Title: A Girl Named Digit
Author: Annabel Monaghan
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, June 2012
Purchased: Downloaded my copy from Amazon.com
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…
Before I read this book, I thought this would be a fun, hilarious read with a bit of adventure, a bit of romance. Turned out I was delightfully surprised…
Farrah Higgins is a Math genius. She was being nicknamed as Digit by her classmates in middle school. When she moved to a different school district, she thought she’d start fresh by hiding her geeky side so that she could blend in and have a ‘normal’ school life. While watching TV with her high school friends, Farrah discovered a number sequence that led her to believe that she had found clues to decode what terrorists were using to communicate target locations for attack. Her investigation put her in danger and at the same time, made her question if she had been doing the right thing to hide her genius in front of her high school friends.
Farrah is a likeable character. She thinks fast, rambles a lot and learns as she ventures into new territory of her social life. It’s interesting to watch her go through her choices as she determines when and where it’s okay for her to be who she is and when and in front of whom she believes she must hide her true self in order to blend in.
The danger of being threatened by terrorists shocked Farrah and helped her realize how focusing her energy to be mediocre was such a waste of her time, talent and effort. Using her talent, Farrah not only helped the government to halt terrorists’ attack but also learned that putting her genius into good use could bring her so much more than just being recognized as a geeky person.
I can totally relate to Farrah’s struggle of her identity. I know I have made choices in the past to hopefully fit into groups that I thought I had to belong and made the assumption that the pretense to blend in would make life easier when in truth all the hard efforts were weighing me down, making me feel miserable, trapped and unhappy. So, I was really glad that Monaghan wrote this remarkable story to illustrate how a girl must find her way to be herself when her conscience would not rest till she helped out in the best way possible to put a stop to what’s threatening to the society at large. I found myself pondering on what I would do if I were Farrah and then giggled, cheered and laughed when I read how she was rambling about what she was doing with her smart (and sometimes, not-so-smart) choices.
What surprised me the most was how much I resonated with the vulnerability of emotions that Farrah experienced as she opened herself to admit love and be loved. I was actually crying for her when she came to learn about the decision that John the FBI agent made. I totally didn’t expect that I would be shedding tears for something that I thought would be funny, amusing and a little hilarious!
A Girl Named Digit is brilliant and entertaining, with a nice touch of familial relationship that would bring more than just a smile on your face. If you’re looking for a YA contemporary read that is fast paced and a little suspenseful, this one is for you.