- Airhead (novel)
"Airhead" is a young-adult novel by
Meg Cabot. It was released on May 13, 2008. The sequel, titled "Being Nikki", is slated for release in the US, Australia and New Zealand by May 2009 and UK by June 2009. [http://www.megcabot.com/comingsoon.php]
The book is about a girl whose life is forever changed by the tragic accident that leaves her taking identity of a supermodel. Thrown into a completely unfamiliar world, she struggles to hide her old identity and keep up the current one.
Sixteen-year-old Emerson Watts accompanies her sister Frida and her best friend Christopher to a Stark Megastore opening in SoHo, which is attended by the very young, very beautiful supermodel Nikki Howard. In addition to Howard's celebrity presence, the dishy, singer-songwriter Gabriel Luna makes an appearance. On that fateful day, Em gallantly saves Frida from being hit by a plasma screen crashing down, and takes the hit herself.
A month later, Em finds herself in the hospital, trying in vain to recall what had happened. She tries to come to terms with the events that transpired in the last month. She finds out that not only did herself not survive the accident, but incidentally Nikki Howard had also suffered a fatality as well. Unknown to and without her permission, her brain is transplanted into Nikki's brain-dead body. In an effort to save Em, her parents had agreed to a controversial brain transplant surgery offered free by Stark Industries, on condition that Em continues Nikki's career as the face of Stark Industries. From thence, Em is forced to live the high life whilst concealing her real identity or be faced with the contract penalty of two million dollars. Em is forced to take on the role of Nikki Howard, all the while struggling with the fact that she did not have control over her life. She tries to let go of her tomboyish ways to take over the highly glamorous life that Nikki lived. Although she is now dealing with Nikki's job and Nikki's friends, she still fights to keep some of her old life by going back to school, also to face Christopher, with whom she has a secret crush.
This character seems to transition into her role pretty well, which is very surprising to her. She finds that the things that used to repulse her are now starting to grow on her. This "airhead" supermodel is now filled with her thoughts and she decides to take advantage of her new life. The new Nikki must deal with new situations, such as the being in the public eye and resisting/handling the advances of men (such as Gabriel Luna) and dealing with Nikki's (now her) multiple boyfriends. The book ends with Nikki (Emerson) introducing her new best friend Lulu to her parents.
Also after Em has started attending her old school in Nikki's body, she has realized the toll her death had taken on Christopher. In hopes to get close to him again and maybe drop hints about who she really is, she finds ways to be around him and eventually gives him some dinosaur stickers, which had played a minor part at the beginning of the story. This implies that in the next novel Christopher might know that Nikki is really Em.
This book emphasizes that you cannot judge a book by its cover, and it also shows the journey to establishing your own identity.
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