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Being Nikki: An Airhead Novel

Review

Being Nikki: An Airhead Novel

Who doesn't want to be a supermodel? Wearing glamorous clothes and traveling to glamorous places in the most glamorous ways, living in a glamorous apartment with a bevy of glamorous "friends" and associates surrounding you, doing your bidding at every turn. Nikki, however, has different issues. Not that she's not as immersed in glamour as any other supermodel, but she is a teen. And being a teen, being Nikki, isn't always easy.

Meg Cabot is continuing her legacy of creating good-time reading material for impressionable young ladies in which she breaks down the realities behind the fantasies we all harbor. Whether it's being a princess or a supermodel, as in this sequel to AIRHEAD, Cabot shows the dark side behind the bling-blingy superficial worlds that girls often think must be so much better than their own realities.

Nikki is smart; at least BEING NIKKI is written from inside the head of someone with a brain. She does well in school and seems to care about it, even though she lives on her own in a very expensive high-rise in Manhattan, leaving that island behind for even more glitzy, rich and beautiful ones, like the Caribbean oasis of St. John. The beginning of the book finds her clinging to wet rocks in a barely-there bathing suit while just below her sharks run wild --- she is a damsel in distress, albeit in a glamorously dangerous position. However, when Nikki falls into the freezing cold water surrounded by sharks and must be rescued back onto the boat after being hounded by a photographer, we get a glimpse of the difficulties of her everyday existence.

Many of the characters from AIRHEAD are back, including Nikki's fake cousin and her friends, and so is the idea that Nikki is embarrassed about where she really comes from and won't be divulging too much information about her life pre-glitzy wonderland. A doctor later in the book informs Nikki that it's dangerous for her to visit people from her past because that puts them in the position of unwanted public attention. (This idea freaked me out, but I understand that Cabot is trying to draw a line between the glamorous part of Nikki's life and the unfortunate run-off of the toxic publicity machine in which Nikki has to live in order to maintain her glitzy lifestyle.)

Cabot has created a curiously interesting paen to teen stardom that serves both as fodder to the fantasy fire as well as a cautionary tale about what the star-making machinery expects of those who are fortunate enough to get into it. BEING NIKKI isn't always perfect, but it's a lot of fun to read.

Reviewed by Jana Siciliano on November 1, 2006

Being Nikki: An Airhead Novel
by Meg Cabot

  • Publication Date: April 1, 2010
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Point
  • ISBN-10: 0545040582
  • ISBN-13: 9780545040587