Monday, February 4, 2013

Level 2 - Lenore Appelhans (arc) review

Back again!! Sorry for the evil flu, etc that kept my brain too fuzzy to write reviews :-(

Level 2
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
January 15, 2013
288 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

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.
Level 2 is full of imagination. The world of Level 2, the chambers, the hives, the layout, the activity, everything is fantastic. I love the way that the characters are effected by their surroundings -- and that it's not just another Earth, living world that occurs after death. It really is its own world and we see more of it as the book progresses -- I'm excited to see even more in Level 3 next year.

Discovering Felicia's history as she relives her memories in Level 2 is interesting but enjoyable. It allows readers to know something has happened, but not know what it is until later in the story. All while having it work with the story. It keeps you wanting to read more and more to finally find out what the it is that's effecting things.

The two main male characters, Neil and Julian, are quite different and appeal to different parts of Felicia -- and should appeal to different readers as well. Appelhans did a great job creating the two characters. Despite their differences, it's easy to see why they both work with Felicia and why they're both ideal for their parts of the story.

The bits of the 'known' that were mixed in with the world the author created made things more identifiable and helped them seem more real. It was a nice connection.

I did hope that just a little bit more would happen in Level 2. Though, that could be that I didn't quite click in on the Felicia and Neil relationship as much as many others likely will. The ending is quite fantastic, however.

I am anxious to read Level 3 and see where everything goes in the next installment of this series -- and what Lenore Appelhans brings us!

While I was sick with the flu, I got an audio copy of Level 2 from my library. It is narrated by Jenna Lamia who  has narrated The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams and several other books. Level 2 is fun to read but it's also one that is a great audio listen - it transfers formats fantastically.

Rating: 8/10


thank you to Simon & Schuster for my arc -- and the library for the e-audiobook

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