Airhead

Common Sense Media says

Freaky life-swap tale with fashion and flair.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A teen searches for her true identity and worth in a world that emphasizes looks -- more specifically, the fashion world and high school. While there are some issues of questionable judgment and medical ethics, the author handles them well.

Violence

A girl is injured in an accident. There's talk of what is technically alive and legally dead.

Sex

There are crushes, kisses, and a girl describes her body wanting to do more than kiss.

Language

"Bitch," "slut," "loser," and other slightly saucy teen language is used.

Consumerism

Part of the novel takes place in the fashion world, so naturally there are plenty of labels and brands: Marc Jacobs, Vespa, Google, Doritos, Sports Illustrated, Sketchers, Victoria's Secret, etc.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A teen disguises her drink to look alcoholic when it isn't; other teens are let into a club even though they're underage. One is described as being drunk.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book covers some questionable medical procedures and discusses the question of when life actually ends. A teenager is thrust into a very adult world where there's little supervision, but plenty of money to purchase high-end goods. This is handled better than in many other teen books with a fashion focus.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Emerson Watts is trying to get her best friend Christopher to realize she's actually a girl, keep her little sister from becoming a clone of the popular kids, and maybe, just maybe, survive high school. When her mom makes her supervise her little sister's trip to the mega music store, an accident changes her forever -- into someone totally different and someone her best friend and the world will definitely notice.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Meg Cabot, Princess Diaries author, brings teen readers yet another makeover story -- but here the fantasy twist is that a regular girl gets a model's life after an accident and some much more invasive procedures. It's a fun ride, made more entertaining by the model-in-the-making herself. Emerson Watts is witty, sensitive, and slightly offbeat -- and her humorous take on her new life keeps the usual fashion and high school cattiness and snobbery in check.

The downside of this teen fantasy is the stretch the author asks the readers to make -- the kind you would usually only make for mad-scientist horror movies. Adding a slight edge is an underlying mystery that feels just sinister enough to keep it from dissolving into a Scooby-Doo caper. A few intriguing loose ends set readers up for more in the series.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what it would be like to live another person's life. What do you think would be easy? What would be hard? Also, what do you think of the medical procedures Emerson endures? Are they ethical?

Book details

Author:Meg Cabot
Genre:Contemporary Fiction
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Point
Publication date:May 13, 2008
Number of pages:352

This review of Airhead was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byswimgirl2405 June 22, 2009
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

A must read for all girls 12 and up

This book is another one of Meg Cabot's fantastic novels for teen girls. I read this book at age 12. It was fantastic. There really is nothing parent's should be worried about, except maybe a kiss or two, but come on, this book is brilliantly written.All girls 11 and up will adore this novel, I, a bookworm myself, guarantee it. I am personally a fan of Meg Cabot and have read many of her teen novels. This is one of her best, and I reccomend this book 100 percent.
Teen, 13 years old Written bymegan094eva June 27, 2009
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Counting down until the second one.

I love this book - cant wait to gte the second one!!! A mature 10 year old could read this, and it would be enjoyable from that age upto about 15.
Teen, 14 years old Written byexrbklyngirl April 3, 2011
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Love it!

I really like this book. The things these teens do are actually age appropriate, even though they're illegal.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Great messages

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools