Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
GENRE: YA Fantasy
RECEIVED: Simon & Schuster
AUTHORS BLOG: Lenore Appelhans Site
Level 2 is a book that makes you think, what happens after death, where do you go, who do you become? I found that the creative take on life after death was really interesting and such a heart pumping story.
Level 2 follows Felicia; she has passed and is now in her afterlife, a place known as the “Hive” where everyone watches their past lives like old movies over and over again. But unlike most of those around her she feels that she wants more, to do more, she and her two friends are the only ones who try to talk instead of just watch their memories all the time. Then a boy from Felicia’s past comes running into her afterlife saying there is a rebellion and that she could meet up with the love of her life Neil. She learns the secrets behind Level 2 while the past and present come together to help fight the rebellion.
Felicia is a character whom the readers learn to connect with through the many “memory” clips that she watches through out the novel. Each memory shows the highs and lows, family, friends and loved ones whom she doesn’t want to forget. I liked how the author created a unique way of telling Felicia story and how her memories helped her become stronger in fighting the very beings that were after her. The whole time she thinks of her lost love Neil, how much he helped, cared for her and made her happy. But the readers get some insight into her parents and the strain that was in the family. I liked how I could still connect emotionally to her character even though it was in flashbacks half the time.
Julian is a rebel and someone who had a relationship with Felicia in her life on earth. The readers learn what happened between them and why there is so much tension. I loved his character; I felt the connection between Felicia and him, even when all she wanted was to see Neil again. Their past was interesting and there is actually quite an interesting twist behind his character.
Neil, the readers really only know him from “memories” how Felicia saw him and he was seriously just a really good guy. I almost felt he was too perfect and I liked the competition in Felicia’s heart with the addition of Julian.
Overall I thought this plot was clever and original, there are a lot of religious elements discussed, which tied everything together creatively. There is a lot of action and suspense; the characters are always on the run and trying to find out what is beyond Level 2. The reader is taken on a ride full of emotion, romance and lots of twist. I was a bit confused and some points about the environment that was created, but as the story goes on it’s easier to understand. I look forward to more work from Appelhans.
This is a young adult novel with a unique twist to the afterlife. Fans of Altered by Jennifer Rush and The Archived by Victoria Schwab will enjoy Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans.
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