Title: Level 2 (The Memory Chronicles)[Amazon]
Author: Lenore Appelhans[website]
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Dystopian Fantasy
Stars: 5 of 5
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.
Since ARCs of this book started floating around I was dying to get my hands on this one. Every single person that read it seemed to have nothing but good things to say. All I heard everywhere was how fantastic it was and that made me nervous the closer it go to release date. I was scared that it may have ended up being in that category of just okay because of the all the hype I read. But I can very, very, very happily report that Level 2 isn’t all hype. It is a story, a great story, about love, loss and deciding when is the right time to move on when what matters most to you is gone.
Level 2 is about Felicia, a girl that has died too soon and is stuck somewhere between living and being a drone. She is trapped on what is known as Level 2 and only has her memories to help her get by. All the people around her are and even Felicia herself are content to watch endless memories on loop. That is until an anomaly happens and Julian, a guy from Felicia’s past arrives and nothing is the same. Suddenly Felicia has to decide which side she is on and if she wants to give up her memories of her happiest moments with Neil, her boyfriend left behind, in order to fight with Julian.
The book is told entirely from Felicia’s point of view which I liked because it let the reader get into her head and find out what kind of person her really is and decide if they wanted to root for her, which you will. It also allowed the reader to see why Felicia was so torn between Julian, who I ♥ by the way and Neil, who was great but kind of dull. I was able to understand her motivations in everything she did and why she fought to get her friend back and why she needed Neil so badly. Felicia was definitely, excuse the pun since she is dead, a lost soul that was desperately trying to find herself and she needed Neil and Julian really to do that in both life and the afterlife and that came across the page perfectly.
Really. Appelhans wrote a thought provoking story with likeable characters and action to boot that didn’t seem inappropriate or muddled at all. She used memories to explain the back story but did it in a way that seemed new and different and not the tired old use of flashbacks that we have become accustomed to. This story was fresh and exciting and definitely worth the hype. Level 3 anyone?!?