Mila 2.0 (Mila 2.0 #1) Featured
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.
An Action-Packed Thrill Ride!
What I Loved:
I'm not going to lie to you: my deep desire for MILA 2.0 was entirely superficial. I mean, can you blame me? Look at that cover! It's the cover that The Adoration of Jenna Fox was trying to be. As soon as I saw this cover, MILA 2.0 went to the top of my WANT WITH THE FIRE OF A THOUSAND SUNS pile. Still, I'd been burned before by books from this pile and was naturally hesitant. Well, lucky me, because MILA 2.0 turned out to be a fast-paced thrill ride.
MILA 2.0 is about a girl who discovers she's a robot. That premise pretty much can't fail to make me excited. I really like the way Mila's abilities are handled in here. Sure, there are things where I wasn't entirely sure about whether they would be possible, but it wasn't hard to suspend disbelief. Driza's not trying to heavy science fiction on her readers, so she gives you just enough information, without ever feeling the need to over-burden you with technical terms or infodumps. Obviously, this might be a disappointment for hardcore science fiction readers, but it was perfect for a person like me, who has a rather tenuous grasp on science.
Driza does a great job with her action scenes. They're clear and concise, easily distinguishing between commands issued from other people, from Mila's programming, or from Mila's own mind. Some of the robotic features could have been confusing, depending on formatting and handling in the text, but they're really well-integrated, and not used so often as to be annoying. The real focus of the plot is on the action, which is great. I love when a book knows what kind of a book it is and runs with it.
Mila makes such a great character and is one of the best robot/manufactured main characters I've read. Most authors feel the need to make the character read as robotic, giving them stilted ways of speaking and limited vocabularies. Driza did not fall into this trap. Mila acts like a completely normal person, which is precisely the point. Since Mila is nigh indistinguishable emotionally from a person, it highlights the question of whether she has humanity. What makes a human human? I'm not going to pretend this is an original theme or even treatment thereof, but it's well done, and way less preachy than most. Also, Mila is hardcore. She does some things in here that really took me by surprise. Let's just say she's willing to get her hands dirty.
What Left Me Wanting More:
The main weakness in MILA 2.0 lies in the more realistic side of the story. The opening where Mila thinks she's just a regular student moves a bit slowly. Though I did find her dramas with her friend Kaylee very believable and unfortunate, I would have liked to see that element pulled out as something she learned from. On top of that, there's a new boy in school (of course), who is immediately drawn to Mila (surprise!). They bond way too quickly. While I do understand her obsession with whom throughout the book, since he's the only real, positive link to her human self, his side of things does not make sense to me.
Though I'm not completely sold on what, admittedly little, romance there is in this first book, I'm looking forward to the developments in the next...I hope. There's a possible love triangle brewing, and I really hope so, because I'm rooting for Lucas, whether that's happening or not. I would love to see a romantic hero with a limp because of his club foot. All kinds of people can be hot! Also, he probably wouldn't feel the need to protect her, since he knows himself and his limitations so well.
The Final Verdict:
MILA 2.0 is out today, so, if you enjoy fast-paced books with a lot of action and science fiction-y goodness, go out and find a copy! Now I just have to wait a full year to find out what happens next. C'est la vie.
What I liked: The cover is really cool. I first heard about this book back in September at the Baltimore Book Festival where one of the authors on the YA panel was discussing upcoming books and current manuscripts she was reading. The title alone was intriguing and when I read the description I was really excited especially since I'm a big fan of The Bourne series. This is well written and fast paced which is always a plus for sci-fi books and I enjoyed Mila - I thought she was an interesting character with a surprising amount of depth considering what she is. I found the relationship that unfolds between she and her mother to be a positive one despite the occasional bumps.
Hunter's character was appealing and while we don't get to know him very well in this book, I'm hoping we'll see more of him in future installments. I have a hunch that there is more to him than meets the eye as well.
What left me wanting: This is very fast-paced and there were times I had trouble keeping up with all that was going on. It reminded me of a little bit of the T.V. show Alias but with a twist. The inclusion of not one, but two means girls was distracting and a bit annoying. This was also very light on romance and I would've liked to have seen more Hunter but as I said, I'm guessing he'll play a bigger role in the upcoming sequels.
Final verdict: This entertaining debut packs a punch and a leg sweep!
Mila 2.0 review
I haven't heard anything bad about Mila 2.0, so I was a little disappointed when I found myself trudging along through the first half. However, it did pick up in the second half and I ended up enjoying the book overall.
