Book Review: Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans
Title: Level 2
Author: Lenore Appelhans
Page Count: 281
Genre: YA Science fiction/paranormal
Since Felicia’s death, she has been trapped in Level 2, a sort of waiting room between Earth and the next world. There, she relives her favorite memories over and over again – until one day her memory is changed and one of her friends disappears, and no one but Felicia seems to remember her. Then a boy she hoped she would never see again appears and tells her he’s part of a rebel group trying to fight the angels that are keeping them in Level 2. Felicia, desperate to make up for the mistakes of her past, agrees. But what happens when the group you’re trying to help might be more dangerous than the group you’re trying to fight?
This book had an interesting premise. Felicia’s trapped in some sort of weird after-life where she watches her memories over and over again and can rent other people’s memories and rent out her own. It’s like if you were trapped watching Netflix forever, only instead of movies, they’re memories. That sounded pretty interesting to me.
I also thought the idea of a battle versus good and evil sounded interesting. I don’t usually read novels about angels, especially those that are about people going to church, as that’s not my thing, but the idea sounded good enough that I figured I would read something outside my comfort zone. Besides, I was intrigued by the idea of her meeting with a guy from her past. I was hoping for interesting characters and a fast-paced plot.
What I got instead was a book that was largely about Felicia’s memories. Really, we spent more time in her past than we did in the present. If that had been the main selling point of this book, I might have been okay with that. Had the characters we met in the present been more developed, I might have been okay with that. But I just wasn’t. I didn’t like Felicia. I kept hoping I would grow to like her more, but I didn’t. I didn’t hate her, but I didn’t really care much about what happened to her, either.
Also, the whole battle wasn’t at all what I was expecting. I’m not going to give away the ending. I’ll just say that it was very rushed and not at all fun to read. I just stared at the book for a while after I finished reading it, trying to figure out what had just happened. I’m taking a YA literature class right now, and my teacher was talking about how YA books don’t have real endings and that that’s just part of the “genre.” That comment annoyed me, and the ending of this book annoyed me because it’s the sort of book that would lead someone unfamiliar with YA books to think that all of them have horrible endings.
Overall, this book had an interesting premise, but it didn’t live up to my expectations. This is apparently book one in a series, but I will not be reading the rest of the series.