- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (Jan. 15 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1442441852
- ISBN-13: 978-1442441859
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21 cm
- Shipping Weight: 363 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,627,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Level 2 Hardcover – Jan 15 2013
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"Readers will root for Felicia and Neil....The way Appelhans mixes memory with plot is exceptional." (Romantic Times)
"Immensely layered." (VOYA)
“This imaginative debut brings conflict to the afterlife....An absorbing, sensitive read.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Appelhans brings the afterlife to a whole new level. . . . A high-voltage thrill ride through love, death, and memory that will leave you breathless.” (Jess Rothenberg, author of The Catastrophic History of You and Me)
“Absolutely gripping. My heart pounded on nearly every page. You won't be able to put it down.” (Mary E. Pearson, award-winning author of the Jenna Fox Chronicles)
“A gripping debut! This utterly unique take on the afterlife poses fascinating questions . . . I can't wait to read the rest of the series to find out the answers!” (Megan McCafferty, New York Times bestselling author of Bumped and Thumped)
About the Author
Lenore Appelhans has been blogging about books since 2008. After reviewing hundreds of them, she decided to write one. She is the author of The Memory of After, The Best Things in Death (an e-short story), and Chasing Before. Lenore also wrote Chick-o-Saurus Rex, a picture book illustrated by her husband, Daniel Jennewein. She lives in Frankfurt, Germany, but loves to travel, so you can often find her on planes—at least until she learns how to teleport. Visit her online at PresentingLenore.Blogspot.com and on Twitter @LenorEva.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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As I always do when I decide to pick up a book, I hope for the best. I always try to ignore the reviews, whether they're good or bad, even though the good ones always get me pumped up and excited. I really shouldn't have wasted my time reading this book.
There were many times when I was thinking of DNF-ing this book. Those times were around 16% and 60%. I'm sitting there, looking at my Kindle and looking at the amount of time left until I finish the book, and am wondering, should I keep on reading this? Well, guess what. I was in a good mood and decided that the book will win this time. *sighs*
This is about Felicia, who died the day before her eighteenth birthday. She is now stuck in Level 2, the afterlife before Heaven and after Earth. All she wants is to get out of there and find her love, Neil. Then Julian shows up- a charming guy who loves Felicia from the start. Apparently if Felicia joins a group to rebel the Morati, a group of guardians in Level 2, she'll be able to find Neil again and spend the rest of her life with him.
I really liked the concept of this book. It was a fresh, new science-fiction mixed with angel idea, and I know that people will come to love it forever. That's basically one of the positives with this book. But a lot of things were negative and they made me dislike this book even more, and that's really sad to say.
The plot had its ups and downs. I felt like it was a stumpy roller coaster ride. There were points when I was enjoying the book so much that I couldn't put it down, and then there were times when I just wanted to throw my Kindle across the room because of hate. (Hate for the book, not my baby Kindle- he's too priceless to throw.) There were times when I was bored out of my mind and times when I wanted to scream in amazement. I don't know.
The characters were hideous. I hated Felicia. She was an absolute bitch who didn't know what she wanted and thought that she was capable of doing anything, but then she ends up making the stupidest decisions. There was one part when Neil/Julian (So bored I can't remember) kissed Autumn, and then she went and kissed the guy, and that's how Autumn and her friendship broke apart- because Felicia needed attention to satisfy her and her needs. She was a stupid bitch, it's disgusting to think about her actions. Oh, and she even didn't know which guy she wants, when we obviously know that Neil is the best and hottest. (DUH)
I hated Julian. He was an absolute man-sl*t and I totally imagined him so ew-ish. If you like him, I'm sorry, you better stay away from me. He was just like Felicia, and I totally ship him and her together because they both make stupid decisions and never know what they want. So, ta-da! Neil is for me. *grins sheepishly*
So Neil was amazing, I loved him and he's so easy to relate to and you just want to eat him up because he's too cute. Ah! *screams*
Another negative thing was that this book was too confusing. The author really tried to make this clear and everything, and I could tell, but it was all mumbo-jumbo. So much confusion was happening to me, I didn't know who was who, what was what, what reference meant what, and that really frustrates a reader, if you know what I mean. It just makes me sad. :(
In conclusion, I really disliked this book. The ending was bad, the characters were bad (except for Neil) and I was bored at times. I don't recommend it and I won't be reading the sequel.
But all she wanted was to find her boyfriend Neil. How could she have been certain that he was dead? And why did she refuse to view the memory of how she died knowing he was with her that day? Wouldn't you want to know how you died?
I couldn't help feeling that the second part lacked depth. It was rushed. A lot of characters were introduced (Victoria was completely forgotten toward the end). And somethings like Felicia's hacking skills left me puzzled.
Having said that, I would read book two and search for the answers this book did not offer.
I purchased the book for a young niece prior to a family trip. I decided to pre-read the book so that I could attempt to have a conversation with my her about it. Just like people used to do “back in my day”.
Though I sit firmly outside of the of book's intended demographic, I really enjoyed the read. It has some very pleasant, interesting characters and the plot progresses nicely. It even has some twists that took me by surprise.
For those who are in the author's intended audience age, they will even learn a few things from this book. Though don't worry it isn't so scholarly that it will frighten anyone away. I promise they won't even realize they are learning anything.
