January 16, 2013

Review: Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

Title: Level 2 (The Memory Chronicles #1)
Author: Lenore Appelhans
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 15th 2013
Genre: Young Adult Sci Fi/Paranormal
Source: Finished copy from publisher (for review)

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.

My Review:

First Thoughts: 
     I wasn't sure what to excpect from this book.  I thought the blurb sounded really ineresting, so I was excited when I recieved a copy in the mail for review.

And Then: 
     Sad to say, this book let me down in alot of ways.  I didn't like the how the author used the memory chambers as a way to learn about Felicia's life on earth.  It was distracting.  The book starts off in Level 2 where we meet Felicia, and learn that she has died and is living with other girls her age called "drones".  They have some pretty great tech for this being the supposed afterlife, and at first this confused me, but there is some explanation for this later on in the book.  So, the drones practically live in things called "memory chambers", and relive memories from their lives on earth. Almost like an addiction.  They can even rent each other's memories with credit, and there is this whole rating system that reminded me of You Tube mixed with Goodreads, but for memories. Now, this is what really bothered me, everytime Felicia goes into a chamber, she relives a memory on earth. (Which she does A LOT)  Now, I know this is supposed to let the reader get to know her as a character, but for me it was really just distracting. I would be really into what was happening in the present and BAM, now were reliving the time she went for lunch with her friend!  I found myself skimming the parts where she was reliving her past memories, and just wanting more of the action going on in Level 2.  Plus, the memories did not do what they were meant to.  They did not endear me to Felicia, in fact, they did the opposite.  I mean, some of it was just soo boring, not to mention making Felicia seem like such a selfish brat!  I really didn't like any of the characters very much in this book. No, that's not true, I just didn't really care about them one way or the other. (Which is worse!) 
     The book wasn't all bad though.  The non-memory scenes were pretty cool and there were some cool twists at the end that surprised me. I really hate it when a book doesn't live up to my expectations, but Level 2 just wasn't for me.  Maybe the reason I really wasn't too into it was because the "memories" felt alot like a contemporary novel, and that is one genre I don't really enjoy.  I would have preferred less of that and more time spent learing about Level 2. I may still read the sequel, if only because I don't think the memory flashbacks will be part of the sequel. (At least I hope not...)
     I would reccomend this to anyone who enjoys  YA contemporary with some paranormal/sci-fi mixed in.  It's how I would classify this one, but that's just my opinion.  I hope you will still give it Level 2 a shot if you have been looking forward to reading it.  Not every book is for everyone, and this one just wasn't my cup of tea, but who knows, you may end up lovng it. 

Rating: 2/5 Stars

Buy Links:

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  1. I totally agree. And I was really disappointed by the ending too.

  2. I was kind of on the fence on Level 2. After reading your review I think I'll check it out a bit more before I decide whether to read it or not.

  3. I liked it! But different strokes for different folks. I liked the originality of it, but you do have to suspend a bit of disbelieve and just go w/ the flow to enjoy it. Thanks for the honest review!

  4. I've heard mixed opinions about this one. I think it is one that I hope I like but don't think I will. Love the original concept of it but worry that it might not work well. Thanks for your thoughts!

  5. Level 2 has been on my radar but I've been seeing a lot of mixed reviews for it. The issues you had with the book sounds like ones that I would also have issues with. I might just wait to see what kind of reactions the second book gets before I dive into this one. Thanks for the honest review.

  6. I've had this on my wishlist since I read the first blurb so I'm heart broken that the reviews are mixed.

  7. Yikes! Level 2 is on my 'to-read' list. but I don't know if I can handle the memory/flashbacks either... sounds like the author took it as an 'easy' way to fill out the book with less than useful information to move the story along.
    I'm still sort of interested in reading Level 2 ... but maybe I'll wait and find this book on the sale table or something.
    Thanks for your honest and thoughtful review!

  8. Oh no, 2 stars! I just added this to my tbr wishlist yesterday because the blurb sounded really good! I can see where the annoyance of the memory chambers lay. That most likely would irk me too. I'm still intrigued with this and will probably read it at some point, but am no longer in a rush to grab it asap. Thanks for your honest review

  9. It's annoying when a book has a gorgeous, kick butt cover and then you read it ... *shudders* it's not that great. Disappointing really. Eh. Maybe the sequel will be better? Thanks for the review =)

  10. Thank you for your review, I'm always happy to read an honest review. I have been debating whether or not to add this to my TBR list because of the mixed reviews I've seen. I read at least two other reviews where the readers had described certain aspects of the story distracting similar to what you said in your review. I think I will hold off on this book for now.
    Thank you again for sharing your review

  11. Aw what a bummer. I was curious about this book, just a little, but now I think what little interest I had is gone. All the problems you mentioned would bug me, so better to not bother. Thanks for the review though :)

  12. I'm sorry this book was a let down. I'm not too sure I want to read this too, but thanks for the honest review! :)

  13. I've seen this book around on a lot of blogs and I've been wanting to read it but never got around to reading them. I'm so glad I read yours! I'm like you in the sense that I just don't read the contemporary genre. I thought it was more on the science fiction/paranormal genre. I might read this one but it won't be at the top of my list. But like you said give it a try and I most likely will. I really liked what you wrote and enjoyed reading your review. Thank you for sharing it!!

  14. Y'know I've not heard very good things about this book. I'm a firm believer in not letting other peoples reviews cloud my book judgement, but I'm still just not sure about this book! GREAT Review.

    New Follower <3!
    Beth @ The Reading Vixens!

  15. Like you and so many others, I was definitely intrigued by this story when I first heard about it. And I still am, honestly. But the likelihood of me reading it is getting lower with every review that I have read. So many people have been so disappointed in it. I don't want to be disappointed. I would rather never read it!


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