Posts Tagged With: put downs

YA Book Review: Mila 2.0 – 1/5

MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza


My rating: 1 of 5 stars

No. This book is just a giant no.

There are so many obnoxious things about this story. I really, really wish I hadn’t even finished it. I slogged through it because I had a theory and, of course, it wasn’t until I got to the end that it occurred to me I might not be able to test my theory until the next book in the series, and there’s no way I’m picking up that brick.

For a book about an android/cyborg/whatever you want to call Mila, it was freaking boring. Mila is the lamest machine-like-thing ever. She can do crazy ninja-like moves, which is cool if predictable, but what else? She can insert a microchip into her wrist (but can barely process it) and she has GPS. That’s it. So. Lame.

Nothing about what she is makes sense. “Mila” is supposedly some kind of weapon the U.S. has made? Why in the world would they EVER design an android weapon to take the shape of a teenage girl? Dumb. And this entire project is run by two scientists? Equally dumb.

There is just so much about this that is absurd. I can’t resist naming a few:

1) Kaylee, her so-called best friend of a month, tries to kill her over a boy who moved into town two days before. The crazy of that situation was so glossed over.

2) Mila’s “love” for a boy who, again, had been around for two days. Why? There is zero connection. I’m so suspicious of him but we don’t get any more information before the end of the book, so I have no way of knowing if my guess is right (seriously, though, Mila is on the run from a “secret organization” who “knows no bounds” and a strange guy shows up, all handsome, decides he loves Mila, and his name? HUNTER. *slow blink*)

3) Mila has all this attachment to her school, and friends, and horse, and mother, etc, but she’s truly only been “alive” for a month. For a machine with human feelings she has about 500% the amount of feelings anyone has for anything in that length of time.

And then – there’s the biggest, most ridiculous thing of all. It’s after Mila and her mother’s capture (sorry for the spoilers, seriously though, you don’t want to read this book) and the scientist is putting her through “tests. ” Apparently if she can show that she doesn’t have emotions (when they already know she does) then she can live. So they decide to put her through these tests using emotion as the main incentive for her to succeed. In the final test she literally has to go through a Tough Mudder-like course all the while watching TV screens of her mother slowly being burned to death.

I’m sorry but if Mila works so hard to win at these games isn’t that showing exactly how her emotions are controlling her actions and not her logic? A true machine would look at this obstacle course and be all like “that seems like a risk to a lot of people and myself just to save one woman.”

I always feel a little guilty when I go into these rants, but I just can’t get over how little sense this book made. If you were thinking about picking this up, just stop. If you want to read a good book about a young adult cyborg lady, pick up Cinder instead.

Categories: Debuts, Put Downs, Weekly Review, Young Adult | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reviewing a Classic: For Whom The Bell Tolls – 3(ish) out of 5

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway


My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.

I first read that quote graffiti’d on a bathroom stall at College Library at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Man, I miss that place.

Anyway, this line turns up in the last few pages of For Whom the Bell Tolls. It’s pretty much the only line I enjoyed reading. It’s a good line on its own, but I think my nostalgia helped. Otherwise who knows if I would have even noticed it.

But this book was hard to get though. I probably would have given up but I promised myself I would give Hemingway a second chance. I mean, he loved Spain and I love Spain. And my husband and I just bought a house in Oak Park, Illinois, where Hemingway was born. It’s blasphemous for me to not like him. I do not like him.

Here’s the thing – this book, it’s not like the story is bad. It’s quite decent in fact. There’s Robert Jordan, foreigner, who’s working with a guerrilla Spanish group during the Spanish Civil War. The story talks about their relationships and what it’s like to try to complete a very hard order. I find the relationships sudden and shallow, but overall, it’s interesting.

The problem is, Hemingway mucks it all up with his writing! That’s right, I’m going out there and I’m going to say it. I don’t care what his reputation is, I don’t care that he’s a famous writer and I’m just some shmoe. Hemingway’s dialogue sucks. It’s stilted, doesn’t represent actual development between characters, and to top it off, it’s all full of thys and thees and back-asswards crap wording.

I get it, I speak Spanish too, Hemingway, and I realize that the Spanish language will use formal terms that would, I suppose, directly translate to thee and thy. The thing is, though, we don’t use that in English so it sounds stunted and annoying. And some things are false cognates, Sir, and it’s really annoying to read “I did not mean to molest you.” When in Spanish the verb “molestar” means to bother, not physically grope someone. The direct translation of all of the dialogue is obnoxious and unnecessary.

Okay, sorry, I know that the language has changed through the years and it likely didn’t read as awkward when he wrote it as it does now but it’s still annoying. Because the rest is good. When Robert Jordan is just thinking all normal in his head it can be downright interesting. But that’s maybe 10 pages out of 400. This book was torture.

It’s only the last few pages that held some redemption for me in the story. At the end, as we were back in his head, I had a few feels. So that’s why this made it to a shaky 3 stars.

Overall, if you’re going to try Hemingway, put up this book and read three pages. If you’re annoyed, STOP reading. It will not get better. If it doesn’t annoy you, or should I say molest you?, give it a shot, you’ll probably like it.

Anyway. At least Oak Park is home to Betty White, too. Now that is a celebrity I can stand behind!

Categories: Put Downs, Weekly Review | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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