Author: ANNABEL MONAGHAN
Genre: CONTEMPORARY YA
Published: June 2012, HOUGHTON MIFFLIN BOOKS FOR CHILDREN
Source: Around The World ARC Tours, no other compensation given for an honest review
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...
From the very beginning, DIGIT appealed to me. I liked the idea of a smart teen with an extreme affinity for numbers, patterns, codes and things like that. When I read beyond the first few pages and found that Monaghan had also written in normal parents (not absentee or with extreme issues of their own), I really started to like DIGIT. This is a novel that balances out some of the other YA books I've read where smart girls are "geeks" or play the sidekick. It balances out the YA books with rubbish parents and very serious issues. While issues-driven books have their place, DIGIT was a refreshing change.
This book was a fun and funny short read. I did think the plot was slightly predicable, but not so much that I didn't want to finish or care about the journey to the end. It didn't take away from my enjoyment of the novel, but the mystery and suspense was not a tightrope walk, by any means. I figured out where the story was going to end up. I did have a bit of a "meh" attitude about the romance. Funny how I don't mind sexuality in YA, but sexuality between a minor and a 21+ just doesn't sit right with me.
Monaghan created a character in Digit that steals the show with her slightly snarky, slightly sarcastic, slightly vulnerable, but always intelligent voice. The chapter headings were laugh-inducing, but despite the humor that permeated DIGIT, it was not without it poignant moments that served to show both Digit's maturity and fear because of her skill and the situation she found herself in.
Mathletes can save the world from a terrorist plot, just as well as a trained federal agent, and Digit proves she has the tenacity and temerity to do it with a snappy attitude and a Fibonacci code. DIGIT is a solid contemporary YA, and despite my one issue with the romance, I do feel that it could still be appropriate for younger readers, as well as teen readers, and readers looking for a lighter vacation or beach read type of novel.
3.5/5 for plot
4/5 for characters
3.5/5 for language
My Rating: 11/15 (3 stars) Recommend