Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

Friday, July 19, 2013

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: March 12, 2013
Pages: 470
Source: library
Buy It: Amazon | The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble
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. --Goodreads
Mila lives with her mother and attends school in a small Minnesota town where she moved after the devastating loss of her father in a tragic house fire.  She still cannot remember all of the details but wears his old flannel shirt like a security blanket.  Mila has been the new kid in town until Hunter shows up at school.  Kaylee, the resident “it” girl, decides she wants Hunter, but Hunter appears to be interested in Mila.  Mila is interested too but doesn’t want to cause problems with Kaylee who readily accepted Mila when she first arrived in town.  Kaylee turns on Mila and causes a potentially life-threatening accident that ultimately turns into a life-changing event as Mila discovers she is actually a sophisticated compilation of scientific advancements.  Suddenly everyone is after Mila but she just wants to be an ordinary girl.

MILA 2.0 by debut author Debra Driza is the first installment in an exciting, new sci-fi android series that is worthy to be on every android story lover’s Bucket List.  If you are not that into android stories, this is still a very good read as the android is really very human-like with emotions, life like synthetic skin and the programming equivalent to that of an average teenage girl on the road to self-discovery.  Join MILA 2.0 on her journey to love, to life, to the hard truth of who and what she is and what she will do next.  It’s not an easy journey and MILA 2.0 has some tough decisions to make, but if you are any kind of human yourself, you will be rooting for her every step of the way. 

The cover is amazing.  It’s a picture of MILA 2.0 and it looks like she is disintegrating, almost being blown away by the breeze.  I’m sure it is to depict the fragility of MILA’s android nature, that if she doesn’t conform to what the mad scientist created her for, then she can be erased. 

Debra Driza’s writing style and plot made me feel like she has been doing this forever and doing it well.  I would never have guessed that this is her debut novel.  Kudos.

The characters were overall very good, but I had issues with two characters.  Lucas was one as he played out a little too much of a wounded innocent at times with his blushes and timidity one minute and his defiant courage at others.  I liked him but I think we are missing more information about his character than I could appreciate to make his character deviations unquestionable.  The other character is the mad scientist (please excuse me as I cannot recall his name, but you will know who he is when you read the book).  I found the mad scientist to have a flat, if sadistic, character which I also found a little unbelievable.  It is very hard to find people with no redeeming qualities, but not this guy.  He was all bad.  For a man who had a big hand in creating a being capable of evolving, he has to have something to admire in him.  In addition, his blindness in seeing the benefits of MILA 2.0’s adaptability, that wasn’t present in 3.0, is unlikely.  It appears that what he preferred in 3.0 was her sadistic mimicry of his character, not an emotionless persona, but it limited her ability to think outside of the box.

Now comes the ending.  I know that this is the first installment of MILA 2.0 and more will be coming soon, but it killed me to have so many questions unsolved.  Let me know what you want to find out in the episodes to come.  Here are some of mine:  1)  What about the memories MILA 2.0 had of her father when she was a young child?  Did they download the essence of Dr. Laurant’s real daughter who died in the fire with her dad (somewhat like in the Jenna Fox series by Mary E. Pearson).   Just who is the original?  2)  Let’s not forget Hunter either.  Is he the catalyst that helped the mysterious group, that wants to unlock MILA’s advanced technology, find her?  Is he Lucas’s brother?  Is he trustworthy?  3)  How did MILA know that she had to destroy Dr. Laurant’s body so that the DNA could not be used to create other androids?  They never mentioned definitively that is how they created the MILA series.

Well I hope I gave you some food for thought.  I would love to hear your thoughts in return.  Thanks for reading my take on MILA 2.0. --Mom

Cover: 5
Writing Style: 5
Characters: 4
Plot: 5
Ending: 4

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