Featured Review: Bionic by Suzanne Weyn

About this book:

and the only way the doctors can help is to try experimental prosthetics and chips that are implanted directly into her brain. It's a huge risk, but after months of testing and therapy, Mira is back, and better than ever. But soon her friends turn against her as their parents call her on unfair advantages and get her cut from lacrosse and the scholarships she was depending on for college. And with her enhanced hearing, she knows how many people in her school and her town are calling her a robot, a cyborg. Is that true? Is Mira human, or is she somehow something other? How can she overcome the ways people see her and just be herself... especially if she's not really sure who that is anymore? Suzanne Weyn is always at the cutting edge when it comes to new tech and the questions it raises about the world we live in.

 

 

*Review Contributed by Karen Yingling, Staff 

Reviewer*

We can rebuild her. We can make her better!

High school senior Mira is a fantastic lacrosse player hoping for a scholarship, and is also in a rock band. When she is critically injured in a car accident coming home with the band, she loses a leg and an arm. Fearing that her days of "normality" are behind her, she is okay with experimental technology that is being used to reconstruct her limbs. She even has a copper chip implanted in her brain to help with the integration. Soon, Mira is better than she ever was. She is offered a place on the school swim team, but is soon kicked off because other teams feel threatened by her augmented technology. Her hair and skin start to glow, and she feels great. She's recruited as a spokes model for Snap cosmetics. There is even a nice romance with one of her band mates. She does occasionally have flashbacks to the accident, and requires repeated surgeries to upgrade her arm and leg, but life has never been better. Eventually, though, her bionic parts catch up with her and she must have a downgrade in order not to overwhelm her system.

Good Points
While this is definitely science fiction, it doesn't necessarily read like it at first. Considering how far medical science has come since the 1970s and the television program The Six Million Dollar Man, some of Mira's bionics are completely realistic. As the book progresses, we do leave the realm of what is currently available, but will this book still be science fiction in 30 more years? I loved that the bionics were essentially good, even though the levels needed to be tweaked a bit. Maybe I'm old enough to equate science with advances in civilization instead of dystopia, but this was so much more enjoyable than viruses infecting the world or some other scenario where EVERYTHING goes bad. Even though Mira is a high school senior, this is still completely appropriate for middle school. I was on edge for a lot of the book, however, just waiting for something inappropriate. This is exactly what some of my more mature 8th grade readers want. Middle school students definitely enjoy reading about high school characters.This is a great sci fi title for readers who don't think they like sci fi. I can see people who liked Uglies really enjoying this. And it involved BIONICS. What's not to like? A great, quick read.
 

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