A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan

Publication Date: June 5th, 2012
Houghton Mifflin
Format: Hardcover, 192 pages
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars
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…
Seventeen year old Math wiz solved a terrorist code while watching a teen soap opera. Priceless. Whoever says those shows dull the mind of our young ‘uns must’ve been trippin’.
Farrah Higgins took painstaking means to live a normal existence at school. Born a Math genius and referred to as ‘Digit’ all through her young life, she worked very hard at changing that status when she started High School. She wanted to blend in and not to be treated like a freak show who knew the Fibonacci code better than most of her teachers. She dumbed herself down and made herself into a drone that followed everything the popular kids do at school. Things are looking up, er, normal. But when she stumbled upon a series of numbers while watching a teen TV show, the brainiac in her couldn’t be stopped. Then, the unfathomable happened at almost the same time when she broke the code: a terrorist blew herself up at JFK airport killing a number of people.
There are a lot more things that happened after that; best of all is the introduction of young FBI agent in the person of John Bennet. They also found themselves on the run from an extreme eco terrorist group and uncovering a traitor in the bureau. This book was all kinds of win. Starring a quirky teen whose freaky Math skills can be attributed to her OC tendencies, and the equally freaky nerdy Princeton graduate FBI agent. Digit will have you in fits of giggles and holding on in utter suspense.
I think it’s a daunting task to deliver a convincing character that’s supposed to be a genius. The writer has to actually prove that yes, she is indeed a freak of nature. I think that Monaghan was pretty successful in that she introduced simple Math theorems (simple according to the people who are carrying card members of Mensa, anyway) and expanded on them. Admittedly, this was the initial draw for me. I was interested in how the author will present all the ways that Digit is a genius.  I expected to be confused when formulae were introduced and if you’re really patient or don’t mind reading and re-reading them, you’ll probably bound to get it.
I also love the sweet romantic involvement between characters. John Bennett is a twenty three year-old ambitious man who fast tracked himself into getting a two and a half-year college education. Their banters are funny and sweet and sometimes corny but they’re not manufactured or forced by a long shot. Because their intelligence is off the charts, their social lives are stunted. And you can tell how socially inept they are but that’s what made them even more likable.
The author wasn’t stingy with her novel. In so little words, she spun a believable plot and well evolved characters. She even managed to give the antagonists some layers by showing us why they were the way they were. This book is packing heat and surprising since it clocked at only 192 pages!
Fun, fresh, ingenuous; A Girl Named Digit is a lovely bundle of smart but idiosyncratic characters, good but light suspense with an aww-inducing romance to boot. I’m so glad I stumbled upon this book in Goodreads. Definitely, one of my faves this year.

You may also like