Airhead

Book review by
Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media
Airhead Book Poster Image
Freaky life-swap tale with fashion and flair.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 24 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byswimgirl2405 June 22, 2009

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'... Continue reading
Parent of a 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 16 year old Written bycabbe May 16, 2009
Teen, 13 years old Written bymegan094eva June 27, 2009

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 byI love the book... April 3, 2011

Good moral

There's a positive message in this book telling us that Emerson is a smart, and nice girl that is picked on because of the way she dresses. Nikki is a beau... Continue reading

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?

This book is a fun ride, made more entertaining by the model-in-the-making herself. 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. 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.

Talk to your kids 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

Top advice and articles

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

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate