Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Debra Driza
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
MILA 2.0 begins as a story of a seemingly typical 16-year-old girl named Mila. She struggles with the recent death of her father, deals with high school drama, and quickly falls for a new boy in town named Hunter. However, she soon discovers that she is actually a recently-created robot designed by the government for espionage purposes, and her “mom” is actually one of her designers who broke her out of the government facility because she recognized the uniquely human qualities in Mila. While trying to escape together to a foreign county, Mila and her mom outrun one group of enemies but are captured by another group: the top-secret department that engineered Mila, headed by the sadistic General Holland. After being transferred to a government laboratory in Washington, D.C., General Holland forces Mila to undergo a series of tests to determine if he will let her and her mother live. She competes with her new-and-improved, emotionless MILA counterpart, but uses her humanity-driven ingenuity to come out ahead. With the help of a sympathetic lab worker named Lucas, Mila and her mother escape from the facility, but Mila’s mother is fatally wounded, leaving Mila with only a single hint to lead her on a journey of discovering who she really is.
This book would most likely appeal to romantic and adventure-loving teenage girls, considering the combination of romance in the beginning (written rather melodramatically) and sci-fi action in the rest of the book (written in a way that keeps you on the edge of your seat). Mila’s character can be a bit dramatic at times, but still understandable and would appeal to the female teen audience. Themes of emotions, identity, science, and humanity pervade the book, coupled with conflicts both within and outside of Mila as she discovers herself and overcomes the obstacles that are placed before her. Lastly, though the action is quite well-written, it does become especially violent and slightly graphic at times, though even this is accompanied by Mila’s inner struggle to be and stay humane.
*Contains mild language and moderate to severe violence.