Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review of Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

Katherin Tegen Books
Mila 2.0
by Debra Driza
4 Scribbles

Mila knows the world doesn’t stop turning even if it seems like it should.  Every day at her new school is a trial as she tries to fit in while at the same time mourning the recent loss of her father who died in a tragic fire back in Pennsylvania. Mila’s new friends don’t understand what she’s feeling; so when Hunter enrolls in her school, Mila is glad to find someone with a listening, sympathetic ear—finally, she feels like she may have a chance for a normal future. Yet when a freak car accident reveals an artificial limb Mila didn’t know she had, Mila’s soon discovers that her arm isn’t all that’s strange about her.

Mila’s story is action-packed adventure from the first page to the tantalizing last. However, the action isn’t the only thing that makes the story great. Driza weaves an intricate web of intrigue that still includes solid characters and rich relationships. For instance, Mila’s character is highly relatable. She struggles with the same issues many teen girls face—a need to feel liked, a sense of insecurity, the sting of competitiveness, and the pain of betrayal. She loves her mother, Nicole, and longs for the relationship she knew they once had before her father’s death. In fact, when Mila and her mother, Nicole have to run, the strong relationship that develops between them is refreshing. She is a teen who loves her parents and values their support. Too often novels pit teens against their parents and ignore healthy parent-teen connections. In the style of novels such as The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson, Driza creates a character who is less that human yet somehow encapsulates the best of humanity. Unlike Fox, however, Mila’s story focuses less on what constitutes a soul and more on what happens when artificial intelligence combines with biological material and becomes something…more. In fact, Mila’s character is the perfect balance of morality, strength, courage and love. Despite her inhumanity, she is not the perfect weapon she was created to be; she is somehow better than human. And she can still love, which is clearly evidenced when she meets Hunter, and the strength of her very human emotions help to create sparks between them. This novel is a thrilling tale of espionage that will appeal to both male and female readers and rival the fast-paced spy-games on the big screens—Jason Bourne step aside—Mila is here.