not alone! I've never read a Meg Cabot book yet either! Although my 5 year old daughter and I *LOVE* The Princess Diaries movie (we watch it over and over on Disney cine) fact, our kitten was named Amelia after the MC. I plan to put this right soon, as I have Airhead sitting on my TBR shelf, and after your excellent review it's moved closer to the top.

  3. Oh dear, i just erased my previous comment !!!
    I am most entirely a Meg Cabot fan now !! I'm sure you'll become one soon too Rhiana !
    And thanks Kris for your too generous comment! I'm glad you liked the review and the small comments *blushing* !!

  4. By a weird coincidence, this was the first Meg Cabot book I picked up too. I think the sci-fi aspect of a brain transplant appealed to me. I really enjoyed it too.

    Excellent review, by the way. Love your little asides, and I definitely relate to the contradictions you're talking about.

  5. Air Head will definitely make it to my TBR. Thanks for the great review. :)

    How's life in London, today, Caroline? NJ was gorgeous. :)

  6. Sounds adorable. I like the cover :) Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

  7. Shame on you for not reading any Meg Cabot books! Just kiddin, I never read any books by this author too! :( But after reading your wonderful review, I am convinced that I need to read this soon! You know what I probably just order all the of books in the Summer. They sound so fluffy! :)

  8. I want sure about reading this book, I thought the "freaky accident" was too much for me xD ....but after your review I should at least try!!

    Oh, and I haven't read any book from Meg Cabot...I know! How? Why?! Everybody keeps telling me I have to read at least one. Specially since I love Chick Lit.

    By the way, this cover is so much beautiful!