Let's get my dislikes out of the way first.
Since Mila doesn't know she's an android in the beginning the story is just following her daily life which I found to be pretty dull. That's not to mention that all her friends are kind of witchy and annoying.
And then there's Hunter. I imagine he's going to be pretty important as the story goes on, but his and Mila's relationship just felt super weird to me. First off, he's only in about ¼ of the book and yet Mila thinks about him all the time. And am I the only one who thinks it's a little weird that Hunter invites himself over to Mila's house late at night? I mean, I know he was intending to check on her, but they hadn't even spoken all too much before the crash. I honestly spent the whole book waiting for him to pop up and *surprise* betray Mila or be working for the bad guy or something because it felt like his character would make more sense then.
Okay, I know this sounds a little terrible, but I got really sick of Mila's whining. Yes, I know she just discovered she's an android and all that, but I can only handle so much. She does end up growing and accepting herself, so I appreciate that. I don't necessarily wish she accepted it faster, just that I didn't have to hear so much about it. I will give you that it'd be disturbing to stab someone with a hair dryer cord.
Okay, now onto the positive stuff.
I spent most of the second half with my stomach in knots (in a good way) wondering what was coming next. There was just enough action to keep my heart rate up while keeping my heart in the story with twists and emotional developments.
The second half is where we start to move away from “I just found out I'm an android and nothing else matters” to “maybe this isn't so bad, and it can help save the people I care about.” This felt engaging and had me more invested in the story than the first half did. There's a face to the bad guy now, but still plenty of mysteries with more of them popping up right and left.
When the story begins Mila feels pretty blah to me. She's depressed, doesn't have all too much personality, and doesn't really think about anything other than her dead father and the new guy at school. As the story progresses, especially after getting to the compound, she starts to have more complicated emotions and turns out to be a pretty caring person which helped me connect with her.
Holland's a pretty crappy guy. Which makes him a good villain. At this point there's honestly nothing at all to like about him. He doesn't have a sad backstory or any traits that humanize him in any way. He makes it all that much easier to care about Mila.
The Nutshell: Mila 2.0 wasn't a total hit for me since I was pretty bored during the first half, but the second half managed to pull me in enough to become invested in the story. The entire first half of the book is setup which gets a little old, however, when you get to the point where the setup turns into story it's hard not to get invested in all the action, mystery, and emotion. I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel.
Great start to a series that I can't wait to keep reading.
Did I like it, love it, or think it was just okay? I loved it!!
The characters: I really felt for Mila, and I connected with her because her emotions were so real and vivid. Driza wrote her with passion and where what she is feeling and thinking really jumped off the page. I think that her struggle when she found out that she was an Android was so compelling, and very realistic. I can't imagine finding out something like that when my whole time I thought that I was a human. She feels, thinks, and has friends, sure there are some hazy memories, but everything seems so real.
It draws up an interesting question for me of what makes defines real. I never failed to connect with her, and she was always fighting for the person that she loves, so what really makes her different from me? What's inside? Metal vs not? It is just weird if you really think about it.
I liked Lucas, he was well written and though I can't say a lot about him without being a spoiler. But how he questioned things and then became loyal to what he believes in really inspired me.
As for her friend, Kaylee... Well, I can't believe the changes in her. I really don't understand how she was so friendly and including, and then NOT. I hope that there is some explanation in the next book.
I loved Mila's relationship with her mom, and how it changed several times with the circumstances. I think it reflects a real mother/daughter relationship because they aren't usually always good or bad, but fluctuating. But I think that how they learned to talk to one another and really learned that they could trust each other was beautiful. I couldn't believe what happened to them, and I wish there were things that couldn't be fixed, that I want desperately to be fixed.
The romance: I just wasn't feeling it. Friendship yes, the possibility that more could be there, sure... But hopefully the next book will pick a guy and really develop that, because I think I will have a hard time if they are both developed and fleshed out and then one of them won't be with her.
The cover: I like the colors, and the parts of her face. It catches my eye, and I think that it is a good fit for the story.
The pacing: It kept me wanting to keep flipping pages, there was always something going on, lots of action, and lots of feelings, as well as character growth and development. I didn't know HOW they were going to fix things at every turn.
The world/setting: I felt like it was authentic--the high school experience as well as when she ends up in the lab.
The ending: Oh my goodness, it was definitely a twist! I can't believe what happened! I am very eager to read the next one.
Bottom Line: Great start to a series that I can't wait to keep reading.