Monday, February 27, 2017

Bionic review by Isabella

Life can change in an instant, never to be the same again. The main character of Suzanne Weyn’s Bionic, Mira, is the ideal American teenager: she is a star lacrosse player, has great friends, a hot boyfriend, and is the lead singer of a blossoming garageband. Her biggest dilemma is whether to continue pursuing music or to follow her coach's advice and focus solely on lacrosse in order to receive a college scholarship. However, after a horrible car crash leaves her severely injured, Mira is forced to fight for her life. Luckily, she is picked for a clinical trial that allows her to receive state of the art prostheses and suddenly finds her old abilities restored and even enhanced. Nevertheless, nothing is the same and Mira is forced to grapple with her new identity: how much of the old Mira is left or will the new one forever take her place?
Overall, I enjoyed this novel’s perspective on the current issue of biotechnology. As our scientific knowledge advances it is important to consider the ethical implications of using technology to repair the human body. Is it ethical to completely replace a person’s body with wires and metal and if yes until what point can they still be classified as human? Bionic deals with issue by providing a real life example of the impact biotechnology can have. Mira would have died without medical intervention and never been able to regain her independence without biotechnology. Yet, she still faces alienation from her friends and community due to her seemingly enhanced abilities. I also enjoyed the development of Mira’s character because she is not portrayed as an ideal heroine, but rather as an individual who struggles to overcome her faults. She portrays herself, often rightfully so, as the victim, but also neglects others who may feel the same.
My only challenge would be that at times the heroine comes across as inconsiderate and self-absorbed, which given her situation is understandable. Nonetheless, these characteristics made harder for me to connect with her.
This novel could be used in a science classroom to debate the ethics of biotechnology and biomedical engineering. Since it provides a real life example to which students can easily relate to. Also, it could be used to discuss how people cope in the aftermath of a traumatic event, as each character in the novel deals with the trauma in a different way.

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