Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans
ARC received from Simon Teen
Release Date: Available Now
Reviewed by: Middle Sis Jenn
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.
When I got this one in the mail, I was so excited to start reading it because I had heard such great things about it. Unfortunately, this is one of those books that everyone seems to like but me. So, I am going against the majority when I say that Level 2 left me bummed out and very disappointed.
The thing that bothered me the most about this book was the main character, Felicia. I felt like she was a snotty 13 year old girl who only cared about what she wanted and nobody else mattered. She even threw toddler-like fits where I could just imagine her throwing herself on the ground and banging her head and feet to get her way. She was supposed to be this amazing savior-like character, but instead, all I saw from her was immaturity and irresponsibility. I know this is harsh, but I've never been more annoyed by a character.
I also was frustrated with the religious tone of the book. In my opinion there was too much talk about sex before marriage. It was preachy at times, and then there were times when it was the opposite. I'm just not sure there was a happy medium with the portrayal of religion in this book. I don't have an issue with religion in a book at all, so don't think that's the reason. I am a religious person, but there was just something that bugged me about how it was used in this book.
I did enjoy Julian. He was mysterious (although not mysterious enough that I didn't know the secret he was hiding) and broody, which I like in a guy. The problem, though?--I knew his secret! In fact, I guessed everyone's secret pretty early which left no mystery in the rest of the book. :(
I did enjoy the different view of the afterlife, a world meant to help you come to terms with who you are/were. It was interesting and definitely something that I hadn't seen before. Unfortunately, the other things annoyed me so much that the good things about the book got pushed into the background.
So, like I said, I am in the minority on this book, so you should definitely read it for yourself. This book wasn't for me, but who knows, it could be one you like.