Review: A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan

A Girl Named Digit
By Annabel Monaghan
192 Pages
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Source: Library

From Goodreads:

Farrah “Digit” Higgins may be going to MIT in the fall, but this L.A. high school genius has left her geek self behind in another school district so she can blend in with the popular crowd at Santa Monica High and actually enjoy her senior year.

But when Farrah, the daughter of a UCLA math professor, unknowingly cracks a terrorist group’s number sequence, her laid-back senior year gets a lot more interesting. Soon she is personally investigating the case, on the run from terrorists, and faking her own kidnapping—all while trying to convince a young, hot FBI agent to take her seriously. So much for blending in…

Want to hear the nerdiest confession of all time? Yes? You know that show NUMB3RS about the crime-solving Doogie Howser-like math professor that used to be on tv? The one geared toward a demographic decades older than me? Well…I liked it. I did. In my defense, I think it’s because I absolutely hate math. Or more accurately, I am awful at math. Turrible. So bad at it that I fear it on a visceral, primal level. When I encounter a math problem in my daily life my reaction usually looks something like this:

I find it fascinating that there are actually people out there who are good at math and don’t wet themselves if they have to do something more difficult than long division. Who are these freaks?

Well, one of them is the fictional Farrah Higgins. She’s so good at math that she has earned the “nerdy” nickname Digit. Hey listen kids…maybe it’s not cool to be good at math in high school, but it sure as hell would be nice to be a math genius as an adult. Rumor has it that being a professor or consulting with the government or being an astrophysicist pays much better than having a liberal arts degree in, say, history. Ahem. Digit has spent most of her high school existence hiding from what she is – namely, smart – and acting like the rest of the unwashed masses in order to fit in with the popular crowd. I found her likeable when she was being herself instead of trying to go with the crowd.

I did find it a little tough to believe that terrorists would use broadcast television to pass their secret messages, and even *I* know what a Fibonaci sequence is (or the definition, anyway…thank you, NUMB3RS). You’d think they’d be a little more careful with their information. I did appreciate the fact that Monaghan made them domestic terrorists and created an entire fictional crusade when it would have been so easy to take the lazy way out.

A Girl Named Digit is a light, beachy read. Granted beach season is basically over now, but it can be read in other places as well. I read it in my living room, for example. And it’s super short and a quick/easy read, so if you’re looking for something a bit fluffy you might give this one a try. It’s cute but not really challenging in any way, despite it being about satan’s favorite subject, math.

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