Where can you hide when everyone knows your name? The third and final book the NYT bestselling trilogy. Emerson Watts is on the run: from school, from work, from her family, from her friends, from herself. With everyone she loves furious with her for something she can't explain, and nothing but the live Stark Angel fashion show on New Year's Eve to look forward to, Em's reached the end of her rope. . .what's the point of even going on? But when she discovers the truth about Nikki's secret, she knows there's only one person she can turn to. Will Christopher be able to put aside his personal feelings and help her expose her employer to the world? Is it even fair to get Christopher involved--since if he agrees, there's every chance that Stark Enterprises will try to have them both killed--this time, permanently? Maybe it would be better for Em to just keep on running.
I'm so glad I kept reading this series. Em's personality drove me crazy in the first book, Airhead, but I sensed potential in her and loved the plot.
Runaway begins right where Being Nikki left off. Brandon Stark has forced Em, the real Nikki, Steven, and Nikki's mom to hide out at his beach house in the Carolinas until Nikki confesses how she blackmailed Robert Stark. Em has to pretend to the world, including her family and Christopher that she's in love with Brandon. Luckily, Christopher, Frida, and Lulu see through that pretty quickly and come to save her. That's where the book really gets going. The plot unfolds rapidly as Em gets closer to discovering why she had a brain transplant with Nikki Howard. Not only does she have to find out why this happened, but also figure out how to stop Stark Enterprises from profiting off their clearly evil intentions.
Em really comes full circle in Runaway. She started the series as arrogant and self-involved as the Walking Dead popular girls she hated. Her world was black and white; feminism was the only proper mindset. By Runaway, she's learned that there actually is more to being a woman than being strong and smart. Em learned to be open-minded. She appreciates and loves people she would have hated before. For example, Lulu...she's boy-crazy, ditzy, really rich, and not particularly bright. But the mature Em loves Lulu for what's important: she's kind, loyal, generous, fun, and smart in many ways. Through Christopher, Em learns that she doesn't have to carry the entire world on her shoulders. A strong, capable woman can and does accept help when needed. Em also learns that "pretty and smart" isn't an oxymoron. Being fashionable, pretty, and girlish isn't a weakness. Becoming the physical Nikki Howard has created a mature Emerson Watts. She's now a person I'd like to know. Smart, pretty, open-minded, and kind.
I highly recommend Runaway. It has all the fun elements of the previous two books - Cosabella, Frida, whiny Nikki, pop-star Gabriel Luna, freaky genius Felix, and more. It's definitely the most suspenseful of the three. You'll spend the last 1/3 of the book turning every page as fast as you can. I think I missed half the words because I just couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. The plot is over-the-top, unrealistic, and crazy, but I loved it. Super-fun. Really Mag Cabot at her best.
Rating: 4 / 5