Being Nikki by Meg Cabot

Being Nikki (Airhead) is the second book in Meg Cabot’s Airhead series.  I read and reviewed Airhead last March and enjoyed it a lot, but it left me wanting to know more about Em and Nikki.  When I received an ARC of Being Nikki I put aside the book I was reading and started in right away.  I knew I had a few students salivating for this one so I didn’t want to hold on to it too long!

Being Nikki picks up right where Airhead left off.  I enjoyed the first book in the series because it was a great mix of smart girl heroine + fun fashion chick lit (not an easy combination to pull off).  However, the second book was nothing like I expected, in a good way!  Em is still working as the world’s most famous supermodel after having a *SPOILER ALERT!  STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN’T READ AIRHEAD YET!* a brain transplant.  Em is struggling to lead her own (old life) and her new life as Nikki.  She is going to school, trying to see her own family as much as possible, and still jet-setting around the world for photo shoots and commercials.  Of course, no matter what she does she isn’t a typical teen.  Most high schoolers don’t have to walk the runway wearing nothing but a bra and panties during the equivalent of the Victoria’s Secret fashion show.  

At the same time, Nikki’s body is starting to assert itself more.  Em finds herself melting for guys she despises, like Brandon Stark.  And she doesn’t fight it when she finds herself making out with Gabriel Luna.  But she is still completely in love with Christopher who thinks Em is dead and barely notices Nikki in school.

Everything changes when Em comes home to Nikki’s apartment and finds a strange man there.  It turns out Nikki has a brother.  A brother who can tell something is different about Nikki.  But more importantly, he tells Em that their (Steven and Nikki) mother is missing.  As Em begins to use her celebrity to investigate Nikki’s mother’s disappearance, more and more information about Stark starts coming to light.  Couple this with the fact that only Christopher can help them and he seems to have turned into an evil super villain and you have the makings of an edge-of-your-seat thriller.  

I was very surprised at how  much mystery and intrigue there was.  But I loved it!  Em continues to be a smart, strong heroine struggling to figure out who she is, like most teenagers.  Unlike most teenagers, her brain is one person and her body is another.  The twists and turns in the story kept me turning the pages and the cliffhanger at the end has me impatiently awaiting the third book the series, Runaway.  



*One of my former students, who read the ARC of Airhead in my class last year came back to visit me recently.  She told me she had just purchased Being Nikki  and, “It was amazing!  Better than the first one!”.  If that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is.  🙂