Katherine Tegen Books (first published in 2013)
First, and foremost, I want to mention I am hosting a GIVEAWAY of an ARC copy of MILA 2.0, it will end in about twelve hours, so get your chance to win. An 'experiment in artificial intelligence?' Tell me that's not a book you're curious about reading. I definitely was. I have always been intrigued by this type of storyline. What drew me even more is that she DISCOVERS what she was never meant to know in the first place. As a result, 'she knows too much so she must be terminated,' and in the process 'becoming beyond anyone's imagination.' Now that's a premise we can relate to on more than one level, metaphorically.
The boldness of this premise is undeniable. 'No one suspects what she's made of,' or the 'only thing she can't escape is who she is and what she's becoming,' are two sentences I kept coming back to. The book really stays true to these two topics. Combine the human emotional components of these two themes with technology and you can really get a sense of what this book is about. One of my favorite quotes is this one:
"I did feel alive like I hadn't in weeks. Like the whole world had burst into high definition. My feelings were all building together into one big explosion concoctino. Who knew which emotion would burst free at any given time?"
What if you were someone who didn't really know exactly where you came from? Would you have the same reaction as Mila did when she found out she had been manufactured in a specific way?
""Don't! I don't even understand how... how can any of this be true? Manufactured emotions?" A tight ache squeezed my throat - programmed? Real? How could I possibly know? - and I lowered my voice to a whisper. "If I'm not human, why does this hurt so much?"
"I used to explain it as a phantom limb syndrome.. only for emotions. You might not have the same parts as a regular human, but can still sense the feeling in those parts when you're in an emotional state - pressure, warmth, chill, visceral, all of it. Phantom sensations, if you will, copied from the feelings of a teenage human girl. Via an elaborate neuromatrix, we prewired your brain to believe you were formed just like a human body, so it would accept all those sensations as real."
This reminds me of the consequences of manipulations, metaphorically thinking. This book definitely brought a lot of ideas of manipulation to mind when I was reading about 'preprograming' someone. Maybe even social conditioning...something to think about when you read this book.
A book that kept coming to mind was Cinder. Cinder also dealt with a lot of human emotions versus electronic machinery. I'm not a big fan of programmed humans stories or android stories, but this one and Cinder were one of my favorites so far. Maybe at times there was a little bit too much emotion for me, but over all it's really easy to read, to follow, and the story develops pretty effortlessly.
Plus, you gotta love the cover, as I did.
I would say it's a young adult version of 'Bourne Identity style' and definitely a 'heart-pounding action with riveting exploration.'