Mila 2.0 By Debra Driza

Title: Mila 2.0

Author: Debra Driza

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

First Published: 12th March 2013

Blurb:

Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

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. (From Goodreads, 11th September 2013)

Review:

Mila 2.0 is an interesting novel with an interesting theme. Mila does not realise she is actually a computer, an advanced computer designed by the military. But Mila is more than that. She is more human than anyone would have thought. To save herself from being wiped clean Mila must learn to use her inbuilt abilities, that she was unaware off, and evade capture by those who see her as a failed prototype.

I really enjoyed Mila 2.0, reading it in one day! It is a fast paced young adult novel with all the ingredients to keep teens intrigued and turning the pages. We begin with a normal teenagers life at a new high school, a romance, rivalry, and then quickly the novel develops into a very abnormal teenage story. A story that involves running from those who created you, those who want to capture you, those that want to sell you.  Debra Driza does an excellent job at understanding the emotions that one may go through in such a situation, and expresses these excellently. Although no teenager would suddenly find out they are a top secret military creation, I am sure many teenagers will relate to the emotions of shock, disbelief and the unknown of where they belong.

Mila 2.0 was a novel I was hesitant about reading, but I am thankful that I have done so. I look forward to finding out what happens to Mila and thus this is a series I will continue reading.

Emotional, dramatic, shocking, action packed. A novel for those who are maybe slightly more reluctant readers because soon they will be drawn into the world Mila is finding out about, and they will not want to leave.

4 out of 5

Concealed By Sang Kromah

Title: Concealed

Author: Sang Kromah

Publisher: The Little Things Publishing

First Published: 15th October 2011

Blurb:

When sixteen year-old Bijou Fitzroy and her nomadic grandmother leave New York City to live in a home in the sleepy town of Sykesville, Maryland, Bijou thinks she will finally be able to live a normal life and be like everyone else. This move will be permanent, and Bijou cannot be anymore thrilled. After years of being shut away by her grandmother, Bijou will finally able to interact with peers, make friends, go to school, and live like a normal teenager.

Moving around and being homeschooled definitely made it difficult to make friends, but there are other reasons for Bijou’s solitude. With eyes that constantly change from gray to green to a honey-coated shade of brown and an ability to feel exactly what other people are feeling, the concept of obtaining closeness is more of a fable than a reality. Although her eyes are beautiful, their constant shift in color instills a sense of fear within other people and causes them to look away. Bijou’s premonitions, blackouts, and semi-prophetic dreams of a faceless boy don’t help her social musings either. Regardless, she decides to attend the local high school.

Bijou is immediately introduced to Sebastian Sinjin, a quirky and unusually beautiful boy who doesn’t seem to belong in a high school in nowhere Maryland. Sebastian is also special. Instead of looking away from Bijou, he makes direct eye contact with her. And when he shakes Bijou’s hand something dark and familiar to awaken within her as an electric shock surges through her body. Bijou soon finds herself deeply attracted to Sebastian, who remains aloof and often acts like Bijou doesn’t exist.

Despite the pains of having her first real crush, Bijou makes friends quickly and excels in all of her classes…well, all except for Mythology with Mr. Jennings. Mr. Jennings’ class starts off great with endless discussions of djinn and how they conceal themselves from the human eye, but things soon take a turn for the worse when the stories of the mythical creatures begin to take shape in Bijou’s life. (From Goodreads, 11th September 2013)

Review:

Wow long blurb! I hope you have reached my review after that! I will fore go the usual explanation of the book and just go right into my thoughts!

This book started off so well but soon spiraled downwards. The ideas – fantastic. However, all the ideas and the twists were poorly put together. I would be reading and think ‘hasn’t this already been implied? How can it be a surprise?’ This poor structuring made it frustrating for me to read. I wanted to find out what would happen next to realise I already knew!

This is a fast paced book that incorporates mythology well. A step away from the typical faerie story. But it isn’t presented well. I personally believe that if the pace slowed down ever so slightly a lot more could be achieved with the authors ideas.

Due to the technical flaws that I felt were present in Concealed I would suggest this novel to slightly younger readers – ~13 years – as the fast pace and excitement will keep them entertained, whilst slightly older readers may have the same issues as myself.

I find it difficult giving this novel a rating as I am pulled in two directions –

1. Fantastic ideas and characters

2. Poorly structured

So I have to go for at 3 out of 5

Inkspell By Cornelia Funke


Title: Inkspell (Inkheart #2)

Author: Cornelia Funke

Publisher: Chicken House

First Published: 2005

Blurb:

The captivating sequel to INKHEART, the critically acclaimed, international bestseller by Cornelia Funke–available for the first time in a beautifully designed trade paperback!

Although a year has passed, not a day goes by without Meggie thinking of INKHEART, the book whose characters became real. But for Dustfinger, the fire-eater brought into being from words, the need to return to the tale has become desperate. When he finds a crooked storyteller with the ability to read him back, Dustfinger leaves behind his young apprentice Farid and plunges into the medieval world of his past. Distraught, Farid goes in search of Meggie, and before long, both are caught inside the book, too. But the story is threatening to evolve in ways neither of them could ever have imagined. (From Goodreads, 27th August 2013)

Review:

Okay, so this is the second in the series, and as you may know, I find it difficult to write reviews on series.

If you have read Inkheart, or seen the movie, then this is a series to get into. If you love books, this is a series to get into. If you like adventure, this is a series to get into. If you like drama, fantasy, everything, this is a series to get into.

Cornelia Funke has built a story, about stories,  which grips you and keeps you wanting more. Despite this being a book aimed at children 12+ (my estimate) it will en-capture audiences of all ages. Inkspell takes the story further from where we left off in Inkheart. We get some answers, we get more questions. I am looking forward to reading Inkdeath – the third and final book in the trilogy. I want to know what happens. I want to know do things get better? Do they get worse?

In a world where you could speak the words of a book, and pull characters from it’s pages, or draw yourself into the book where would you go? What repercussions would there be? Which world would you prefer?

A series that will capture the imaginations of everyone, everywhere.

4 out of 5