Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Book Recommendation: MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza

Description (from Goodreads):

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.


First of all, Debra Driza is a good friend of mine-- our friendship was cemented several years ago when she serenaded me with Wham! against my will at a SCBWI conference. (Actually, our friendship was really cemented before then, but I just wanted to write Wham!) I know her to be a talented writer and I couldn't wait to read this book.

I was completely engrossed in this from start to finish. It's a well-paced book with some extremely well-done action sequences that kept me flipping the pages so fast I actually had to double back and reread certain paragraphs because I realized that in my quest to discover what came next, I wasn't actually processing certain details. This is as much a factor of the clear, concise writing as it is of the plot and the pacing. I enjoyed every minute of this read. 

That said, I wouldn't have enjoyed every minute of it if I hadn't been able to connect with Mila, who is so wonderfully human. My favorite part of the book was watching her discover what she really was, putting together all the pieces of what she had been told and coming to terms with the truth. It was handled with such care-- so was the mother-daughter relationship, I thought, which has a really good arc, shifting as our understanding of who Mila is shifts. 

If you enjoy A. really great action and B. sci-fi and C. convincing teenage girls in fiction, this is a great read for you. (And it's out now!) In case you're on the fence, here is Debra's Harlem Shake video. Because I mean, come on. This woman is dancing like a crazy person to entice you. GIVE IN.


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