Monday, June 23, 2008

Not all models are Airheads

Who doesn't love Meg Cabot? She's witty, friendly, cool, and her books are a ton of fun to read. Her latest offering, Airhead, breaks away from her usual breezy chick-lit-with-a-slightly-serious-twist. Instead, it delves into science fiction and of course, offers a dead main character because dead characters are the new black.

The plot: Emerson Watts couldn't be more average. She's smart and kinda geeky, but she's nowhere near as popular or pretty as her younger sister. She's crushing on her guy best friend and thinks that maybe, just maybe, she's got a chance with him. That is, until she saves her sister's life.

Em's sister Frida drags Em to a musician's signing at a Stark Megastore (think electronics, music, posters, etc.), which is also attended by supermodel and spokesmodel for Stark Nikki Howard. It's so not Em's scene. Not long into the event, Em saves her sister from a falling plasma tv, pushing her out of the way just before Frida experiences Death by Stereo. Em is knocked out in the confusion and wakes in the hospital months later.

That's where things get weird.

Em is delighted to be awake and all right and to see her family, but the strangest things keep happening to her. Like, she now has a craving for wasabi peas instead of ice cream. She's got a manicure. And best friends she doesn't know. But most of all, she can't figure out why everyone keeps calling her Nikki.

Why you'll love it: Because it's Meg Cabot. Okay, so you need a better reason. Because Em is a really cool person, caring and honest, but she's also not afraid to manipulate her newfound identity to get what she wants (and what she thinks will be best for those she cares about). Cabot shows that modeling has its ups and downs, and that someone like Em, who never considered herself beautiful, now has a lot to think about now that the world sees her as someone who epitomizes the standard of beauty. There's also a mystery, here: Em thinks someone is spying on Nikki, and she has to figure out who and why. I flew through book one and can't wait for book two.

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