Review: Mila 2.0 by Deb Driza

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.

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I have so much love for Deb Driza’s debut, Mila 2.0! Not only did I find it impossible to put down, I’ve found it impossible to forget. 

The novel follows Mila, a girl who thinks she’s normal, but finds out she’s technically not even  human… at least, not in the traditional sense. Mila is an android: she was created in a lab and looks human, but is, in fact, a robot. And she had absolutely no idea. The woman she calls mom isn’t her mother, her past is not her past, and her future is completely unknown.

For me, one of the most compelling aspects of this book is the question of whether Mila is “human.” Furthermore, what makes us human? Where is the line between human and technology that mimics human traits… and is there a line that shouldn’t be crossed? What happens if it is crossed? All of these questions are, of course, complicated, and Driza doesn’t answer that question for readers in Mila 2.0, but she creates an interesting situation in which to consider them. I’m curious to see how these questions (and the possible answers) will evolve in upcoming installments.

I also enjoyed how “human” Driza made Mila. I’ve read other android novels in which the characters were difficult to connect to, but I quickly formed a bond with Mila and often forgot she wasn’t a normal teenage girl. I preferred this portrayal to the others I had read, plus it strengthened the complexity of the situation. If Mila had seemed more like a robot, I don’t think the questions posed earlier would have had the same weight as I considered them.

Mila 2.0 is a strong debut from Driza and I cannot wait to see what the next Mila novel offers. Driza is an author I’ll happily add to my must-buy list!

Katherine Tegen Books, March 2013, Hardcover, ISBN:  9780062090362, 480 pgs.

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6 thoughts on “Review: Mila 2.0 by Deb Driza

  1. I hope you end up reading this, Julia. Another great book that asks similar questions, but in a very different setting, is The Madman's Daughter. I highly recommend that title as well!

  2. I HAVE to read this! I love the "humanity" question when it's done properly, of course. That fact that it's an android and not a supernatural this time is much more interesting. Great review!

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