Saturday, March 2, 2013

Level 2

Level 2: Book 1 of the Memory Chronicles by Lenore Applehans

An amazon summary before I expose how far I read and why I CANNOT FINISH THIS CURSED TEXT, "In this gripping exploration of a futuristic afterlife, a teen discovers that death is just the beginning.
Since her untimely death the day before her eighteenth birthday, Felicia Ward has been trapped in Level 2, a stark white afterlife located between our world and the next. Along with her fellow drones, Felicia passes the endless hours reliving memories of her time on Earth and mourning what she’s lost—family, friends, and Neil, the boy she loved.
Then a girl in a neighboring chamber is found dead, and nobody but Felicia recalls that she existed in the first place. When Julian—a dangerously charming guy Felicia knew in life—comes to offer Felicia a way out, Felicia learns the truth: If she joins the rebellion to overthrow the Morati, the angel guardians of Level 2, she can be with Neil again.
Suspended between Heaven and Earth, Felicia finds herself at the center of an age-old struggle between good and evil. As memories from her life come back to haunt her, and as the Morati hunt her down, Felicia will discover it’s not just her own redemption at stake… but the salvation of all mankind." AMAZON SUMMARY OF NOOOO

I'm going to clarify something.

I read books for fun at this stage in my life. I no longer have to read Heart of Darkness or The Grapes of Wrath or any mandatory educational texts.

As such, I feel no qualms in putting down a book that has quite literally given me a headache.

This, this book is atrocious. And here's why.

1) I gave this book an overly fair chance to DO something. I read to page 188 and then calmly set the book down before seeking out some Tylenol. Then sentence, "A wave of psychological nausea pounds me into submission," just made me STOP and will my brain into a safer place of remembering the awesome of Seraphina (Page 188, Level 2, Applehans).
2) The book is only 281 pages, I am less than 100 pages from the end and nothing quite makes sense still. NOTHING. They keep quipping random 'history' and memories of this TRAGIC GIRL (like bloo hoo hoo everywhere) and again, brain hurt.

So this is what I've learned in the 188 pages that I read.

There's a girl named Felicia and she's dead (and we don't know how, even at page 188) and she's in some sort of Limbo area. It's referred to as Level 2 periodically because it's one step after death (I think). So they spend their time reliving their memories and accessing other people's memories for credits (like a giant Facebook but with memories) and it really sounds like the Matrix on religion.

Oh yeah, they have these awesome [/sarcasm] little religious gems tucked in everywhere. The book expects you (the reader) to be familiar with the Christian faith. As such, you're also supposed to believe in the Greek mythology of the five different rivers of the Underworld. The book also wants you to think it's totally cool that it's trying to immerse you in a religious matrix where the guardians of the matrix are upset with God for making them work in the Matrix. They explained it as there are the angels who were opposed to God creating humans went to hell, the angels that gave unwavering support to God got to hang out in heaven (like cool kids), and then the 'luke-warm' angels (I'm not kidding they actually say luke-warm) were sent to monitor Level 2. Which is limbo? They make it seem like Limbo, it's basically full of people who need to come to terms with their life and death and then get to Heaven.

Now the angels who are in Level 2 are eventually referred to as the Morati (which suspiciously reminded me of Moriarty like the Sherlock Holmes villain, no I don't think there's a connection there but I got absurdly hopeful). The Morati are super upset that God put them there and are using the HUMANS AS BATTERIES TO AMASS POWER TO FIGHT GOD. Over half of that was the premise of the Matrix. On page 123, the main character Felicia thinks, "It sounds like something straight out of The Matrix." HUR HUR HUR.

So the world of Level 2 is basically a giant space of bee hive looking things. Inside the bee hives each person has their own memory interface or 'cell' and there's not a lot of common space to hang out in. There are roads that connect all the different bee hives. That's all I got for you.

Now Felicia is too dumb to live. At the beginning she's like, "Man, this limbo weird world sucks, but I'm tired so I'm going to go relive more memories. LOL. I HAVE A TORMENTED PAST. WEIRD ALLUSIONS TO THINGS. Also, I might be a hacker." Felicia gets 'rescued' by another character who she hate/loves/hate/hate/hate/is deeply attracted to/loves/HATE can't make up her mind about. His name is Julian and he's drop dead gorgeous and blah blah blah. He's less annoying than Felicia, but still pretty annoying.

The book has given me no reason to care about Felicia because she's gaga in love with Neil and has allegedly done something horribly tragic that she can never think about so we (the readers) have no idea what she's done.

I just don't care. I don't care.

This paragraph really made me gag, "[Neil just called her pretty] It catches me so off guard, a hot blush blooms in my chest and rapidly spreads up my neck and across my face. I know I'm attractive, physically at least. Plenty of people have told me that through the years. Little does Neil know how ugly I am on the inside. He can't see the scars," (Level 2, page 131, Applehans). OH GOD, I KNOW I'M PRETTY, BUT IT'S SO DIFFERENT WHEN NEIL TELLS ME, BUT HE WOULDN'T LIKE ME IF HE KNEW MY DEEP DARKEST SECRET OH GOD PASTTTTT. I just brain vomit at that.

Felicia herself is completely irrational when she decides to do something and then a male character quips some logic into her plan, she miraculously reconsiders and decides to do something more reasonable. It's always a male character that rationalizes her too, as if all female characters cannot have a mind to think for themselves and are only obsessed with flirting/love/painting nails.

So things happen, it's revealed that in Level 2 if you get unhooked from the system you can start performing matter manipulation which sounds kind of cool but then she is able to do it, makes real clothes for herself, and then proceeds to use her ability to paint her nails.

I'm just done. This book is unreadable.

That makes two.

I'm really glad I had some Tylenol.

Happy reading.

Edit: DISCLAIMER. I didn't like this book because the writing was horrible and the bringing together of the composition was terrible, the characters were utterly unlikable, and nothing exciting happened.

HOWEVER, I do not take issue with the 'Christian' content of the book, I find it interesting when authors try to use Christian concepts and themes in their books. That never discourages me from reading a book. However, if you write a horrible book, I'm not going to like it regardless if it has Christian themes or not. If you write a horrible book that has any other religious based content in it, I'm not going to like it. If you write a horrible book about murder, rape, mystery, science fiction, or any other genre or 'touchy topic', I'm not going to like it.

If you write a horrible book, I'm not going to like it.

That's the end line.


If you don't like what I blog about, guess what? YOU DON'T HAVE TO READ IT.

The internet is this marvelous thing where you (THE USER, YES YOU) get to pick and chose EXACTLY what you view.

Don't like what I have to say? YOU DON'T HAVE TO READ IT.

Close the window. Go enjoy something you do like. IT'S OKAY.

Oh my goodness. Calm down.

Have a nice whatever time of day your are viewing this.

Happy reading.


  1. I love you Liz Seeber. I was hoping the book would be better than the author's talk at ALA, but I guess not. Thank you for reading this for me.

    1. Hahaha, I think you owe me a good book now. ;) It was kind of atrocious as the girl literally had moments of like, "Man, I'm going to try and do something" a male character is like, "Whoa now, logic" and she's like, "Oh, oh right. I guess I should try to equate logic into this." ...terrible.

  2. Lol, once again I am amused. Did you really get angry, ranting emails? What the heck?

    1. I'm glad you're amused. :) But yes, I got about 27 emails being all angry. It was definitely a 'really internet, REALLY?' moment.