MILA 2.0

 
(i)

 

Teen girl finds she's an android in tense sci-fi tale.

What parents need to know

Educational value

MILA 2.0 is more techno-thriller than educational, but it's heavily populated with scientists and robot/humanity issues, and it stars an unabashed pro-smart-girl heroine.

Positive messages

Courage, resourcefulness, and empathy help characters in life-threatening danger. There are also strong messages about adapting to fast-changing circumstances and learning from your mistakes.

Positive role models

Mila's mom risks her life to keep Mila safe when she becomes convinced that the girl is more human than machine. Mila starts out with typical teenage transgressions -- disobeying her mom's rules, sneaking out to see a boy -- but, as she's faced with unknown horrors, she becomes a strong, heroic character who's still a terrified kid, all of which forces a boy who works in the lab to see her as something more than a mere robot.

Violence

Actual violent deaths are rare, but one of them happens to a beloved character. The whole premise of Mila as a sophisticated war machine who discovers more of her capabilities as the story unfolds involves many scenes of gunplay, hostage-taking, captivity, and hand-to-hand combat. Mila has strong, inexplicable flashbacks to a scene of a girl being tortured in a laboratory.

Sex

There's a strong attraction between Mila and Hunter, the cute new guy in school, but Mila is whisked away before they even kiss.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Fast food brands (McDonald's, Dairy Queen), car brands (e.g. Camaro, Explorer, Suburban), guns (e.g. Sig Sauer), clothes (Vans, Carhartt), etc. are named, but it's more scene-setting than product placement. A TV series based on the book is in development, which is likely to make MILA something of a franchise.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that MILA 2.0 is the first book in a planned trilogy about a teen girl who thinks she's human but is actually an android designed to be a sophisticated war machine. There's constant tension with many scenes of gunplay, hostage-taking, captivity, hand-to-hand combat, and chase scenes. Violence is ingrained in the plot but not glorified -- Mila and her mom are pursued by bad guys bent on killing them or worse; Mila is troubled by recurring memories of a girl being tortured; she's literally an engine of destruction; some characters (including one very sympathetic one) meet a violent death. The story is being developed as a TV series for ABC. 

Parents say

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What's the story?

Sixteen-year-old Mila Daily is grieving for her dead father; she's also dealing with the fact that her mother has uprooted her from Philadelphia to rural Minnesota, where the formerly homeschooled teen is just getting used to high school. Out of nowhere, she's confronted with the revelation that everything she knows is a lie, and the childhood and family she remembers never existed: In reality, she's a Mobile Intel Life-like Android, developed in a military lab for sophisticated covert operations, and her protective \"mother\" is the scientist who stole her when she started displaying human emotions. Now the two of them must go on the run, not just from Mila's creators -- who want to terminate them both -- but also from a shadowy organization that wants to sell Mila to the highest bidder.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Hefty at 400+ pages, MILA 2.0 is a well-paced, suspenseful, heartstring-pulling drama, putting appealing characters in terrifying peril. Like much science fiction, it raises lots of questions about big issues, such as the nature of humanity, through the story's events and conversations.

Mila and her mom, who are front and center for most of the book, are complex, flawed, and compelling. Some of the supporting characters are more shallow and cartoonish, although some who appear only briefly here seem likely to return and develop further in the rest of the planned trilogy.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about other stories about robots and androids. How does MILA 2.0 compare to them?

  • When Mila, who thinks she's human, falls into the hands of people who think she's not, how does she feel about the way they act toward her? How might this compare to the feelings of other people in groups who've been marginalized?

  • If you had powers like Mila's, how would you use them?

Book details

Author:Debra Driza
Genre:Science Fiction
Topics:Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs, Robots
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Katherine Tegen Books
Publication date:March 12, 2013
Number of pages:480
Publisher's recommended age(s):13 - 17
Available on:Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

This review of MILA 2.0 was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byKattris March 2, 2015
 

Best. Book. I. Ever. Read. EVER.

This book... was .... AMAZING. Debra Driza, if you're reading this, you,.... are AWESOME. Seriously, how did she write this amazing book?! Not to mention the cover.... its so BEAUTIFUL! The story is great, FANTASTIC plot line, though has violence (who cares, it is expected to), and mild swearing (who cares, not me!). The violence is sort of graphic, but I LOVE it when authors give tons of description! Mila is a great role model, she never gives up, etc. Some other GREAT books like this are (in my opinion): The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner, The 100, Matched, Twilight.... though only The 100 is syfy (though T.H.G. , T.M.R. , Matched, and Divergent are sort of science fiction...) Hope you learned much in this review, and you should REALLY CHECK MILA 2.O OUT!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byMashroblox101 November 20, 2014
 

Nice

Nice book
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

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