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Level 2 (Memory Chronicles) Hardcover – January 15, 2013


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Sixth grade can be difficult under the best of circumstances, but for Iris Abernathy having to start over in a new town is doubly hard--coming on the heels of her best friend's untimely demise. But then along comes Boris ... whose very existence proves you cannot question your miracles. Learn more
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 770L (What's this?)
  • Series: Memory Chronicles (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (January 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442441852
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442441859
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,950,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Appelhans's first novel promises so much-too much-and ultimately does not deliver. Felicia Ward died in a car accident at some indeterminate time in the past. In the afterlife, she and her cohorts regularly plug in to a server that stores their memories. They can access both these recollections and those of other individuals, which they rent using credits accrued when others view their dreams. Because of their reluctance to re-live negative moments (e.g., their deaths), Felicia and those in similar hives are stuck on Level Two. Enter two forces, those who are rebelling against the system, and the Morati, mutinous angel guardians of the Level Two God who vie for the unique qualities that Felicia possesses that will enable them to move to the next level. Plotlines about purity pledges, refrigerator mothers, first love, obsession, Greek mythology, and Christian redemption are added to the mix. Characters show little of themselves or their motivations. Instead, the author tells readers about their powerful emotions and why they are important to each other and the plot. If Applehans had just teased a few elements from this muddle, she might have had an interesting story to tell. As it is, Level 2 is just a jumble.-Nina Sachs, Walker Memorial Library, Westbrook, MEα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Killed in a car accident, Felicia now inhabits the barren postdeath world known as Level 2. Day after day, she plugs into her memory chamber, where she relives happy times from her life on earth. Everything changes one day when Julian, a shadowy character from Felicia’s past, bursts into her well-contained world and involves Felicia in a rebellion against the angels who rule Level 2. This debut novel is two mysteries folded into one: the first is what is happening in Level 2, and the second is what happened in Felicia’s life leading up to her unexpected death. Throughout, religion is a major focus, not only with the obvious discussions of heaven and angels but also in the heavily implied, but unstated, sentiment of personal redemption. Appelhans’ storytelling is well paced, tantalizing the reader with hints, and the compelling theme of the necessity of facing the wrongs of the past in order to move forward into the future will appeal to teens. Grades 8-11. --Eve Gaus

Customer Reviews

This was one of those books that was so good but I drew out reading it so I could just savor the story.
Erica
Sure, I felt bad for her for many things that happened to her in her past, but that's not enough to make me like her.
Lili's Reflections
There were some excellent twists and turns as well, and I really liked seeing all the characters interact.
James F. Booth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've seen this book around the blogosphere quite a bit, and when I heard Lenore Appelhans was coming to visit my town, I knew I had to read it stat!

Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans is about a seemingly normal girl named Felicia, who has died recently, and lives in Level 2, which is a beehive like purgatory. In this Level, one can "plug" in and view old memories from life down on Earth. When she sees Julian again, a fling that she had back on Earth, in this Level, she knows there's more to this than she thought before. After Julian, she fell in love with a pure, handsome boy named Neil that she met at church. Her main goal? To find him again. Will Felicia be able to sort through her past and present to connect with the boy she loved and lost?

This book is a tough one to summarize and also a tough one to rate. The prose is beautifully written. The background of this story is fascinating. I loved the idea of "hives" and plugging in to a sort of "net" to review memories that happened back on earth. Felicia is a hard character to get to know, but I like that we can see both her present and her past via this method. I'm intrigued by some of the characters in her life-- not just Neil, but her father, and some of her friends. There is a wonderful twist at the end of the book, that raised my rating to a 4. Julian is probably the most interesting of the characters and is reminiscent of Cole from Brodi Ashton's Everneath.

That said, I had some issues with the book. The pacing is not perfect-- the middle of the book drags, and sometimes, I wonder the significance of the memories that we are shown. Felicia is not the most likeable of characters, and she keeps her secrets close to her chest until the end.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James F. Booth on January 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
OK, just to get it out of the way, the author is a blogger friend of mine who I've hung out with on occasion. But I don't think I'm biased and will write a fair review.

Anyway, I did really enjoy this book and was so happy to get an early copy of it at BEA. I started it late one night while I was having a snack and had trouble putting it down, but I did because I needed to sleep. Appelhans did a wonderful job creating this afterlife world and everything it entails.

I will say though, that while I did enjoy reading Felicia's memories and thought it was an interesting way to flesh out her character (as well as Neil and Julian's), it did slow the story down a bit for me. I was always looking ahead to see when it would end and I'd get back to the action of taking down Level 2. I'm just too impatient! There were some excellent twists and turns as well, and I really liked seeing all the characters interact. I especially liked seeing how Felicia and Julian's relationship changed throughout the book as she accessed more memories of them together.

The climax is astounding and touching, and I also love that the book did not end on a cliffhanger. I read in an interview that Appelhans really fought for the book to end that way and I'm so glad it got approved. I'm still excited for the next book, Level 3, but it's not a dire what-will-happen-next kind of ordeal.

Definitely check this book out. It's an interesting, original debut and start of a series (or, well, a duology- I think there's only going to be two books).
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Melanie on March 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
*I don't understand why people dislike a book because one gave it a low ranking. The whole point is to be helpful, not 'to be 'nice' and lie about how one thought of the book. I'm not trying to sound paranoid with people disliking my review, as I've had my reviews liked multiple times for other books, but I've noticed that if someone gives something with a low rating, they just dislike it. It's a weird protocol so please be honest and dislike a review only if it was useless and unimformative. This review was posted on my blog and GR, both receiving 'thanks' and 'likes'.*

DNF naturally, I don't review DNFed books, but there is something that needs to be said here.

"Don't! Just don't." How dare he? Does he think if he touches me, I'll give in? Tell him it's okay that he's a monster?
He puts his hands in a gesture of surrender and rocks back into his rigid pose. "Okay, clam down. I will not touch you unless you ask." His eyes going with mischief. "Unless you beg." page 69

*gags* I checked my friend reviews on this book, several were positive, ranting on about it's stunning premise and idea. I DO agree. However, I think it was poorly written and executed. Stopping at page 178, I am rather irritated. I was looking for this entrap urging world that seemed so unique and original at the time, instead I got a piece of horse manure. Multiple times, I wanted to close the book and give up completely, well, eventually I did (which I'm grateful for) but it was infuriating, the flaws were literally glaring at me on each page.

Level 2, a stark white afterlife limbo, where people spend their endless days replaying their memories. Felicia Ward is one of those people. She is dead.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Thanks to her father's job in the US military, Lenore Appelhans became addicted to travel early. To date, she's visited nearly 60 countries and has stepped on every contintent except Antartica. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and three fancy Birman cats.

Her novel, The Memory of After (published as Level 2 in hardcover by Simon & Schuster BFYR) is "immensely layered" (VOYA) and "a gripping debut" (NYT Bestselling Author Megan McCafferty). It has been optioned for film by CBS and sold rights in 5 additional territories. The second book in The Memory Chronicles, Chasing Before, is due summer 2014. She has been blogging about books at Presenting Lenore (http://presentinglenore.blogspot.com) since 2008.


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