I received this book for free from the Publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza
Series: Mila 2.0 #1
Published by Harper Collins on 2013-03-12
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Source: the Publisher via Edelweiss
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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.
I had heard such great things about Mila 2.0. Haven’t you? So when I started to get bored and then annoyed with the book, I felt really bad. I knew I would be an outcast if I didn’t like this book. So I kept reading. There had to be something in this book that was causing lots of bloggers I follow to be giving it five stars, right? So I kept reading. I got pretty bogged down with it during the first half. I felt like it was lasting forever. But I kept at it. I wanted, no needed, to find out what was going on with all of those stellar reviews and why I wasn’t getting it. So I kept reading. And finally, finally, it started to pick up. And then I finished the book, after spending a week on it. In the end, I liked some of the book and didn’t like other parts. And that will get this book three stars from me.
When Mila 2.0 started, I was actually pulled in pretty quickly. We learn that Mila has just moved to her small town in Minnesota after her dad died in a fire. We also learn that she can’t remember whether or not she was there with him in the fire that killed him. Her mom is super protective of her and also a bit standoffish since the incident, but Mila doesn’t understand why. Mila is working on making friends and hangs out with a girl named Kaylee and her group. Then a new boy named Hunter moves to town and all the girls go crazy for him. Mila holds back but is put in situations where she and Hunter are together. When they talk, Mila feels like someone finally understands her. But Kaylee goes a little crazy when she thinks Mila and Hunter are getting too close. In the end, none of this really matters. Mila soon discovers that she is actually an android, not a human teenage girl. But while she’s dealing with her very real human emotions, she must go on the run. People have discovered where she is and if she wants to stay alive, or whatever she is, she must not be caught.
It sounds fun and exciting and suspenseful and all kinds of things. But for some of the book it just wasn’t. If the book had consisted solely of the first part in her small town and then the last part in the other location that I don’t want to spoil, it would have been great. It would have had a great setup and plenty of action without too much whining and wandering and meaningless interactions with random people and a weird obsession with a boy she hardly knew. But the book was almost 500 pages and it felt like almost 500 pages.
I also wasn’t a huge fan of any of the characters. Mila was much better in the second half, but in the first part she was very whiny. I get being emotional over the death of her dad, but it was the constant whining about wanting to be human versus a machine that got to me. And her whining over having to give up Hunter and her continual return to him at completely random moments. Also, her mom was a little all over the place for me. I couldn’t pin her down. Was she an unemotional scientist trying to save Mila from the people she ran away from in the first place or is she a mom who cares about Mila because she is more human than even she had originally thought she could be? I understand being both, but being inside Mila’s head, we only know what she thinks. And I didn’t feel like I ever got a clear read of her mom and it annoyed me. It also made it hard for me to emotionally connect with them.
Even with these problems, there were parts of the book I liked. I enjoyed the part of the book at the second location and the interactions that occurred there. That section of the book was much more suspenseful and intense and even a little bit crazy. It’s the part of the book that I hope is expanded on in the sequel. I want to know more about that group and the individuals involved with it as well as their overall goals concerning Mila. This part of the book brought up my rating, so if you’re reading the book and you get to somewhere between 30%-60% and you aren’t enjoying, just give it a little bit more time and see if it turns around at all. I think you’ll enjoy the rest of the book more.
Final Thoughts: I know this review was somewhat negative and I’m sorry for that. I really did want to love this book. But I just didn’t. The parts that I did like just couldn’t completely make up for the parts I didn’t. I did read the second half of the book much faster than the first part. So keep at it if you’re stuck or feel like you want to give up. It’s a long book, and it feels like it. But you might just be glad you stuck with it. I won’t claim that this book is anything spectacular, because for me it just wasn’t, but I’m still glad I read it. Mostly I just wanted to be grabbed by the story and not want to stop reading it, but that didn’t happen. There is also a cliffhanger, not a crazy one, but if that isn’t your thing, then consider yourself warned. I gave Mila 2.0 three stars and felt a little disappointed that I wasn’t completely sucked into the story like I wanted to be.