by: Debra Driza
Expected Publication Date: March 12, 2013
Publisher: Kathryn Tegen Books
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.
My Thoughts: Mila and her mom have moved from Philly to a ranch in the small town of Clearwater Minnesota. They are still recovering from the death of Mila's dad in a fire. Unfortunately, Mila has been been left with little memory of what happened, and of her life before the fire. Her mom seems distant, and all she has left of her dad is an old flannel shirt, which she wears almost all the time. Her best friend is Kaylee, who has taken her under her wing over the last few weeks since she moved to Clearwater. Kaylee is loud and outspoken, and very energetic. A few of the other girls have accepted Mila and become friends with her, but it is only because of Kaylee. When a hot new boy moves to town, things begin to change. Hunter is definitely not the typical Clearwater boy that is dressed Carthartt's and work boots. In fact, he is quite the hottie. Though unspoken, it is clear Kaylee has called dibs on Hunter, but Hunter only has eyes for Mila, which causes a bit of a rift between the two friends. This crescendos when Kaylee and Mila give Hunter a ride after school. As a result of Kaylee's wreckless driving, Mila is thrown from the vehicle and suffers an injury to her arm. That is when Mila's life as she knows it drastically changes.
Instead of blood coming from her arm, there is a whitish fluid and metal there, which freaks Mila, Kaylee, and Hunter out, though Hunter handles it very well. They get Mila back home, and when her mom see's her, she is forced to tell Mila the truth....the truth about herself, who she is, and what she is. You see, Mila isn't entirely human. MILA is a "Mobile Intel Lifelike Android, an artificial intelligence experiment that has been conducted by the military, designed to be a weapon in the body of a 16-year old girl...an endoskeleton wtih human skin and hair, etc, with technology that blends the human side to the android side, simulating human function." Mila is able to can learn and make decisions, feel pain, sensations, and most importantly, emotions. When Mila's mom, Nicole, saw that she was actually becoming more human than android, she feared for her and what the military would do to her, so she stole her and escaped. Mila fully feels and believes she is human, so this totally rocks her world, and not in a good way. She can't understand how she can have these feelings, especially what she feels for Hunter, and not be human. Not only is the military hunting her, so is another covert group that wants to sell her to the highest bidder. She barely has time to comprehend all this when the enemies that they have been trying to avoid catch up with them, forcing Mila and her Mom to go on the run.
From this point in the story on there is nonstop action, nail biting danger, and intense edge of your see drama that continues from page to page, with never a dull moment. The synopsis compares it to the Bourne Identity Trilogy, which is a very accurate portrayal, especially as Mila learns more about what she is actually capable of doing - she is totally badass, just like a female Jason Bourne, with a science fiction twist. I was actually very surprised by how much I liked Mila's character and how human she really seemed. We didn't get to see too much of Hunter, but there was the hint of a future budding romance between them, and the stage has been set to see more of that in the next installment. I am really looking forward to see where Debra Driza takes that aspect of the story from here. Nicole, one of the scientist who created Mila and who Mila also considers her mother was a very likable character also. Then there was the really insane General Holland, the other scientist that helped create Mila, and who is also her biggest threat. Lucas was another character that I liked a lot and proved to be quite an ally to Mila. I hope to see more of him in the next installment also. Overall, I really enjoyed Mila 2.0. If you love action, science fiction, drama, with the bonus of a hint of romance mixed it, then you should definitely check Mila 2.0 out.
About: I’m Debra Driza, and I’m a physical-therapist-turned-Young-Adult-author and a stay-at-home mom. Not to be confused with a stay-at-home mistress—those are the ones who eat bon-bons and watch soap operas all day long. The soap operas sort of fall by the wayside when you have a seven-year old, a three-year-old, three dogs (one of them seriously defective), one extremely messy husband, and deadlines to meet.
Seriously, though–my family is great. I wouldn’t change one second of our crazy, messy, unorganized lives. What this house lacks in a paper or dog-free spot on the couch, it makes up for in laughter and hugs.
I’m represented by Taylor Martindale of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. The first book in my YA sci-fi thriller series debuts in Fall 2012 from Katherine Tegen Books/Harper Collins.
Feel free to email me at houndrat at yahoo dot com.