Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans
The Memory Chronicles #1
Release Date: January 15h, 2013
Number of Pages: 288
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Three levels. Two loves. One choice. Debut novelist, Lenore Appelhans has written a thrilling otherworldly young adult novel about a place that exists between our world (Level 1) and what comes after life (Level 2). 'I pause to look around the hive - all the podlike chambers are lit up as the drones shoot up on memories ... I've wanted to get out of here before, but now the tight quarters start to choke me. There has to be more to death than this.' Felicia Ward is dead. Trapped in a stark white afterlife limbo, she spends endless days replaying memories, of her family, friends, boyfriend ... and of the guy who broke her heart. The guy who has just broken into Level 2 to find her. Felicia learns that a rebellion is brewing, and it seems she is the key. Suspended between heaven and earth, she must make a choice. Between two worlds, two lives and two loves.
I feel like I had been pinning after this book for what seems like forever. Because of that, I ended up going into the story with pretty high expectations, but I can easily say that I wasn’t disappointed. The story got me hooked from the very first pages and I simply couldn’t put it down until I had read every last pages of it. The concept of the story was original and really interesting to read. The characters, the plot, the writing, everything worked well together.
I was told of a love triangle in this novel, and I have to say I did not find Felicia, Neil and Julian to form one. I think it was pretty clear whom Felicia really loved. I found it really interesting that we got to learn to know Felicia through her memories. I found it to really give us a better understanding of her character, and of those around her. I love getting a glimpse of her memories with Neil, a character we don’t really get to meet as much as I would have liked in the present (but at least we have her memories.) There were some memories I had trouble understanding why they were important for us to see, but most of them did help us see more of who the characters are. I cannot not talk about Julian, a character that made feel slightly uncomfortable by moment. I just thought there was something wrong with him, starting with his first appearance.
The writing and pacing just made this novel easy to read. It is the kind of book one can easily read in one sitting. One other thing I really liked about this book is that, despite its upcoming sequel, it felt complete. This book could easily stand on its own. I did end up with some unanswered questions, which hopefully will be answered in the sequel. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There were some little things that did make me raise an eyebrow, but all the great things about this book easily made me forget about those. Can’t wait for Level 3.
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