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Do Teenage Androids Dream of Electric Prom Dresses?

A review of Debra Driza's action-packed debut, Mila 2.0.

Do Teenage Androids Dream of Electric Prom Dresses?

BOOK REPORT for Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

Cover Story: Couture Advert
BFF Charm: Yay
Swoonworthy Scale: 6
Talky Talk: Michael Bayified
Bonus Factors: Androids, Bourne Identity
Relationship Status: Summer Camp Boyfriend

Cover Story: Couture Advert

Doesn't this look like a weird high-fashion ad, one of those where you can't actually tell what the eff the clothes look like (or even ARE)? It's surprisingly … not bad, but not really my favorite thing ever, either.

The Deal:

Mila and her mom move to Minnesota (WHY do I always have such a hard time spelling that state?) after a fire destroys their Philadelphia home and kills her father. Stuck in the middle of nowhere with an overprotective mom, Mila's slowly making inroads in her high school, thanks to popular Kaylee taking her under her wing. But when a new boy shows up and falls for Mila, Kaylee jealously drops her like a Kalteen bar --

Oh, who cares about all that shit? Here's the book (not a spoiler, it's on the jacket copy): Mila is a robot, and she doesn't even know it.

BFF Charm: Yay

Mila may be a replicant, but she's a hell of a lot more fun to be around than a lot of teenage girls I've known, real and fictional. If only she'd open up -- and lighten up -- a bit, but I guess it's not easy when all your memories are gone and you're trying desperately to act human instead of like a robot. I mean, when your hair doesn't actually grow, it's probably hard to enjoy hardcore makeovers involving scissors or hair dye. Also, as adorbs as Hunter is, you're welcome to him. I'm way over boys who are into Jack Johnson (well, I was never into them in the first place, since I'm old and my first introduction to Jack Johnson was through kids' music, but whoever the 90s equivalent of Jack Johnson is, that's who I'm over).

Swoonworthy Scale: 6.5

The early-days chemistry between Mila and Hunter is so cute, especially when you throw in Kaylee's jealousy and the awkwardness of her being Mila's only friend. I did deduct half a point for the aforementioned Jack Johnson, but as he's just in high school and has room to grow, I left it at just half a point. And any more talk would just be spoilery, so I'll stop here!

Talky Talk: Michael Bayified

Damn. This book starts off like an ordinary Sarah-Dessen-esque contempt -- new girl, new school, new cute boy, mom issues -- and then BAM. It gets Michael Bayified, and it's AWESOME. I'm actually not a thriller-action-adventure girl at ALL (unless the movie stars Daniel Craig, aka PURE SEX), but I really got into this one. It's not totally light on style, either, and the complexity of Mila's internal fight to hold onto her programmed humanity provide a nice balance to the physical fight scenes.

Bonus Factor: Androids

Who doesn't love a great robot story?

Bonus Factor: Bourne Identity

When I turned to the back of the book and saw it described as "something something Bourne Identity blah blah", I was all, "Aw, man!" because I'd already planned to use Bourne as a bonus factor, and I'd been robbed by the marketing people! But then I thought about it, and decided what the hell. The marketing people are right this time!

Casting Call:

I came to the realization a few weeks ago that casting calls would be soooo much easier if I decided to say fuck off to age/race/whatever of the actors out there and just cast whoever the hell I wanted. Today, I'm just casting someone too old, but expect to see lots more incongruities that will probably irritate those of you who are sticklers to the print ("OMG, Jennifer Lawrence is BLONDE! And Katniss is a brunette!" You know who you are).

Anywho, Eliza Dushku can be the only Mila.

Eliza Duskhu as Mila

Ethan Peck as Hunter

Y'ALL, I SWEAR I'm not just being lazy. He really WOULD be a great Hunter.

Relationship Status: Summer Camp Boyfriend

This book is like the boy you date every summer at camp, but as soon as the buses pull up to return everyone to civilization, you have one last make out session by the canoes and say goodbye until the next year. When the temps start rising and school's drawing to a close, though, you can bet your ass you're clearing your social calendar and dumping your flavor of the week to make sure you're all in for Summer Camp Boy. He's not an all-the-time guy, but he's definitely a can't-give-him-up guy.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from Katherine Tegan Books.  I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). Mila 2.0 will be available March 12.

Meghan Miller's photo About the Author: Meghan is an erstwhile librarian in exile from Texas and writer for Forever Young Adult. She loves books, cooking and homey things like knitting and vintage cocktails. Although she’s around books all the time, she doesn’t get to read as much as she’d like.