Level 2 Lenore Appelhans Book Review

I will admit, I was totally terrified to read Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans. Not because the book is scary or horror or anything, but because I consider Lenore to be a friend. I’ve had alcoholic beverages in her company. Y’all, you know that omg what if I don’t like it trepidation? I HAD THAT. Then I had that nervous feeling of oh my god what if people call my review into question because  of my friendship. THEN I was like, ah fuck it. I am going to read this book and let myself think and feel and react naturally. Luckily I kind of fell head over heels for Felicia and Julian and Neil and the world of Level 2.

Level 2 Lenore Appelhans Book Cover

I have not read very many books that take place in the afterlife, which is kind of a travesty because it’s a fascinating concept. Level 2 is definitely set in the afterlife and it’s sort of like Purgatory, I guess. I don’t know, my church didn’t do the whole purgatory thing. ANYWAYS. Okay, so Felicia is dead and lives on Level 2. She has two best friends. And pretty much what you do all day is you go in these pods and you get to access memories. Either your own memories or someone else’s and you do that with credits. OKAY SO. One day this pod malfunctions and bad things go down. THEN a blast from Felicia’s past, this guy named Jude shows up. OH and she discovers there are evil angels called Morati. Yeah buddy.

So, what I really completely loved is that we get to know Felicia through her memories on the pod. We learn about how she was pretty much living in Europe with her ambassador parents, then some bad things go down and then Felicia is sent off to Kansas where she meets the love of her life — because obviously it was cut short — Neil. Who oh my god you guys, is actually not one of those weird Left Behind religious types, despite being ya know, knee deep in it. OH and did I mention that Julian was a part of her European life. TANGLED WEBS BEING WEAVED Y’ALL! Anyways, there’s memories of the most adorable romance EVER and we get to gratuitously read them and IT IS AWESOME.

Straight up, Felicia is my kind of girl. She’s not boring. She’s kind of hesitant about things with Neil at first, but obviously girl has a past to get over. PLUS when they are all running away from the Morati, Felicia is a grade A bad ass. I love it. She’s not all wah wah, I am so scared let me scream and yell so we call all the bad guys to where we are. NOPE. Girl knows whats up. Although, she does put everyone at risk to save somebody, still. I just respect her as a character and was never like this person is wayyyy TSTL.

So, Appelhans has built an interesting world. There’s obviously a battle between the bad guy Morati angels and the other seraphim. I love what she’s done with purgatory, making a Level 2 where you get to access the memories of your life and other people’s memories. I love that the memories seem to be rated kind of like youtube videos. What I think I loved the most was that while reading, I forgot that it was someone I know who wrote the book, that’s kind of a hard thing for me to shake.

Level 2 is very fast paced. If you’re doing a 2013 book a day challenge or have a super insane reading list, then you should add this book to your list. Not only will you finish it quickly, but you’ll also enjoy it, I think. It’s very well written with a world that makes sense. It’s got very compelling characters and a curl your toes with swooning sort of romance.

ALSO OMG. Can we just chat for two seconds about the ending without totally spoiling you guys. Okay so the ending is NOT a cliffhanger. Like, yes there is another book but I can handle the wait because the ending is at a logical point where the book can be totally self contained. I never was like OHHHH CURSE YOU LENORE APPELHANS FOR LEAVING ME DYING IN SUSPENSE. Oh hell naw, this book actually has a legitimate GOOD ending. And then, I also got to read the final ending that’s going in the finished copy and that is legitimate too!

For reals, I loved so much about Level 2 but I read it back in like October and it’s January as I write this, so yay lazy reviewing. Anyways, I do hope you all check out and read Level 2. It’s very swoonworthy, breakneck paced, with an interesting concept of the afterlife. Plus, it delves into religion without feeling preachy or churchy.I actually really loved how faith was portrayed in Level 2. Y’all, this is one hell of a debut so get off your butt and check it out like right this second.

Disclosures: Received at Simon & Schuster Preview party. Also I am friendly with Lenore. She’s given me German chocolate before. I just want to be totally transparent, y’all.

Other reviews of Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans:

The Book Life – “Level 2 is such a unique story.

A Foodie Bibliophile In Wanderlust – “an amazing job creating believable, complex, and interesting relationships among characters

Serendipity Reviews – “I thought the plot was ingenious and well paced

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I really like your review, April! I enjoyed reading this one too, although I had more mixed feelings about the characters/romance. But it’s definitely a fun, fast-paced book that’s perfect for those challenges, as you mentioned! I’m really curious about what will happen with the disappearing one in the next book…

    • Thank you, Wendy! I really liked the characters and the romance and just tore through the book. I am curious about book 2 as well and what is going to happen. Glad you liked Level 2 overall. 🙂

  2. I can’t wait to read this one! I adore Lenore and Level 2 sounds so great.

  3. I’ve been anticipating this book since I first heard about it at BEA, and I can’t wait to read it! It sounds like a pretty interesting story, and I love that it primarily features a way you can look at your memories and that of other people. Intriguing concept, to be sure!

  4. Oh, yay! I’ve been hoarding this book on my shelf because I had the same worries (I’m not friends with Lenore but “know” her) but I’m so excited to hear fabulous things. I think this will have to be my next read. Woot!

    • Mary, isn’t it interesting how we share those sorts of worries? I think as bloggers we really fear being biased and want to give the most honest review possible. Anyways.

      I’ts very fabulous and I can’t wait to see what you think of it!

  5. I’m really excited for this book, and I’m SO glad to hear it doesn’t end in a cliffhanger!

  6. Great review. AHHH, I need this book like CANDY. Yes, I just busted out a Mandy Moore song reference on you. I regret nothing.

  7. This is already on my list, but the fact that it has a “real” ending is a bonus. And, I can add it to my “Books You Can Read in a Day Challenge!” Thanks!

  8. Yay! I’m reading this one next and I’m really excited for it!!! It’s going to be KICK ASS! That is all.

  9. I’m SO excited for this book! Looks great! I love your YouTube references – I’m definitely intrigued!!

  10. I was also all about that ending and how things were wrapped up but still left you wondering what was next. Lenore knocked this shiz right outta the park.

  11. Hahaha, April, I was scared too! How would I look Lenore in the eyes or whatever the internet equivalent is if I didn’t like her book?!?! So glad that didn’t end up being an issue!

    DUDE, READ TOUCHING THE SURFACE. It’s an awesome afterlife book too, and you will love it. Just saying.

    What I super loved about getting to know her through her memories is how biased they were. Like we only see her favorite and least favorite, so we get this totally skewed perspective of her and all the others. I didn’t like Neil much, but I am so looking forward to getting to see what he’s like for reals, bc her memories are so obviously idealized.

    Ha, yeah, I love when characters don’t just stand around scared and screaming, hoping for someone to save them, but then really just bringing the danger.

    Oh man, if I’d read the book in October and written the review in January, the review would be the following:

    “I liked this book. Things happened. At least, I think they did. Whatever!”

    • YES! It’s scary reading a book by a person you genuinely like because you don’t want to hate it or anything.

      I will read Touching The Surface, and ahhh Kimberly is another person I genuinely like so that experience will be just as scary.

      I never thought about the memory experience being biased but you have a point because we don’t see the things in between.

      LOL, I do that all the time with reviews, write them months after reading, so that’s why they are so rambly because as I write, different things pop into my head.


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