Author: Debra Driza
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
Released: March 12, 2013
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Thriller
Series: Yes (#2 Renegade)
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.The story of finding humanity in yourself when you're actually just a machine - oddly relatable.
I love Mila, for all that she's not even human. Her character is so compelling, which should be a clue right off that she's far more than a machine. Of course, it is because her creators programmed too much emotion into her, but the bits where she realizes that she's becoming more human than they could possibly have imagined, where she goes beyond her programming and stakes a claim to her right to exist, those bits are so powerful. She's a really strong girl, and her humor - which her "mother" points to as proof of her humanity - is sharp and funny. And sarcastic - my favorite kind.
There's plenty of fast-paced action as Mila and her mother are running away, tension and fear underlying all of it but razor-sharp wits and calculation. The airport scene is kind of badass. I love the scenes where she's being tested once they're captured, not only because of Lucas, the guy who's in charge of administering the tests, but because every step of the way, Mila shows how she functions as an emotional human, capable of compassion and terror, and while sometimes that helps her win, sometimes it gets in the way and trips her up - but that's perfect, because without that, she wouldn't get any of our sympathy or deserve to keep existing. Which is of course exactly the opposite of what the scientists are thinking. Oh, and there's plenty of heart-stopping action there, too!
When she finally gets out, the cost is so great that for a moment I thought she might not be able to go on. But she's strong. She's resilient, and she now has a purpose - so watch out scientists, you're gonna be roasted in the next book! And I can't wait to see it happen!