Series: MILA 2.0 #1
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books on March 12, 2013
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Technology, Thriller, Young Adult
Source: ARC From Publisher
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Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.
Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past—that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.
Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.
Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity–style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.
MILA 2.0 was everything I hoped it would be: intense, action-packed, and filled with awesome technology. But it was also more than that: it had a TOTALLY SWOONY romance—but it didn’t dominate the story, and it had one of the most alive characters I’ve ever read about! I have to quote another reviewer here because I can’t say it better myself:
Driza has successfully trolled the entire YA writing community by creating an android narrator more human than most real teens in young adult fiction. Sarah Harian
This is true on so many levels. Mila is ALIVE. She reacts exactly the way I would imagine a real person would. Her emotions and actions jumped off the page, and I could so clearly envision them in my head! I could relate to her on so many levels, despite the fact we actually have very little in common! I actually cared what she was thinking about and what was happening to her. She also had her hilariously sarcastic moments that had me chuckling and frantically highlighting. Who knew an android could be so funny?? I want to be friends with her!!
Debra Driza also did a fantastic job detailing Mila’s ‘machine’ side. Often times when I read about robots or cyborgs or whatever, I have a hard time imagining how they actually work.. But Debra Driza carefully crafted and explained it so that it makes perfect sense! It’s super easy to imagine, and she makes it seem so realistic. And I think the incredible characterization in MILA 2.0 is one of the reasons that the book would be GREAT on film.
When I read MILA 2.0 I couldn’t help but imagine it on film because it has been picked up for a TV show, and because it’s compared to The Bourne Identity. You know when books are marketed as being compared to The Hunger Games or Harry Potter or A Song of Ice and Fire, and then they’re just nothing like that? Well I promise you that MILA 2.0 is pure Bourne Identity and it’s FREAKING AWESOME! This book totally embodies The Bourne Identity but without being too similar that it’s unoriginal or just a copy. It has the same overall story of a military ‘weapon’ not wanting to be used as such, and that ‘weapon’ harbouring too many emotions to be the robotic military servant that it’s supposed to be. MILA 2.0 also has the same incredible level of intensity and action.
MILA 2.0 is riddled with corruption, murder, brutality, a struggle with humanity, and intense car chases to boot. Everything was drawn out so clearly that I could literally picture it being up on the big screen! But at the same time, I guess I should warn you.. there are some tough scenes in MILA 2.0. They didn’t bother me at all (and they DEFINITELY added to the intensity of the story), but just be aware that some scenes are pretty nasty and brutal, and there’s definitely an underlying vicious/psychotic element..
As I mentioned before, there is a totally swoony romance. Some could say that the romance is a little too intense and moves a little too quickly, but I think it makes a lot of sense in context. The romantic side does seem to heavily dominate the introduction to the book, but soon it becomes clear that this romantic crush is Mila’s first real emotional experience. I think it makes sense that it would hit her pretty hard. And after the introduction, the romance disappears for most of the remainder of the book. That did disappoint me a little, actually (because it was awesome and I missed it!), but again—it made sense. And it worked! And as a result, the romance didn’t dominate the book overall; I think a lot of people will find that very refreshing.
This book was all kinds of awesome. It was up, down, and all over the freaking place. The constant intensity and action will definitely keep you on your toes! The best part of this book was easily Mila’s struggle between her machine side and her humanity. It’s really quite amazing to read about, and I love watching Mila’s progression as the story takes place! MILA 2.0 had so much depth in every aspect of the story. The relationships had meaning, the characters had development, and the plot had many layers. You will love some characters like there is no tomorrow, and you will hate others with so much uncontrollable rage that you’ll want to murder them with a hair-dryer plug. But you will love to hate them.
I have to admit, I think I would have liked more of an epic twist at the end.. just because I like crazy insane twists. Don’t get me wrong, the ending was TOTALLY packed with action and there were some heart-wrenching moments in there.. but there wasn’t a huge reveal or some crazy twist that I didn’t see coming. It was all kind of… expected. Really good and intense—but expected.
But other than that, I think MILA 2.0 left off in a great place: there was closure, but still enough unanswered questions to have me pining for book #2!
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