Debra Driza, Mila 2.0 (Katherine Tegen Books, 2013)
Full disclosure: this book was provided to me free of charge by Amazon Vine.
The biggest problem I have with Mila 2.0 has not thing one to do with the manuscript that Debra Driza turned in, and for that I am heartily sorry. You see, Driza spends the first circa 100 pages of Mila 2.0 trying to keep secret what thoughtless copywriters and marketing agents—not to mention more than one reviewer—trumpet on the book jacket, in its ad campaign, etc., which by default makes it no longer a spoiler that our titular heroine is, shall we say—not to be spoily myself in case you have somehow managed to miss all that—not exactly what she seems to be.
(non-spoilery) Plot: Mila and her mother Nicole have recently relocated to Nowhere, Minnesota, to regroup after a house fire in Philadelphia claimed the life of Mila’s father. Mila hasn’t taken it well, not just for the obvious reasons, but, well, city-kid-in-the-country syndrome is in full swing. Sure, Kaylee, one of the popular girls, has taken Mila under her wing, even if her sarcastic-bitch best friend keeps prophesying doom on that relationship, and not long after Mila appears, here’s Hunter, an ultra-hunky transfer student from California. Kaylee sets her sights immediately, but Hunter seems to only have eves for Mila, creating a triangle that culminates in the car accident that sets up the remainder of the book—which is where I’ll stop, though you can pick up after that by simply reading the jacket copy, because that car accident reveals the major spoiler emblazoned all over same.
Simply-put: it’s a genre sci-fi-thriller, and as long as you’re okay with the predictability that brings along with it, you’ll find this as enjoyable a ride as I did. The criticisms I’ve read of the book in other reviews all hold water—most of the minor characters are one-dimensional, and some of the majors aren’t much better yet (but I’m assuming they’ll be fleshed out in later volumes, so am not counting off for that at all), the plot never goes anywhere an astute reader wouldn’t expect it to, etc.—but I’m okay with all that. This is meant to be a quick, fun read, and it delivers. ***