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Book Review: Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

Before reading Level 2, I didn’t read any reviews or heard that much about the book’s plot. What a surprise then, when the story came to smack me in the face…in a good way. Nay, in a GREAT way!

Book Review: Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

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level 2 by lenore appelhans

Title & Author: Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

Genre: YA – Science Fiction, Futuristic, Dystopia

Release Date: January 15, 2013

Series: Memory Chronicles #1

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

How I Got the Book: ARC via the Publisher


“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 Up

There are a few things that make Level 2 a really great read that I simply could not put down. One was the non-linear storytelling. When you first jump into the story, Felicia is a white-clad drone just like everyone else in her pod.

You’re not sure where she is or how she got there, but you learn that she and her pod-mates existence boils down to surfing the (futuristic) Web to replay memories of her life. Obviously she’s watched all the really amazing, breathtaking moments of her life and neglected the others.

Through this memory surfing, you learn bits and pieces about Felicia’s life. Her most cherished times and her greatest regrets. It adds so much mystery and suspense to Level 2 to have Felicia’s story slowly unfold.

The other thing I really loved about Level 2 was the whole concept of the story. It was so unique and original – people memory-surfing their entire existence? Why are they doing that? Will they ever stop?

So many questions are asked in Level 2 and not so many are answered. That’s what made the book a true standout. I was so immersed and invested in Felicia and her life – what will become of here?!?

There isn’t a love triangle per se in the book, but there is definitely some romantic tension. I liked it. It keeps things moving and on edge.


What an amazing debut novel from a fellow book blogger! This book is super engaging, interesting and mysterious. Level 2’s slow unraveling of secrets and lies kept my heart pounding and the pages turning.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.