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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Airhead Trilogy by Meg Cabot

Today I pay tribute to one of the founding queens of chick lit, the one and only Meg Cabot. Aspiring writers can only dream of having her level of success. How she manages to churn out such radical books in almost no time at all astounds me. So here's a feature on just one of her many series. The Airhead trilogy has 3 volumes, Airhead, Being Nikki, and Runaway. Here's a longer summary, but bare with me, because I'm reviewing 3 books here, not just one.

Emerson (Em) Watts is your typical high school misfit. She's never been very pretty, her sister laughs at her if she even attempts to put on eyeliner. She has one friend, Christopher, the guy she's played video games with and has secretly liked for forever. Too bad he doesn't seem to acknowledge that she's a girl.

But all that's about to change. One day Em is forced to take her little sister Frida to the grand opening of the new Stark Megastore in SoHo. But while she's there, a bizarre accident happens to her and teen supermodel Nikki Howard, the face of Stark.

When Em wakes up in her hospital bed weeks later, she discovers that she is literally not herself anymore. Supposedly, both she and Nikki died in the accident, but the scientists at the Stark Institute for Neurology have put her brain into Nikki's head. Suddenly, Em is inside the body of the hottest girl in the world.

The company Stark, which has been sweeping the globe with it's Wal-Mart style empire, forces Em to pick up where Nikki left off. She may be a genius on the inside, but on the outside, the world sees her as the same supermodel. She inherits Nikki's career, money, designer clothes, apartment, friends, and fame. Suddenly she has everything she could ever want...except safety.

The company she works for, Stark is out for something, but what? Em learns that she's constantly being watched, and suddenly nowhere is safe. The secrets of Stark begin to unravel, but the more she learns, the more danger she puts herself in. Deadly danger.

As great as chick lit is for us bored females to indulge ourselves in, Meg Cabot adds a sci-fi element as well, which I love. Brain transplants are a recurring theme in the trilogy. She puts in mystery as well, what exactly is the evil empire of Stark trying to accomplish? And of course, being Meg Cabot, she puts in romance. Em may be in love with Christopher, but Nikki Howard throws herself at every guy she sees. This creates some...dilemmas. It bugged me how Em kept kissing like, three different guys, and the whole time she blamed it on Nikki's lustful body. Right. But by the last book, things calm down.

Em's observations of Nikki's supermodel lifestyle and the people who inhabit it are usually witty and humorous. She's truly a fish out of water by the 1st book. By the 2nd one, things get more serious. Em/Nikki is in grave danger, and she teams up with Christopher to try and unravel the secrets of Stark. By book 3, the stakes have never been higher. People are dying, her parents are severely disappointed about things Em can't control, Christopher has turned into some crazed super villain trying to take the company down, and yet she still has to walk in the Stark Angel Fashion show.

The series progressed well, and Cabot's plot is clever and well-written. They were gripping books, though at some points things got a little dull. But things always got exciting again.

Mysterious, romantic, and somewhat creepy, this is a trilogy to check out.
4/5 stars

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