Level 2 (The Memory Chronicles #1)
by Lenore Appelhans
Publication: January 15th, 2013 by Simon and Schuster
*A copy was provided for review purposes. Thanks go to Simon and Schuster*
The book starts off in the stark white limbo assumed as the after-life. Felicia Ward has been stuck in this limbo for what she feels has been years or maybe even more. She never imagined life after death could be quite so...absent. All she has to look forward to are the memory chambers, where she has access to every memory she has ever made on earth. She busies herself by reliving all of the pleasant memories she had made on earth with her friends and the boy she loved, Neil. This continues on until a sudden disappearance of a girl in a chamber near her goes unnoticed by everyone except her. When a devilishly handsome boy she once knew on Earth named Julian comes to take her from her chamber, she realizes there is much more to the after-life than what she once thought. Now she has to choose between living through her memories or fighting alongside her supposed allies in a battle of good and evil, in which she is the key. Where the memories are heart-breaking, the twists are mind-blowing, and the betrayals are shocking, Level 2 is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats at every turn.
This was my absolute FIRST read of 2013 guys! And I am sooooo overjoyed to say that it did not disappoint! This was an amazing debut by newly coming author Lenore Appelhans. This book has an intriguing take on what really comes after death, and just how exactly does the afterlife work. There was suspense at every turn, and action-packed fighting scenes as well. It flowed so well that I finished it in one sitting, it's kind of impossible not to, as it makes you want to know what happens next right after finishing one chapter. Even the characters were enjoyable. But getting back to the plot, it was really intricately thought out and fresh to the brain. Sometimes, it hurt my brain to follow along with the story-line, but that's good because it's what made the book hooking. A topic about the after-line and what actually does come next; Miss Appelhans has tackled it perfectly.
Speaking in terms of the main character Felecia, she made for a great YA heroine. She was smart, strong, and stubborn, but sometimes a tad too stubborn. She was scarred because of her disastrous experiences while she was on Earth, and it made it easier to relate to her more. For the damage that she had done on Earth, she feels guilty for, and tries to make it up as much as possible in her afterlife. Her memories are sometimes sweet and sometimes harsh and they were a great addition to the book. Neil, the boy she loved on Earth, sounds very...let's just say....too nice. It could just be me, but I like guys with a bit more attitude and spunk, and because Felecia is definitely someone who's outgoing and sparky, I think she should end up with Julian, the "dangerous" one. Despite the mixed feelings the summary might give some readers, Julian was actually a VERY lovable character. Although he's made some bad decisions which in turn affected Felicia's life for the worst, he's tried to make it up to her by saving her in Level 2 (the afterlife). But just because he's nice doesn't mean he doesn't have secrets up his sleeve. Their relationship is complicated, but I'd like to see Felicia dump Neil's butt and just get it on with Julian already! (LOL).
Overall, an amazing debut and a wondrous way to the start the new year for me! It gives me hope for more debut books to come! It was very unique and hooking and I'm glad I picked it up. If you guys see it in your bookstores when it hits shelves on January 15th, be sure to pick it up because this is one roller-coaster ride which you don't want to miss.
'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.