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 definitely the 2013 dystopian debut to look forward to. It's original and refreshing, with loads of action and suspense. I loved the premise as well as the protagonist. The world building is great, and the plot is very well paced. This is definitely one of my favourite 2013 debuts!
Mila is a girl who just moved to Clearwater, Minnesota with her mom, after her dad died in a fire. Supposedly. She soon discovers a horrifying truth about herself - she's not human. She's in fact an android created by the US military, as a weapon. However, she finds out that she was meant to be terminated as a result of her defects - too many human emotions - and Nicole Laurent managed to steal her away. Nicole removed Mila's memories, deciding to start a new life with her in Clearwater. Just your average mother and daughter.
Mila's character is very well-developed, and I loved that. It's ironic that she's an android, because she seems like one of the most human people I've read about! Her feelings run deep within her, and she struggles to control them. Mila attends high school in Clearwater, with her best friend Kaylee. She hasn't gotten over the death of her father, and that affects her relationship with her friends. They know she's different, and they sort of outcast her because of it. But Mila's glad to have found Kaylee, even though Kaylee is a bitch to her most of the time, especially after Hunter arrives. When Mila finds out the truth about herself, she's horrified. But she slowly learns to accept it, and grows into her element. She's a terrific fighter, and incredibly determined. I love everything about her, because she does whatever it takes to save the ones she cares about. That kind of loyalty and courage is amazing, and she's on the whole a very strong character.
Hunter is a new guy at Clearwater and at the high school, and he and Mila are immediately drawn to one another. He's quite enigmatic, which is why Kaylee and other girls are clamouring over each other to get to know him. I really liked how sensitive he was, because I don't normally see that in YA novels. He gets Mila, or at least the girl he thought she was. He starts spending a lot of time with her, and inevitably starts to fall for her. Little did he know what he was getting into! There was one thing about him that wasn't very credible, though. He flies all the way from Minnesota to Virginia to meet a girl he barely knows. I honestly don't think anyone would do that, but Hunter did. Maybe it shows how much he cares about Mila and wants to help her, but I thought it was a little far-fetched.
When Mila is taken back to SMART Ops and General Holland, her creator, she is put through a series of tests to determine whether she to be kept or terminated. It is here where she meets Lucas, a guy who works for General Holland but is not a soldier. He is in charge of Mila's tests, and as they spend more time together, he sees just how human she is. I think there's a possibility of a love triangle in the sequel, if Lucas meets Mila again. He seems to care a lot about her during her time in the labs, and even rescued her before she could be terminated. The only reason Lucas is working for the military is because General Holland is holding something over him, something about his brother. I felt really sorry for Lucas throughout, because he didn't choose any of this, and is forced to do a lot of things he doesn't want to. I liked him, though, since he was the only one there who realized Mila's actually more human than anyone else. He risked everything to save her and Nicole, and I'm desperately hoping to see more of him in the sequel.
I finished this book in a day, because I honestly couldn't stop reading! The first part, with Mila and Kaylee and Hunter in Clearwater High drew me in immediately, and it seemed like a normal high school story. Then Mila's life turned upside down, and from then onwards it was a roller-coaster of action! I loved all the fight scenes, they were so visual. I could see the fights taking place before my eyes, and I love books and authors that can do that. Mila's tests were also very intriguing, filled with suspense. I was nail-bitingly anxious while reading those, because this book is quite unpredictable and I had no idea what would happen next.
Thank goodness the ending wasn't a cliffhanger, because I don't think I could have handled waiting that long! Yeah, I know the description on Goodreads says there's a cliffhanger, but it isn't one. Trust me. I did love the ending, though, it was perfect! I need more Hunter ASAP! MILA 2.0 is a thrilling and exhilarating read, and I recommend this book to all the sci-fi lovers out there. Debra Driza has written a fantastic debut novel, and I'm really looking forward to the sequel!
*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eGalley for review*