MILA 2.0 (Mila 2.0 #1) by Debra Driza
YA Science Fiction
480 pages, hardcover
Available March 12, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Review copy provided by publisher
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.
Positive: The set-up. We start out with what seems to be a normal girl, getting over the death of her father and a move to a new, small town. Mila's mother has wrapped Mila in cottonwool, protecting her from everything bad in the world, not allowing Mila to do much of anything. Mila figures it's just because of what happened to her dad and, while it's frustrating, she goes along with it. She's got friends, she goes to school, she rides her horse...she's pretty normal. Until she falls out of a truck and learns that she really not.
Positive: Mila. She's just a girl who learns she's a robot...heh. Mila's life is completely upended when she finds out what she really is -- a cybernetic experiment created by the government for warfare. Why they started with teenaged girls is beyond me, especially since they programmed them with emotions and such. Do these guys not know anything about teenaged girls and emotions and the instability of them? *waves it away* Whatever. Anyway, Mila learns what she is, she freaks out (of course) and before she can really process what's going on, she and her mother (who's not really her mother) are on the lam. She handles it pretty well, considering she really is just like a teenaged girl emotion-wise. Beyond that, she's pretty kick-ass, especially when her programming kicks in.
Positive: The facility. Talk about creep-factor. There is no way I want to visit this place. The people who run it are pretty darned sadistic, sawing apart previous Milas with no regard for their emotions (sure, they're robots but they've still got emotions and pain sensors!). And the tests they put Mila through...*shudder* Poor Mila.
Wish: The insta-love. A boy walks into the local Dairy Queen and Mila's in love. She talks to him, she likes him, her friend likes him and "claims" him, she back off a little. But she still likes him and he likes her, even after she gets hurt and he sees her innards. Life goes to hell for her and she has to disappear from his life. Until she doesn't (I know, super-mysterious. But I'm not going to spoil what happens!). I'm curious about this guy, though. He doesn't seem like a typical teen boy. It seems like he has an agenda that we just don't know about yet. His parents aren't around, he's pretty self-sufficient but...there's just something about him I can't put my finger on. Maybe we'll find out more about this in the next book.
Overall: Fast-paced and creative, MILA 2.0 packs a serious punch as Mila battles her way through emotional and physical turmoil in an effort to once again be free and "normal".
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