Booktalks

Runaway Booktalk

  • Grades: 6–8

It’s not a romantic vacation, it’s a kidnapping—Brandon Stark wants Nikki’s secret about his father, and Em is his cover. But what will happen when he finds out what Nikki knows?

The world thinks Nikki, the most beautiful girl in the world and the Face of Stark, is on a romantic island getaway for the holidays with Brandon Stark, who will inherit the entire Stark empire. That’s not exactly true. Brandon’s holding Em (in Nikki’s body) prisoner, along with Nikki (in her new body, which doesn’t look like a supermodel’s), her older brother Steven and their mother.

Nikki knows a secret that will help Brandon oust his father and take over the company, but she’s not talking. She hates her new body, doesn’t believe that it will ever look anything but ugly (even though with the right hair, makeup and clothes that fit, she’d look pretty cute), and wants her old body back. She wants her old life back. She wants to be the Face of Stark again. And she doesn’t care who she has to hurt or what she has to risk to get it.

Em, however, isn’t really ready to make any changes. She might have had some problems with Nikki’s body at first, but she rather likes it now.

And then there’s the question about whether either of them would survive a second operation, even if Dr. Fong could be persuaded to do the operations. None of that matters to Nikki. And she doesn’t share her secret until Brandon promises to force Dr. Fong to do the surgeries the very next day, right there at the villa where they’re staying.

But the secret doesn’t seem all that big, once Nikki shares it. So why is it so important to Robert Stark? Em can’t figure it out. So the new laptops will send data on all their activity to the Stark mainframe—so what? The computers are low end models, bought by people who don’t have a lot of money or can afford anything else. What good will their information be?

If only Christopher were here—he’d know what it meant. But Brandon made Em tell Christopher she didn’t love him anymore, so he’s not likely to come rushing in to rescue her. Or is he? Isn’t that Frida, Em’s little sister, dressed up as a chef, pouring orange juice for everyone at the breakfast table? What’s that about? And when Em goes into the kitchen to see what’s going on with the caterer, what’s her roommate Lulu doing there? Maybe Christopher is going to rescue them after all……

This booktalk was written by Joni Richards Bodart, university professor, author, library consultant, and internationally known booktalker.

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