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Book review: 'Mila 2.0' is a sci-fi drama with big screen potential

By Nathan Sorensen

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, March 2 2013 12:30 p.m. MST

"MILA 2.0," by Debra Driza," Katherine Tegen Books, $17.99, 470 pages (f) (14 and up)

Mila is just a typical 16-year-old girl living in The-Middle-of-Nowhere, Minnesota. She likes to hang out with her friends at Dairy Queen. She thinks her mom is totally overprotective. She hopes the new boy, Hunter, likes her.

And, unbeknownst to her, Mila just happens to be an android.

"Mila 2.0" by Debra Driza is a sci-fi thriller drama and the first book in a planned trilogy published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.

The plot sparks after Mila is in an accident that should have fatally wounded her, but leaves her with nothing more than a scratch.

In a panic, Mila confronts her mom, only to discover this isn't her mom at all but is in fact her engineer and her creator. And Mila is not really her name but is more her identity: Mobile Intel Life-like Android.

Her life begins to spin out of control as Mila and her "mom" rush across the country to escape the clandestine government agency that commissioned Mila to be built and a secretive third party that want to get their hands on the latest in android technology.

Meanwhile, Mila copes with the startling realization that her emotions and her memories are mere creation and fabrication and that her only chance at feeling human again was left behind with a boy she barely knew.

Driza enumerates with intriguing clarity the human-versus-android tension that survives within Mila, all the while delivering an electrifying plot full of car chases, escapes, fires, fights, guns, villains and an evil android twin.

Although there is a budding romance mentioned, the brunt of the narrative focuses on Mila's relationship with her mother, which may be a relief to those who have grown weary of a saturated market of paranormal romances and perhaps a letdown for those who can't get enough.

Those parents who like to read aloud to their children may want to consider reading to a 14-year-old and up audience due to mild language and thrilling thematic elements.

"Mila 2.0" is a must-read for young adult novel enthusiasts. For those who remain skeptical of a "must-read" recommendation, there are already plans to produce "Mila 2.0" into a sci-fi drama on ABC, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Driza will start a book tour in early March along with four other authors. They will travel to many Western cities, including Provo.

If you go ...

What: Pitch Black Dark Days tour with Debra Driza, "Mila 2.0"; other authors include Kiersten White, "Mind Games"; Dan Wells, "Partials"; Lauren Oliver, Delirium series; Claudia Gray, "Spellcaster" and the Evernight series; and Brodi Ashton, Everneath series

When: Wednesday, March 6, 7 p.m.

Where: Provo Library ballroom, 550 N. University Ave., Provo

Web: www.provolibrary.com, www.pitchdark.com

Note: event is free; no tickets required

Nathan Sorensen is an editorial intern at the Deseret News. Email: nsorensen@deseretnews.com Twitter: sorensenate

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