February 27, 2013

Latest Read: Level 2

Here are the basics ...
Level 2 (Memory Chronicles, #1) by Lenore Appelhans 
Publication date: Jan. 15, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Category: Young Adult - Paranormal
Source: Borrowed from library

Summary: 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. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
The good: Books that deal with the afterlife tend to scare me (do I need to remind you all of how much Ghost freaked me out as a child?) but I decided not to think about it as I began reading. Based on the synopsis, I was envisioning something along the lines of The Matrix with a twist. Definitely science-fiction like. But what I got instead was something else entirely. We follow Felicia Ward through her afterlife. It's hard to say whether it's heaven or purgatory at first but regardless, I'm sure it's not what any of us picture. Felicia spends her days watching her memories  over and over again until a guy from her past breaks into Level 2 to enlist her help in a rebellion between "good" and "evil". 

It's an extremely unique setting and premise and I was very curious as to where it was all headed. But most of all, I was curious about Felicia. Who was she? I wanted to know her past, which we did get through flashbacks. Through them we learn about her rocky relationships with her parents, a best friend she betrayed and the love of her life Neil. Every flashback left me wanting more of her life, especially when I wasn't sure how the plot would come together. 

(Major) reservations: Okay, *spoiler alert*. I can't talk about reservations without laying it all out there and I have to be honest. I found Level 2 really hard to visualize. The dead watch their memories by plugging themselves into a pod and accessing the Net. Which is basically a giant repository of not only your memories but everyone else's. So you watch your own or someone else's or even "rent" out your memories in exchange for "credits". It was hard wrapping my mind around it. Then aside from being curious about Felicia (and Neil), I didn't particularly care for them or any of the secondary characters because I didn't know them. There wasn't enough development (or flashbacks) to understand who they were. It seemed like I was just expected to accept that okay, she loved him, he loved her and go with it. I personally need more than that. And then while I'm trying to make sense of it all, another bomb is dropped - this is actually an angel book. Which kinda blew my mind. Every plot or sub-plot was introduced or resolved abruptly and I think it would've been better to have chosen a single focus.

Do I recommend?: I personally don't have an interest in continuing the series and I can't say that I would recommend it to any of my friends. But I know some people who have really enjoyed this book so if you're interested, it might be worth checking out from the library.

Happy reading! 

10 comments:

  1. Great review! I TOTALLY agree with you. I was not happy that this was an angel book, mostly because it was a plot twist that changed the entire course of the book. I expected it to be a little more of a sci-fi kind of story about the afterlife, which it was - But then the angel angle really threw me and not in a good way.
    Agreed on the characters too - I really wanted to know more about all of them and I felt like we just didn't get ENOUGH backstory to justify all the feelings.

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    1. "...it was a plot twist that changed the entire course of the book." --> OMG YES. Exactly! It's one of those stories that I think had potential but did not meet my expectations. I am a little curious as to what the overall story/goal of the series will be though but not enough to continue.

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  2. Awww, I really loved Level 2 and liked the angel aspect. For me, I didn't really have much trouble picturing the world and kind of fell for Neil and Felicia immediately. But I can see where you'd have reservations and that this definitely is not the book for everyone. Hopefully your next read is way better!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed Level 2! Feelings on it seem to be mixed and I just happened to fall on this side of it haha.

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  3. I just bought this book and I hope I don't hate it. From your review, I am not sure how I will feel about it, because I hate the feeling of not knowing enough about characters. It's so frustrating! Thanks for the honest review :)

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    1. I hope my review doesn't deter you! Maybe you'll end up liking it more than I did :)

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  4. So far as I've seen, this book seems to be really polarizing. Either you love it or you don't like it, there have been very few "meh" reviews in between. Personally, I feel like I'll be more on the negative side of things, so I've stayed away from this. After reading your review? Not a high priority. I was thinking this would be like the Matrix as well, but angels don't really fit into that picture. And if the secondary characters weren't fully developed, that's no good either. Hmm. Sorry you didn't care for this one, Rachel, but thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)

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    1. I've noticed that too! This review was hard for me to write because I didn't want to be entirely negative but at the same time I had to be honest, you know? I mean I do appreciate the uniqueness of her premise but overall, it just wasn't enough for me.

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  5. I think the whole angel thing would throw me off, since I would be expecting a matrix-like thing, as you mentioned. I mean, the concept could definitely be fascinating and had a ton of potential...

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    1. LOL well you heard my thoughts over dinner, so I'm sure my review didn't surprise you. Oh well!

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