ARC Review: MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza

Posted March 4th, 2013 in book review / 19 comments

MILA 2.0

MILA 2.0 Series, #1

by Debra Driza

Publisher: HarperCollins Children (Mar. 12, 2013)
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi
Format: eBook (480 pages)
Source: Edelweiss / Publisher
Purchase: Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 stars)

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.

At A Glance
A thrill-ride of intrigue, secrets, and action. I great beginning to a new series.

The Good
MILA 2.0 was a great testament to human emotions and how some humans can be monsters and how an android can teach us to be truly human. I went into this book not really knowing what to expect. It’s not something I would usually read. But I am so happy I gave it a chance. I was drawn in from the first page and found it hard to put this book down.

MILA 2.0 took me by surprise. It starts out a little slow, not bad slow, just more normal than I anticipated. But when the turning point hits, the action doesn’t stop. Mila is both strong and vulnerable. She has a rough past and a mother who doesn’t show her love. When she finds out she is really a machine, her fragile state wilts even more. All she can think about is that she is a monster, someone who deserves nothing from anyone. And as her computer ingrained skills grew, she felt even more alone. I think I would have freaked out if I turned out to be an android, so I couldn’t blame her for her self-defeated reaction. To not feel real, it must be horrible. But when her mother is threatened, she takes all her doubt and transforms it into determination. Mila will do anything for her mother, even if she really isn’t her mother. I don’t know if Mila will ever be okay with what she is, but I see her eventually accepting her lot in life and taking charge. She may be a machine, but she is a machine that feels and no one can take that away from her.

Hunter isn’t a huge part of the story so I won’t say much about him. I just hope to see more of him next book, because I don’t know where he stands and the mystery is killing me.

Lucas is another character I don’t know what to think about. He starts off like any other psycho scientist who performs horrible experiments, but as time went one, his humanity becomes clear. He is a good kid who doesn’t have much of a choice, just like Mila. Lucas does whatever he can to help Mila even if it doesn’t always seem that way.

General Holland was perfectly evil. A little stereotypical, but it worked. Every time he came on scene, my stomach actually hurt. He made me so nervous. He is capable of the most horrible things and it seems like no one can stop him.

The action was so good. I love reading about physical fighting and inhuman scientific testing. It is all so horrific, but entertaining. I like how Mila’s internal computer system would help her as she fought or tired to get away by sending out the best defensive/offensive moves or proving a map/GPS. The mystery was spot on and the suspense kept me turning the pages. I am very excited to see where all this goes. I have so many questions. Totally worth the read.

The Bad
There is no huge annoying thing that stands out to me except that I felt like there was more questions left unanswered then answered by the end. I wish we delved a little more deeper into the mystery that surrounds Mila and the people after her.  Even learning more about the supporting characters would have been nice.

The Bad That Was Good
I know many people are complaining about the mean “best friend” Mila puts up with, the lack of romance and how it peters out in some areas, and overall characterization. I think I liked how this book didn’t really follow the rules.

The best friend, Kaylee, was a total bitch but Mila putting up with her made sense. Kaylee was Mila’s only friend and Mila really didn’t know any better. Sure, I was annoyed with Mila for not dumping Kaylee’s butt right away, but I also understood she was desperate for a friend and was more afraid of losing her than anything else.

The whole insta-obsession for Hunter was a little off, I will admit that. But I understood Mila’s need for human interaction. She was desperate for someone to love her since she wasn’t getting that at home. Then we don’t see Hunter till the end of the novel and Lucas kind of takes his place during the middle. I thought that was actually cool. I didn’t expect that at all.

Some of the characters were a little cookie-cutter and a little flat, but I wasn’t too upset since this really is Mila’s story and it focuses on what she is going through. And Mila pinning over Hunter throughout the book, I totally got that. She is all alone, trying to survive after learning she is a robot. All she wants is to be is a normal, human and Hunter made her feel like that. I would be pinning over a normal love life as well.

I think our level of love for books comes down to what we are willing for forgive and what we aren’t. For MILA 2.0, I forgave the above and just enjoyed the story.

The Snuggly
This book doesn’t focus on romance which I was happy to see. Mila finds a connection with Hunter, a new boy in school, and then finds a friendship with Lucas during her time in the labs. I am very interested to see the direction Debra takes these relationships.

Final Thoughts
This wasn’t the best written book ever, but I found myself having a hard time putting it down. I just had to know what was going to happen next. I will for sure be continuing this series. Very recommended for YA, soft sci-fi/fantasy readers.

“The room was a small square of hopelessness.
A flash of red. And then:
Dimensions: 10 ft. by 9 ft.
I swallowed a horrific giggle. Perfect. And now I knew the exact measurements of hopelessness.” 


“No two people ever view the world from exactly the same perspective, understand things the same way, human or not. The best we can ever do is try.”


“As for ‘Mom’- well, according to the voice, I was more genetically related to our toaster than I was to her.”


“Mom had forbidden computers while, all this time, I’d been waking around Clearwater with a memory card slot. In. My. Wrist.”

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19 Responses to “ARC Review: MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza”

  1. Bookaholic 007

    Great review!

    I absolutely love the cover for Mila 2.0, it’s so pretty! I also like the idea of the story, it looks really good! It will also be interesting to read a book where the romance isn’t the main feature. Can’t wait to read this 😀

    Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic

  2. Ashley

    Fabulous review Jennifer! And I’m so happy you loved this book!!! Squee!! You’re right, this book does kind of break some traditional rules, and that’s what makes it awesome. I love how action packed and cinematic it felt. I could definitely imagine this as a TV show or something.

  3. Jaclyn Canada

    I think it’s great when a book grabs you and you can’t put it down – I would overlook bad when it does that to me too. It sounds fantastic and I think I would really enjoy it…going to add it to my to-read list. Fantastic review! Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven

  4. Kristin

    I have an arc of this one and ever since I heard about it last year I have been excited to read it, most of the reviews that I have read about it have said it is not what many people thought the book was going to be but, I guess I will just have to read it myself to see what I think. Great review!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

  5. kimbacaffeinate

    Nice review, and these books that have issues but hold your attention seem to be plentiful lately. I, like you want more depth, more fleshed out characters. I know there are prequels and novellas for this series. I really wish sometimes that the YA authors would dig deeper, add length and give us what we desire. Maybe because i am 40 something,..idk. I will await your verdict of book two before i grab this one.

  6. Synchronized Reading

    I’ve been wanting to read this for so long! I’m glad you enjoyed the book 🙂 I’ve been hearing really good things about it. Mila sounds like just my kind of character. I love when there’s a strong female lead. Awesome review!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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