Google+ Reading Teen: {Quick-Fire Review} The Memory of Before by Lenore Appelhans

Sunday, August 3, 2014

{Quick-Fire Review} The Memory of Before by Lenore Appelhans

Previously Level2
Memory Chronicles #1
by Lenore Appelhans
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (January 15, 2013)
Buy the book:  Amazon
Audio CD
Publisher: Listening Library (Audio); Unabridged edition (January 22, 2013)
Buy the audio: CD, Audible
Mark on Goodreads
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.

At a Glance:

This book seriously surprised me, and kind of broke my brain.  I expected a light read without too much substance, but what I got was a Matrix-y, complex, mind scrambler that I thoroughly enjoyed.  This is the afterlife like I've never heard of before.

The Audio:

I started reading this book, then received the audio.  After I started listening, I completely dropped reading it myself, in favor of listening to Jenna Lamia read it to me.  She was fantastic.  Listening Library did an incredible job of finding someone who actually sounded like she could be a teenage girl, which is awesome since it's told in first person.  Her voices for the other characters, including the boys, were great too.  I easily got lost in the story, and I'm glad I got the chance to listen to this one!  Listen to a sample here!


I love the cover!  It's so sci-fi-ish and the all-white background gives it an afterlife feel.  Perfect!


Yes!  There's plenty of action in The Memory of After.  There are interesting and mysterious characters that are constantly trying to get their clutches on Felicia.  It's not too intense, but it keeps things interesting!


What was interesting about this romance was that there were different levels.  It was kind-of a love triangle, but kind-of not.  Felicia relives memories of her life, and at different times she has relationships with two different guys.  These relationships then come into play in the afterlife, so it's a constantly changing romance, and I really liked it.


Felicia was a likeable heroine.  She was very girl-next-door-ish and I enjoyed reading about her.  She's loyal, and won't give up on finding answers.


Hmmm....who is the hero?  I'd say Julian is the perfect Anti-hero, and Neil is just a little too perfect.  Neil was so sweet and kind, but there's just something about that bad-boy Julian.....

Favorite Supporting Character:

I think it was Mira.  I liked her confidence and fierceness, oh,  and I liked the voice Jenna Lamia used for her.  Such a great accent!

Something I loved:

It's hard to explain, but I loved the way that the book felt like a sci-fi/dystopian, but then suddenly, when she visited her memories, it felt like a contemp.  Usually when a book switches back and forth from one perspective to another, or one story to another, I find myself slogging through one of the perspectives, just waiting to get back to the other.  In this book, however, I loved both aspects, and would get completely lost in both sides.  Awesome.

Something(s) I hated:

That I didn't hate Julian.  I should hate him, right? 


Though this story isn't over, this book was resolved fairly well.  This is my favorite type of series, when there's resolution at the end of each book, and an overall arc that continues.

Would I recommend it?

Most definitely!  And I think contemp and sci-fi/dystopian lovers will enjoy it!  That's quite a feat!

Will I buy/keep it?

I will be keeping the audio, and my ARC of Level 2, and have to buy the new cover for The Memory of After :D

Book Doppelgangers:

The Matrix, Minority Report by Philip K Dick,  Crewel by Gennifer Albin

4 out of 5    

  • Profanity: Mild
  • Sexual Content: Moderate
  • Violence: Moderate
  • Other Notables:  Teenage drunkenness (in Germany), lots of religious talk/questioning
For more details, check out Level 2 on


  1. I'm really looking forward to this one. I'm really interested in how complex it sounds, and how multi genre it feels.
    Great review. :)

    1. Thanks, Michelle! I hope you like it! You'll have to let me know!

  2. I need to read this! It sounds so amazing! It's nice that fans of many genres would be able to enjoy it.

  3. Been looking forward to reading this book! It sounds good!

  4. Great review!! It sounds good!

  5. I really must get into audio books. I've seen this book around & it does look & sound fabulous. Thanks for your review.

  6. haven't had the chance to own my own audiobooks ever..this one sounds good :D

  7. I have so been looking forward to this book ever since I spotted it last November. It looks like an awesome read. Glad to hear it won't disappoint. Nice review.

  8. It's very interesting that you said the book was a sci-fi/dystopian, but yet her memories reminded you of a contemporary novel. As a sci-fi/dystopian junkie, maybe Level Two will help me ease into reading more contemporary (which is currently my weakness)?

    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

  9. I always found the concept of this book interesting, and have been wanting to read it for a while! If the book reads and sounds as good as you say it is, then I have no problem getting it straight from the store! Thank you!

  10. This sounds really interesting! Glad to hear that you enjoyed it. Awesome review. :)

  11. I'm so excited for this one! It's one of my most anticipated debuts so EEEEP. I'm so glad you liked it!

  12. Good to know you liked it. I've been looking forward about this book. Can't wait to read it!

  13. I love dystopians so I'm keeping my eye out on this one.. Love the cover and the story sounds amazing.

  14. This definitely sounds like a good read. I've added it to my Goodreads to read list.

  15. Great!! I keep reading great things on this book and with your review I'm certain this is a must read!

  16. this looks really good i cant wait to read it


  17. This book sounds right up my alley!!!! I love when sci-fi meets dystopian. Definitely adding this to my tbr list.

  18. This sounds really interesting! Definitely going to track it down :)

  19. I have had this one on my TBR pile for awhile. Cannot wait to get my hands on it.

  20. This book sounds very interesting! I'm all about some Matrix-y type stuff.

  21. Nice review, especially about the characters.

  22. Nice review, I would love to read this book.

  23. I've been looking forward to this one :)
    And you're right about the audio- I think that's the teen-est reader I've ever heard. She's absolutely perfect.

  24. WOW. Now I am even more excited to read this one! Matrix and romance! Count me in!

  25. So glad to hear there is no cliffhanger. I'm starting to get really upset with the yearly wait after the bomb is dropped.

  26. I´ll read every book who haves a kick butt female character. I haven't had the chance to read Sci/Fi books, so this is a really nice chance!

  27. I'm still unsure about this one, since I am not a fan of sci-fi books, but since you seem to like it I am willing to try it :)

  28. I love that this book has so many layers! The premise sounds just awesome, and I'm glad that the "love-triangle" isn't the norm as most YA books have had. I love sci-fi, and this one just sounds so very good!

    Thanks for the awesome review!

  29. Great review! I hope to read this one soon!

  30. I can't wait to read this book. I love dystopians and Level2 sounds very very interesting!!!

  31. Great review! I can't wait to read this now! :D

  32. Didn't know a whole lot about this until I read the review. Thanks for sharing- can't wait to read it now!

  33. New one for me but definitely the genre I've been reading more of.

  34. Sounds interesting, thanks for the review and the giveaway!

  35. This sounds like a great read. I could do with a bit of action!

  36. I don't really know what to say. When I heard about this book I was so excited. So very excited. But then I got to thinking, what if it turns out crappy. Awesome cover!! Awesome blurb!! I am so happy to hear that it is good. Very happy. You made my day. Thank you!

  37. Thanks for the giveaway!!!!

  38. It's a very interesting premise and a book that I've been interested in reading for some time now. Can't wait to get my hands on it.

  39. I've been so excited for this book, & I'm so glad it isn't a cliffhanger!

  40. You.. you LIKED the love triangle? ACK. I cannot, lol. I will read this book; as I am excited about it. <3 But damn love triangles :( I am not happy. Sniffs. But it do make me happy that you loved this book. <3

    1. Haha! I just don't mind love triangles if they're done well. Plus, this is a little different as she met the guys at two different times, so...


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