Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Review: Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

Release Date: January 15, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Pages: 288
Genre: YA Paranormal/Afterlife Thriller
Source: ARC
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Since her untimely death the day before her eighteenth birthday, Felicia Ward has been trapped in Level 2, a stark white afterlife located between our world and the next. Along with her fellow prisoners, Felicia passes the endless hours downloading memories and mourning what she’s lost—family, friends, and the boy she loved, Neil. Then a girl in a neighboring chamber disappears, and nobody but Felicia seems to recall she existed in the first place. Something is obviously very wrong. When Julian—a dangerously charming guy Felicia knew in life—comes to offer Felicia a way out, she learns the truth: a rebellion is brewing to overthrow the Morati, the guardians of Level 2. Felicia is reluctant to trust Julian, but then he promises what she wants the most—to be with Neil again—if only she’ll join the rebels. Suspended between Heaven and Earth, Felicia finds herself in the center of an age-old struggle between good and evil. As memories from her life come back to haunt her, and as the Morati hunt her down, Felicia will discover it’s not just her own redemption at stake… but the salvation of all mankind.

Felicia Ward is currently located at Level 2. She lays in a device that allows her to search through and watch her favorite memories from earth. With credits she can also trade and buy more credits to view more memories. She can even organize the memories like YouTube videos with ratings and notes. Felicia has yet to watch the memory of her death but she loves to live through her memories of her true love Neil over and over. Felicia also hangs out in the hive visiting with her friends Veronica and Beckah. Then Beckah disappears and Julian, a guy from her past, shows and says he can break her out and explain everything, including where Neil is located.

I have read several books about an "inbetween" but this one was by far the most unique. I loved the idea of the hives and watching memories. The Mortai angels have gone bad and instead of the people in the hives confronting their bad memories and moving on, the Morati are keeping the people plugged in and using their energy Matrix style to be able to break out and go to Earth. I liked that this book takes place with Felicia already dead and in Level 2. I was worried it would be really sad and it is at times but not overly depressing. We learn about Felicia's life as she visits her most important and favorite memories. Neil is so sweet and understanding and was everything she needed after a short toxic relationship with Julian. At first Neil did come off as overly religious and pretentious. Then as I continued to see more of Felicia's memories I saw that Neil just wanted better for Felicia and saw the good in her. Felicia was holding some much guilt over her past actions with Julian.

I think a lot of people will like Julian but I thought he was an evil, lying, douche the whole time. You know how I hate douchebags. He had his moments of humor and charm but he would never give Felicia the truth and it was driving me mad. Julian wants Felicia to join him and his team to rebel against the Morati. There was lots of action and neat world building all throughout the book but I was a little disappointed with the ending action scene. There is always such a huge build up to a big showdown ending but then we saw it from a distance. I can't explain it too much without spoiling it but I wanted more details about what was happening. I did read an early ARC (I read this in June) so things may have changed. But I did think the very end was perfect. Everything is actually wrapped up really sweet and nice. I got a little teary eyed it was so beautiful. This is the first in a series of The Memory Chronicles so I am curious where it will go next. Well based on the title I assume Level 3!

Ward, Felicia. Memory #32105
Tags: Ohio, Neil, Hiking, Youth group, Favorite
Number of views: 100,235
Owner Rating: 5 stars
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"Its basic function is to allow you to access and rent out your memories as well to rent the memories of others. When you access your own memories, you can tag them with labels. This is so you can find what you are looking for more easily but also so you an advertise your wares to others on the net."

"You're not the only hacker in the universe, you know. You've been viewing lots of memories of Neil. And not so many memories of me." He clicks his tongue with disapproval. "Should I be jealous?"
"Ugh, why would I want to revisit the worst parts of my whole life?" I scowl at him. Jerk.

He grins wickedly. "If you say so..." He shimmers again and is left in nothing but a Speedo, smooth chest and washboard abs glistening with water droplets as if he's just stepped from a pool.
"Julian!" I gag. "Stop fooling around."
"Fine," he says, his tone now serious. He shimmers again and materializes back into his normal outfit. "I see you're still uptight."

"Think of this place as a waiting room. Earth, what we call Level One, is about creating and forming memories. And this waiting room, Level Two, is about processing those memories, sifting through them to find the meaning of your time on earth. To come to terms with it so you can move on."

"What? That's why they aren't helping us move on? Because they are harvesting our energy?" It sounds like something straight out of the Matrix.

"God cast out his dissenters and assigned his supporters the best jobs. The lukewarm ones? He sent them to be thankless caretakers of the afterlife's waiting room, to serve humanity as a penance for their indecision. He called this third group the Morati, those who delayed."
Julian speaks up. "And that's why the Morati hate humans enough to trap hem and use them to get back at God."

"Thank you, Neil. Thank you for showing me what real love is."

Rating: 5/5


  1. Hmm, it doesn't sound like I would like Julian either LOL!

    this does sound like a great read but that ending (or lack of action) has me a little worried!
    I am sure at some point in time I will still give it a try though. I am glad you liked it overall.

  2. Aww, I hate when there is a huge build-up to nothing at the end of a book. Still, it sounds really unique and interesting and I look forward to giving it a read. Great review! :)

  3. I've seen some very mixed thoughts over this book. I was thinking that I wouldn't even try reading Level 2, but you've given me some reasons to reconsider. Great review, Jennifer!

  4. This one definitely sounds very unique and I just noticed right now that the girl on the cover is very freaky looking. Maybe it's the no eyebrows thing. Have read mixed reviews on this one but this is the first review I have read from a blogger who I actually trust their reviews :)
    Happy 2013!

  5. This book sounds so unique. I cannot wait to see what the author has to this point. I have heard of books about the in-between so this is definitely some good material.
    LOVED Your review, Jennifer
    Your reader,

  6. I'm glad you liked this one. I just couldn't get into it. I am passing my ARC on to someone who I think will really enjoy it since I didn't. Great review!!

  7. Haha, there's nothing wrong with thinking differently about Julian compared to most others. This looks like such an intriguing read, I'm definitely going to add it to my 2013 tbr! <3 -- omg, Hi, Chace!!!!-waves-(your banner makes me gush EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.) Anyway, I really like this premise and I shall trust your positive review! Thanks for sharing, Jennnifer!

    Vivian @ Vivaciously, Vivian

  8. Oh this is actually the first review I've read of this - I don't mind a douchebag character because I can have fun despising them!

    Great review, you've really got me curious now!

  9. I was wondering about this book the other day when I put it into a Friday Forecast. It sounds spectacular and unique and a DB character will probably make me laugh. Have a wonderul New Year, Jennifer!

  10. This is a book I'd really like to read. It really sounds unique and based on your review my assumptions are correct. I'm really looking forward to this even more now!

  11. I'm also interested in this one and glad to see you enjoyed it. While I've seen a lot of books around about the "inbetween", I have't actually read any yet. Great review Jennifer.

  12. hmm.. this sounds a bit confusing!! lol! But the story sounds very unique interesting! Im def with you on Julian.. i dont think ill like him either! lol! Great review Jennifer!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

  13. "I think a lot of people will like Julian but I thought he was an evil, lying, douche the whole time."

    LOL I hope I don't like him after that. You crack me up! Glad you enjoyed this one :)

  14. Aw man, I passed on this ARC. I should have grabbed it. Now I'll have to try and squeeze it in eventually.

  15. Good to know you liked it! I also got a finished copy of this one in the mail! just got it today. I hope I enjoy this one just as much as you did :D!


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