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A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan
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A Girl Named Digit

by Annabel Monaghan

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I love books about nerds. ( )
  Raeadav | Mar 25, 2016 |
3.5/5
I've read a few fantastic reviews of this book and was really enthusiastic about reading Farrah's story. Add to it that YA spy novels is like crack to me (Ally Carter, I'm totally blaming you!), so of course I didn't hesitate to buy it.

All in all, A Girl Named Digit is a nice book. I know that plenty of girls and boys(mostly girls) would enjoy it, but ultimately it turned out to be way too fluffy and silly for me.

Farrah's life and her obsession with numbers, lines and seeing something systematic in everything she does and experiences was the most fascinating part of the book and its most enjoyable quirk for me personally.

However Farrah's silly mistakes and her partnership with a rookie agent who should have had way more sense than he exhibited didn't make much sense to me.

You tell me, after watching a few spy movies made in the last 10 years, - would you leave your cell phone on knowing full well you can be tracked by GPS signal while you are hiding in a secret FBI location? That was the first thing that seriously irked me.

Secondly, you are telling me that two youngsters cracked the code for terrorist cell phone conversations in their spare time while proper decoders haven't done it before? And the same two youngsters were sent to retrieve the documents of said terrorist cell from a public location when just days ago they were still in hiding? I just... can't even... Sorry, my problem was that I couldn't suspend my disbelief and just enjoy the silliness.

When something doesn't make sense it turns the whole experience sour. The only other plus of this book is that the relationship between Farrah and John, the secret agent was really sweet.

I urge you not to give up on this book until you read Joy's excellent review because she ended up loving A Girl Named Digit.

( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
A Girl Named Digit was akin to eating cotton candy. It's colorful, it's enticing, it's a treat, and it disappears very fast, but a couple hours later you're sitting there wondering if it was really such a good idea.

Digit is a girl with a mathematical gift, which is great to see in a young female protagonist, but it seems that she only uses her gift to impress John and his father. She is so focused on getting the boy that she shows very little concern that she's being hunted by terrorists, and the sappy "boy gives up life-long dream to be with girl he's only known for a few weeks" is hardly something to write home about. Overall, it was a lot of fun going down but it left me with a tummy ache. ( )
  SandSing7 | Jan 23, 2014 |
I loved the strong female character and John isfantasic
  howesi18 | Jan 10, 2014 |
I found a good chunk of this book to be highly addictive, even as I realized it was basically wtf reading for teens. I loved the early descriptions of Farrah as a girl who could be completely derailed by a bunch of randomly-placed tiles or sequins that aren't arranged in predictable patterns. I liked that all the terrorist stuff started with a bunch of numbers unobtrusively placed in the opening credits of a popular TV show – the eco-terrorists love Fibonacci numbers!

Unfortunately, I felt things slowed down a bit as soon as Farrah ended up in FBI custody. When I originally picked this book up, I was hoping for lots of math-related deductions that only Farrah could help out with. Instead, for a long period of time just about anybody could have been helping the FBI. John was the one doing most of the skilled work, busily translating a bunch of transcripts into English. All Farrah did was read through them along with him and act out certain scenes with him in order to relieve their boredom.

When they located a bag full of papers with numbers on them, I figured the math stuff would be coming back. Again, not so much. Farrah and John spent some time running from the bad guys, Farrah lusted after John, John acted like he wasn't interested...until they escaped to John's parents' hidden home. It was off both the FBI and CIA's radar, and, what with all the privacy, John started to cave a bit (no sex, just kissing), and suddenly Farrah and John became a gooey happy couple. John's parents were mildly disapproving, until they saw how happy he was. I'm pretty sure Farrah's parents showed even less disapproval than John's.

Farrah is 17, soon to be 18. I think Farrah guessed John's age to be 21, so the age difference isn't that great. However, there were a few things that bothered me about their relationship. One, the entire relationship sprouted up while they were both in danger. They were in close proximity, and they landed in several adrenaline-pumping situations. I wasn't entirely convinced that their relationship could survive in normal, everyday life. Two, while their ages may have been similar, their maturity levels weren't. John seemed much more mature to me than Farrah did. One scene that still sticks with me is a party Farrah went to. She spotted a guy who was passed out and dumped head-first into a garbage can. He was there because he refused to let a popular student copy his geology report, so the popular guy made him do beer bongs until he passed out. This same popular student was the one Farrah was about to let kiss her, so that she would fit in with all the other girls who thought he was hot.

I understand that Farrah wanted to be seen as normal, but she could have been a normal girl who didn't hang with the kind of people who did things like that. The book was written in the first person from Farrah's perspective, so, if she had even thought about going to check on the passed out guy, it would have been in the text. All she did was look for movement and then head off with the jerk who did it all in the first place. I liked Farrah's voice, and I liked the “Digit” side of her, the side that wouldn't get her invited to parties or let her hang with the popular crowd. I really didn't like the things she did in order to fit in, though, and I wonder if John would have liked her so much if he had known her prior to her visit to the FBI.

One thing he did know, though, was that Farrah sometimes did stupid things even though she was told not to, even though she was in a situation where she, as the inexperienced one currently in danger, should have listened to the FBI agent charged with protecting her. When she was explicitly asked if she had a cell phone, she remembered that she had one on her, and she chose to keep it with her anyway, without telling anyone, because she didn't want to be without the photo that could help her snap out of a math-related freak-out (couldn't she had asked someone to bring her other photos of trees?). Even I know that it's possible to use a cell phone to track someone, and I found what she did to be boneheaded, especially considering that all she ever did was check for text messages from one of her friends. Which, I want to point out, was not the original purpose for which she kept her cell phone.

As addictive as some parts of this book were, overall it wasn't really what I was hoping for. Farrah's math skills were only used maybe a couple times in the book. At other times, she seemed fairly ordinary, aside from her ability to quickly do calculations in her head. Despite everything she said about having difficulty being around things that weren't in regular patterns, she didn't seem to have any difficulties at all with this during the story.

As far as the FBI and eco-terrorist stuff went, that seemed a bit lackluster and oddly-paced. After an exciting beginning, during which Farrah was on the run from a terrorist who realized she'd seen and probably cracked his code, things got a little boring as Farrah and John were closed up together. Then they spent some time on the run again (because Farrah made herself cry in order to get John to take her with him – yet another thing that made me feel she wasn't mature enough for John), and then things slowed down again when John and Farrah hid out at John's parents' place. The big twist near the end wasn't all that shocking to me, because I figured out that person's involvement with the terrorists long before everyone else, after coming across an enormous clue early on.

This book had potential, and it was still an exciting read a good chunk of the time. I just wish Farrah had had more of a chance to use her math abilities, and I wish she had spent a little less time thinking about how hot John was.

(Original review, with read-alikes and watch-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
  Familiar_Diversions | Sep 24, 2013 |
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On the morning of my kidnapping, my mom's makeup was perfect.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 054766852X, Hardcover)

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 . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:16 -0400)

After identifying a terrorist plot, a brilliant seventeen-year-old girl from Santa Monica, California, gets involved with the young FBI agent who is trying to ensure her safety.

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