Some of the themes in the book like technology and life or living with the consequences of choices, make for great conversations if you do want to read along with the younger members of your family or even if you just want to get an idea of the kinds of things that our youth are having to confront today.
Level 2 is an honest, well written and timely work. It is entertaining while still educational and maybe even a tad philosophical at its heart. It moves at a good pace that quickens very nicely towards the end of the book. It's a book you can give to anyone you know and not have to wonder if it's appropriate reading material.
I'm glad I bought it. I'm glad I gave it to someone I care about and I'm even glad I read it myself. I really don't know what higher praise I can give. I for one, will be looking forward to further books in the Memory Chronicles.
Check out the book. I'm sure you will enjoy it.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans is about a seemingly normal girl named Felicia, who has died recently, and lives in Level 2, which is a beehive like purgatory. In this Level, one can "plug" in and view old memories from life down on Earth. When she sees Julian again, a fling that she had back on Earth, in this Level, she knows there's more to this than she thought before. After Julian, she fell in love with a pure, handsome boy named Neil that she met at church. Her main goal? To find him again. Will Felicia be able to sort through her past and present to connect with the boy she loved and lost?
This book is a tough one to summarize and also a tough one to rate. The prose is beautifully written. The background of this story is fascinating. I loved the idea of "hives" and plugging in to a sort of "net" to review memories that happened back on earth. Felicia is a hard character to get to know, but I like that we can see both her present and her past via this method. I'm intrigued by some of the characters in her life-- not just Neil, but her father, and some of her friends. There is a wonderful twist at the end of the book, that raised my rating to a 4. Julian is probably the most interesting of the characters and is reminiscent of Cole from Brodi Ashton's Everneath.
That said, I had some issues with the book. The pacing is not perfect-- the middle of the book drags, and sometimes, I wonder the significance of the memories that we are shown. Felicia is not the most likeable of characters, and she keeps her secrets close to her chest until the end. I believe that secret revealing should be gradual, and if there is only one big secret, there should be others that sprinkle through the action. Neil seems like a nice guy, but I can't understand why he likes the prickly Felicia, except that we are told she is attractive and broken, and he likes to fix things. I wanted to care more about the characters, but we are given only glimpses of them through her memories. The other secrets that are revealed at the end are odd, and I still don't understand why Felicia is so important versus anyone else. However, this is the first book in a trilogy, so we have time to find out.
Overall, a fascinating depiction of Purgatory with beautiful prose and ideas, and I'm looking forward to the second installment to find out more about these characters.
The way the novel is set up is perfect. Felicia wakes up on Level 2. We already know she's dead but we don't know why or what's happened in her past. The way the story is built though, a delicious kind of tension is built up between the past and the present. The past starts in Germany with Felicia and her friend, Autumn meeting Julian and the story moves back and forth between the Julian/Autumn/Felicia story to the Felicia/Neil story to the present. The present is Level 2 and the past is accessed through memory screens almost like video's of Felicia's life. She can view them over and over again. And other people can view them as well. Other people can even view her videos. She labels them and rates them and other viewers can rate them as well. It's kind of like reviews, label, rate.....
Felicia is a wonderfully layered character. We see her complexity on every page as she works through her memories, her past, coming to terms with what happened both because of her and to her. And what's happening now. There is a point where she is going to church a lot and involved with youth group. I was afraid this book was going to be preachy, but no, this has nothing to do with God. There isn't any preaching or anything, just one of the characters is closely related to the church. I can't take religion in books. I don't want anyone telling me what to believe or what to think, but that's not what this book does. It's just not. So don't be scared away when religion come up.
The thing is, I felt like the ending was very easy and almost too perfect. I loved the book! The tension build up was almost unbearable. But then in the end, it was almost too good to be true. And there are so many ways to look at that. Maybe that's what Heaven is, too good to be true. Or, a character told her on Level 2 that someone could plant memories in her mind. So is that what's happening and she's going to wake up and have to start all over again? After all, this is a series. I just have no idea what's going to happen. If I was going to choose and ending, I would have chosen the one I got only made it last a bit longer. Appelhans did such a great job building the tension to Felicia's death, to what she was so ashamed of, I think she could have built the tension to the ending more. I'd really love someone else's take on this one! It seems that people either love it or hate it. I loved it!
Buy it! Because if this is the first one....Enough said!
Level 2 isn't all about the plot though, there's compelling characters too. Felicia is conflicted in a variety of ways (that I won't spoil you on here) so her strength and determination really shines through. She's flawed but in a way that makes her relatable and ultimately a person to root for. Then there are the two boys in her life (yes I said two!) Julian and Neil, who are equally interesting. Before you get your panties in a bunch this isn't your exhaustive love triangle scenario. In fact it's not even really a love triangle which I appreciated. You all know I'm not a fan of grey, I like to know what is going on and I like things straight-forward. What Appelhans has done so well is given me the ability to love all of her characters despite the fact that they are not painted so rigidly. We are lead to believe some are good and some are bad but that is ALWAYS in question. There is a sweet romance too -- for what it's worth, I'm Team Julian at the moment.
If you're a fan of Lauren Oliver's Delirium series Level 2 is going to be right up your alley. Well written, well characterized and well plotted. A win to be sure!
* note, I beta read this book and the author is a close personal friend.