Sunday, October 18, 2009

Airhead redux

Here’s the thing. Unlike Elizabeth, I adore Meg Cabot. I love her stand-alone books like Teen Idol, Avalon High, and Jinx. I love her chick lit like The Boy Next Door. And I love her blog. So I’m a bona fide fangirl. And yet, despite all my predisposition towards anything by Cabot, I HATED Airhead. Hated it. I didn't manage to make it to the end of the book (which isn't very long to begin with) and can't imagine picking up the next book in the series.

*Spoilers* Elizabeth outlined the plot below, and that pretty much sums up my problems with the book. I just kept thinking, really? REALLY? This is patently ridiculous. I usually adore sci-fi and fantasy and am willing to suspend my disbelief for the flimsiest of premises. However, Airhead's plot holes made me want to toss it right at one of my pristine, newly painted walls.

It didn't help that while Em has some traditional Cabot heroine traits (great sense of humor, idealistic, a bit disaffected), she's also kind of...annoying. Maybe if I'd met her in a novel when her brain hadn't been transplanted into the body of a supermodel, we would have hit it off better. The point when I started mentally saying, "Dude, clearly there's been some sort of brain surgery shenanigans, but could you just get over yourself, stop whining, and take charge?" was the point when I decided my time was better spent elsewhere.


Books you should read instead of Airhead:

Teen Idol. Set in Cabot's native Indiana, this book takes a fluffy-sounding premise (teen movie star attends small town high school to prep for a movie role!) turns it into a story about listening to yourself, doing what's right, and paying attention to what's right under your nose. God, why do I make everything sound like an after-school special? I was never even allowed to watch them growing up!

Basically, Teen Idol's sweet, funny, and a little snarky, much like Cabot's writing style. The heroine, Jenny, is a down-to-earth problem solver, who is genuinely nice, but also nobody's fool. She manages to keep a level head as her fellow students (including her best friend) implode with the excitement of having a genuine celebrity in their midst. Plus, years before Glee started winning hearts and minds, Teen Idol features a significant show choir sub-plot. And that my friends? Is made of win.

1 comment:

  1. Okay, I am super excited that I do not have to be wrong about Cabot based on "Airhead." I just put "Teen Idol" on hold at the library and can't wait to read it. Gracias, Kerry!