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Mila 2.0 Hardcover – March 12, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Thirty days ago, Mila's mother moved them to the quiet Clearwater, Minnesota, to make a new start after the tragic death of her husband. Despite her grief, Mila is doing her best to find a place for herself, but it's hard to move on when she can't remember details of her past-including the fire that killed her father. When she injures her arm in an accident, she discovers a network of wires and tubes beneath her skin that hints at a history more incredible than she could have ever imagined. Mila doesn't remember her previous life because she doesn't have a past: she was created in a top-secret laboratory for the government. Now she and her mother are running for their lives and nothing makes sense-all she has are questions. Who is her mother? Did her father ever actually exist? Why was she created? And who is chasing her? In this cross between Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Identity (Richard Marek, 1980) and Mary E. Pearson's The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Holt, 2008), Mila's identity crisis and the resulting questions about what it means to be human could be the start of an interesting discussion. And while this first book in a planned trilogy is nearly 500 pages long, the action-packed plot will quickly propel even reluctant readers to the end.-Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, COα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Everything seems normal as 16-year-old Mila attends a new school in Minnesota, hangs out with her new friends, and starts to get to know another new student—Hunter, a handsome, quiet surfer from California. Suddenly, though, Mila starts to get flashes of visions that send shudders down her spine: she pictures men in lab coats conducting cruel experiments in a cold room. Who are they? Why does she keep picturing these scenes? According to her mother, Mila is suffering from trauma due to her father’s fiery death. But when Mila discovers that her mother may not be telling the truth, core identity issues heat up the plot. Driza’s fast-paced, action-packed science fiction/thriller debut about identity, will, artificial intelligence, nature versus nurture, and man versus machine will satisfy fans of the Jason Bourne series, the Hunger Games trilogy, and Jennifer Rush’s Altered (2013). Grades 8-12. --Candice Mack
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Top Customer Reviews
1. While I felt the first part was dragged and way too detailed, I think it might've been important in order to make the reader somehow relate to Mila's thought process through common experiences.
2. It kept me hooked. I mean, I started it less than a day ago, so kudos to the author for that.
3. I had so many technical questions - like, how did she recharge? Did she somehow have a renewable energy source? How did she fool the full-body scanner? It's mentioned that her brain projected an image of a normal human body to the machine, but, that's maybe a little too far fetched? Why did the dogs have a problem with her?
4. Why were all the other female characters, excluding her mom, unconditionally mean? Kaylee and Parker being the most prominent (only?) examples.
5. When Nicole stole Mila, why didn't she flee the country? Y'know, since the military and the CIA were on her back. Why didn't she leave right then?
6. How come she didn't have a kill switch or an override of some sort? Do they really need to take away her actual physical "brain" and replace it with a newer one to override her programming?
7. If this was a covert ops droid, how come they never thought of making her look human through her injuries? Operatives get injured occasionally, right? Wouldn't the white goo give her away on the field? Especially if her injury wasn't in her limbs where she could say it was prosthetic.
8. For a project that cost the government "hundreds of millions of dollars", a 16 year old girl seems like a poor choice for the task in hand. Did they usually have operatives that young? Wouldn't her age, in a lot of situations, make her look suspicious?
Over all, despite the time questions I have, this was a good book. I'm not sure if I'd pick up the sequel, but I didn't hate it. It was intriguing, and new. I've always been a fan of fiction that discussed if droids could ever be "real" or human - what makes us human, really? Our emotions? Reactions? Biological formation? Every work of fiction handles a different perspective, and it's amazing.
Despite the "PG-13" aspect of Mila 2.0, I did enjoy reading it. The story started out a little slow, letting the readers see how Mila acted as a "normal" teenager...in and out of high-school. But when Debra threw in the 18 yr old hunk love-interest, I started to suspect this book was not for me.....But once Mila's secret was out, the story & action sure picked up! The buzz going around was that this book featured Jason Bourne style action. H'mmm, no. For Jason Bourne style action there would have to be a heck of lot more blood & guts flying around. Since the action was toned down for the YA readers, I would say the action was more along the lines of the old A-Team TV show. But there is no denying ths suspense/thrill aspect of this story. I'll read the next Mila book just to see how this story develops. I am looking forward to future battles between Mila 2.0 and Mila 3.0. I suspect the Mila 3.0 character will develop more and more as the series goes on.
The adult in me would LOVE to read a Mila story written for adults with TRUE Jason Bourne/Matt Reilly style action. Let's see Mila fully unleashed! The body count would be prettty darn high. Mila is one tough chick....see, Debra got me thinking of Mila as a girl, not just an android.
The gorgeous eye-catching cover of Mila 2.0 is what initially captured my attention of this book and the intriguing synopsis had me sold; I have only recently started to embrace the Sci-Fi genre and Debra Driza’s action-packed debut certainly kept me entertained from the beginning through to the end but also left me with a number of unanswered questions.
Sixteen year-old Mila believed she was a human living in a small town with her ‘mother’ after the death of her ‘father’ and was never meant to find out that she was an android, built in a science lab and kept hidden to avoid not only the person who helped create her but another group intent on using her for her abilities.
Mila was a really sweet likeable character, I adored her devotion, vulnerability and loyalty, and you wouldn’t have guessed she was a machine based on her emotions and feelings; she really grew in strength as the story progressed both in personality and physically but it took me a while to fully understand her and the reasoning behind why everything had been kept so hidden; I think there is a lot of information we are yet to find out.
The plot was quite intriguing; Mila was created as a military experiment in artificial intelligence and has been programmed to do the unimaginable and the group behind the experiment were brutal in their teachings and with the plans they had for her. The story was written well, the ongoing action and the information we are being fed kept the pacing consistent although at times I found it was information overload, scenes were being drawn out and sensory details seemed at times to be missing, it was enjoyable none the less but as the first book in the series, it didn’t truly wow me.
I liked the secondary characters but we don’t really learn a lot about each of them, I wanted to know more about Hunter especially but he didn’t play a huge role and I feel there is still a lot we haven’t yet found out about him. Lucas was wonderful but also quite mysterious and Mila 3.0 and the bad guys were each written well but needed to be further developed.
I would have loved more romance and initially I thought there would be an opportunity between Hunter/Mila but unfortunately nothing really progressed, although he seemed to play heavily in her thoughts there was no real outcome and he was absent for a majority of the book.
The ending was heart wrenching and I still have a number of unanswered questions so I am definitely eager to see how the story progresses in the sequel.
Overall, Mila 2.0 is filled with conspiracies, violence, intense action scenes and hopefully the possibility of a budding romance; it left me satisfied yet eager to learn more.
Thank-you kindly to Harper Collins Children, for the opportunity to read and review Mila 2.0.
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