in_excelsis_dea (in_excelsis_dea) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Review: A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan, and My Book List for July 2012

Because I'm really bad about reviewing books, and my goal is twenty books a month, I end up being really bad about posting here. So, um, here's a review that I got around to doing, along with my book list so-far for July.

Title: A Girl Named Digit
Author: Annabel Monaghan
Genre: YA, thriller, romance, comedy
Summary: Farrah "Digit" Higgins is a teenage math genius who cracks a code on television that leads to a eco-terrorist organization and has to run for her life, accompanied by an FBI agent.
Stars: 2/5, or "It was okay" on Goodreads.

I wanted to read this book for three reasons: 1) I like books about people with quirks like that, especially math ones; 2) I like thrillers, especially ones that are out of the norm; and 3) my family is full of SAMOHI alumni and future students (my sister starts in the fall, my brother will next fall, and my sister will in...eight years, okay, but still).

This book...didn't really live up to any of my reasons for reading it in the first place. Sure, "Digit" had a cool math ability, but besides it being useful on, like, two occasions, it was treated more as a "woe is me, I'm ~weird~" thing and less of a "hey, being a math geek is cool, look at my ability that is actually helpful". The thriller plot was...mediocre. The ~twist~ wasn't that much of a twist, and to be honest, there wasn't much mystery at all. The plot of the book was more about a romance between Farrah and the young FBI agent on the run than anything else. There was no suspense, there was no thrill to the book. And three, while SAMO is mentioned, she really could have gone to any other school in the US, because man. Talk about cliches. I don't know why she set it at SAMO, except...well, I have no idea. It's got a good reputation, I guess, but with family members in SMMUSD, including a mother who works currently in the district and used to volunteer at SAMO on a regular basis, and having gone there myself and talking to my brother who went there and everything, it's pretty much unrecognizable, because it's not like that. Plus, it's a public school, and SMMUSD doesn't take new permit students older than 7th grade, it's notoriously hard to get a permit (because it isn't based on grades but basically first come-first served), AND as far as I can tell, Farrah's family did not live in Santa Monica. And really, hiding your ability at SAMO is pointless, because while there are a few cliques, I was one of those weird, gifted kids and I had lots of friends, who were just like me. SAMO (and SMMUSD) is known for its music program (my family has been involved in said program for, oh, forty years now) and it's a pretty dang welcoming place for kids who are ~different~, and kids there go on to great schools. Seriously, MIT isn't that big of a deal there, nor is being the child of an actress or a math professor (I went to school with kids like that, so do/did my siblings). For someone who grew up in LA (but clearly doesn't live there anymore), you'd think the author would be a bit more realistic about stuff like that.

This book...I just, I wanted, and I was pretty excited when I got it out of the library, but it was nothing like I expected or wanted. Actually, I think I'm going to go watch Numb3rs now, because even though I've never watched it before, it sounds like the type of plot I was looking for in this book and didn't get.

That said, I didn't dislike the book -- I didn't care about the book. I try to reserve 1 star reviews for books I really hated/threw against the wall kind of thing, so therefore the two star review.

And here's my book list for July. If you're interested in any reviews of them, tell me and I will gladly write a bit about them, but I'm too lazy/distracted/unmotivated to write them unless requested.

1. Poison Ivy by Amy Goodman Koss, 2/5 stars
2. Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale, 3/5 stars
3. XO by Jeffery Deaver, 5/5 stars
4. I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crossley, 2/5 stars,
5. The Driving Book: Everything New Drivers Need to Know About Driving, but Don't Ask by Karen Gravelle, 3/5 stars
6. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton, 4/5 stars
7. The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan, 5/5 stars
8. The Pregnancy Project by Gaby Rodriguez, 2.5/5 stars
9. Property of a Lady by Sara Rayne, 3.5/5 stars,
10. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga, 3.5/5 stars,
11. An Amish Wedding by Kelly Long and others, 3/5 stars
12. The Day I Went Missing: A True Story by Jennifer Miller, 2/5 stars
13. Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood by Edward M. Hallowell, 5/5 stars
14. The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service by Beth Kendrick, 4/5 stars
15. Kim: Empty Inside: The Diary of an Anonymous Teenager by Beatrice Sparks, 2/5 stars
16. Demigods and Monsters: Your Favorite Authors on Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series, edited by assorted, 2/5 stars
17. Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez, 3/5 stars
18. Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin, 2.5/5 stars
19. The McCloud Home for Wayward Girls by Wendy Delsol, 2.5/5 stars
20. The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry, 4/5 stars
21. Audition by Stasia Kehoe Ward, 3/5 stars
22. A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan, 2/5 stars

In-Progress Books to be finished before the end of July:
(23.) Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen (decent so far)
(24.) Frost by Wendy Delsol (okay, so far)
(25.) Scattered Minds: Hope and Help for Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder by Lenard Adler, M.D. (okay, so far)

You can also ask me about any book on my Good Reads, but I primarily use that site to keep track of books since I keep on accidentally deleting book lists on my computer, so I haven't written too many reviews. But again, if you're curious about any book, feel free to ask and I will write a review.
Tags: book review, comedy, contemporary, fiction, romance, thriller, unimpressed, young adult

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