Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 3409
Interesting Afterlife Story
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
When I saw the summary for Level 2 back in early December, my reaction went something like this: “Yes! I have to have this ASAP! This is such a me book! Why has no one put this book in my hands yet? So, when is the release date? Still over a month away? How ever can I make it that long?”. As you might imagine, Level 2 quickly became one of the top books I was looking forward to this year, so I got a hold of it as soon as I could, and I’m so glad I did.

I was really hoping this would be a five star book, but it didn’t quite make it to that point. There were a few things I had issues with, so I’ll get those out of the way before I squeal over all the parts I did love. First, Felicia, our main character, doesn’t think highly of herself, and this gets quite annoying after a while. Her thoughts about her past seem to be completely self-deprecating and on the lines of “I’m the worst person ever!”. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that Felicia’s made plenty of mistakes, including some pretty major ones, but her constant hatred of herself seems a little overboard and is hard to read after a bit. This gets better towards the end.

My final complaint is that while the book does suck you in, it takes awhile for the main plot to actually start. Most of the beginning is spent in Felicia’s memories. These become necessary to the plot later on, but when it’s not clear how, it seems a bit unnecessary to spend so much time reliving some of Felicia’s experiences. Once the plot really takes off, even the quality of the memories seems to improve.

All right, now that my complaints are out of the way, I can focus on what I do love about this novel. To begin with, the concept. Why aren’t there more books that take place in the afterlife? There’s so many things you can explore there. I’m now convinced that Lenore Appelhans must have found my 10th grade creative writing project in which I wrote a short story about a girl who dies in a car wreck to find the afterlife is a large room with a TV and a DVD player, and you watch a DVD of your life over and over until you get to the point of your death, then the cycle starts all over again, but you don’t remember you’ve already watched your life. Level 2 definitely has a similar vein, at least for awhile, which just made me love it even more.

I’ve read some reviews that state Neil, Felicia’s love interest, seems a little too perfect, and while I think that’s a valid criticism, I actually did know guys like that in high school, so I can’t say it’s exactly unrealistic. I really like the exploration of Felicia’s and Neil’s relationship. Felicia grows a lot during it, but I feel like Lenore struck a good balance of having Neil be a catalyst for Felicia to come to terms with herself while not being the only reason. It can be a bit dangerous to play with the “boy saves the girl” device, but I thought it worked fairly well in the story.

I’m not sure why, considering this story is about the afterlife, but I didn’t expect religion to play such a large role in the story. It fits well by the end, but Felicia’s memories of things like youth groups and meeting Neil at church just seem so normal despite the premise and setting of the story. I really like the plot about the war and the last fifty pages of this book definitely kept me turning the pages as new twists kept being revealed!

Final Impression: Despite a few things I disliked throughout the book, for the most part Level 2 kept me entertained and wanting to know more. It was so refreshing and original with characters I really grew to care about. This book wasn’t at all what I was expecting, but I ended up really liking it anyway.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Take Me Home: Waters of the World
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bite-sized facts about bodies of water from around the globe,...
This Is My America
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Hate U Give meets Just Mercy in this unflinching...
Colors in Nature
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Magnificent, hand-painted illustrations by a rising star of Czech watercolor...
Welcome to Arizona
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome to Arizona! We're glad you're here! Introducing a new...
I Don't Want to Go to School
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
It's Mouse's first day of school. It's Dinosaur's first day...
Counting Down with You
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this sparkling and romantic YA debut, a reserved Bangladeshi...
There's No Ham in Hamburgers: Facts and Folklore About Our Favorite Foods
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From hot dogs and hamburgers to ice cream and pizza,...
The Light of Days Young Readers’ Edition: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
As their communities were being destroyed, groups of Jewish women...
In Deeper Waters
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to...
Paint by Sticker Kids: Outer Space
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Blast off into outer space with this mess-free sticker craft!...
These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are...
The Mother of Monsters
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Mischievous Ntombi is not at all afraid of the fearsome...
Grim, Grunt and Grizzle-Tail: A Story from Chile
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Brave young Pedro faces monsters and greedy guards when he...
What Beauty There Is
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
What Beauty There Is is Cory Anderson's stunning YA...
Baseball Baby
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This original board book series, which begins with America's favorite...
I Am Not a Penguin
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
This hilarious story of a pangolin with an identity crisis...

Latest Member Reviews

The Companion
 
5.0
"Margot is the survivor of a devastating accident in which her entire family drowns in their car. She is taken..."
The Companion
 
4.3
"Everyone thinks Margot is lucky. She's the sole survivor of a horrific car crash that killed her family. While at..."
The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall
 
4.0
"You want to know something? I'm never reading before bed. Because after reading this book, I saw shadows crawling up..."
The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall
 
4.0
"I'm a huge sucker for paranormal ghost tales. My favorites have to be the ones with subtle horror elements..."
Famous Last Words
 
4.0
"There is one thing you don't do with this book. That is to read FAMOUS LAST WORDS right before going..."
Bad Girls Don't Die (Bad Girls Don't Die #1)
 
5.0
"This is my second time reading Bad Girls Don't Die. Even so, I could only read it in bed..."
As Dead As It Gets (Bad Girls Don't Die #3)
 
3.7
"It’s been a while since I’ve had a book that’s kept me up reading until midnight. I knew when putting..."
Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer
 
3.0
"What I Liked: Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer starts off a bit rockily, and I feared that I would have to..."
As Dead As It Gets (Bad Girls Don't Die #3)
 
5.0
"Best one in the series!"
From Bad to Cursed (Bad Girls Don't Die #2)
 
4.7
"Another good, yet underrated series!"
Bad Girls Don't Die (Bad Girls Don't Die #1)
 
4.0
"Going into it, I really didn't expect the book to be too good. Boy was I wrong. I loved how..."
Bad Girls Don't Die (Bad Girls Don't Die #1)
 
3.3
"I rather liked this book, but not that much. It was a quick read and really sucked me in. Now,..."
As Dead As It Gets (Bad Girls Don't Die #3)
 
4.7
"When I first read Bad Girls Don't Die, I remember how creepy the story was. I couldn't wait for..."
Bad Girls Don't Die (Bad Girls Don't Die #1)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by BrielleBookworm   First off, I'd like to recommend this book to you if you like ghost..."
Bad Girls Don't Die (Bad Girls Don't Die #1)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Nicole M.        While living in an ancient house that has a terrifying..."
Bad Girls Don't Die (Bad Girls Don't Die #1)
 
4.0
"Reader reviewed by Lauren G This novel was a fun read. It had a good storyline and just the right..."
Bad Girls Don't Die (Bad Girls Don't Die #1)
 
4.0
"Reader reviewed by Harmony I held off on reading this for quite a while because Im easily scared and this..."
Bad Girls Don't Die (Bad Girls Don't Die #1)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by KJ This book was so good! The plot was really unique and Katie Alender really made the..."
Bad Girls Don't Die (Bad Girls Don't Die #1)
 
4.0
"Reader reviewed by Yan Bad Girls Don't Die was a chilling read that had an odd twist of humor. There were..."