Title: MILA 2.0 (#1)
Author: Debra Driza
Summary From Goodreads:
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.
MILA 2.0 is the first book I have ever read about an android. And I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, there were one of two issues that I had with it, but for the most part, I really enjoyed it.
Cast of Characters:
For the most part, I really liked that cast of characters. MILA was a very interesting character with a full array of teenage emotions. Having once been a teenage girl, I remember some of those emotions. And yet there are android aspects to her that made for a very interesting dynamic. The reconciling of the two parts of her was very well done, in my opinion. I imagine if all of a sudden, I found out I wasn’t human and I could pull up a GPS in my brain and switch into ninja mode, I would be super freaked out as well and have trouble dealing with it. I like that Debra Driza addressed this and showed us MILA slowly coming to deal with this. As for the other characters in the book… I felt that they were underdeveloped, but that as the series continues, they will be developed further. The girls that MILA was friends with in Clearwater… I felt they were overly shallow. They were completely horrible to MILA at the end, yet they were so ready to adopt her as a friend when she first showed up? I never really understand that.
I was going to call this section “Instalove” but then I realized that I actually have two rants that I want to talk about her.These both have to do with the character Hunter. He is the mysterious good looking guy that shows up at the dairy queen and instantly all the girls are in love with him. Now let me first rant about that for a minutes. I hate it (in both real life and in novels) when a guy shows up and girls let him destroy their friendships with other girls. But in this case, it is even worse because the guy is in the picture for literally three days. What kind of person tries to nearly literally kill their friend for a guy who has been around for a day and hasn’t even shown the slightest interest in you? Also, what kind of friend starts a rumor that you cut off your arm and gave it to your ex-boyfriend? I mean, really, why are girls the worst to each other? And why do boys drive us to treat each other this way? It is unacceptable. Sisters before misters, you know.
Which brings me to the most horrible of all plot devices… the instalove. The I don’t know anything about you but I will do anything for you because we are soulmates and it doesn’t matter what secrets you have (including not being human) because I looked in your eyes at the dairy queen and I know you were the one. First of all, you all are teenagers. Let’s be real. Everyone is “the one” at that age. Second of all, I find this to be a really weak plot device. It makes me angry, to be honest. The author can’t be bothered to take the time and develop a relationship between the characters? At least set it along a more realistic time frame. I am pretty sure that not more than 3 days passed between Hunter and MILA meeting and her and her mom having to run away. And the girl cannot stop obsessing about him. I felt no connection between them. Because when an author employs instalove, there is no connection to be felt. You are simply told that they have just met, are in love with each other. And that is that. I cannot possibly be expected to care about Hunter. I feel nothing for him.
Lucas on the other hand… Now there is a guy I can get behind and support as a love interest. He literally risks his life multiple times for her And I felt there was a little bit more development. Not the whole instalove thing.
Now if this turns into a love triangle (which, lets face it, this is YA… that always happens), I will be upset. Because I hate love triangles. In part because I usually end up rooting for the losing party. Except for Peeta and Edward. But other than that, I invariably pick the wrong one to root for. And then I get angry. And then I hate the series. Is it to much for an author to have only one love interest but to actually spend time developing it? To let it grow and for us, as a whole fan base, to cheer them on? I guess it is. But we will wait for a later book for me to really spiral off onto a tangent rant about my hate of this plot device.
There was a lot of action in this book. And I really enjoyed that. The whole running from the supposed good guys who are really the bad guys and having to fight for your life thing… I really enjoy that in movies, and it was really enjoyable here. I like that MILA struggled with her human side and was determined not to be turned into the killer that she could be.
Despite my rants and love, I actually really enjoyed this book and look forward to continuing the series. I debated giving this a lower rating because of the instalove and the other issues I brought up. But I decided that that was actually such a small part of the plot of this book that I would only deduct one star for it.