by Lenore Applehans
First sentence: “I couldn’t help myself.”
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Review copy given to me by the author.
Others in the series: The Memory of After (aka Level 2)
Content: There’s some mild violence and a few mild swear words. But the main character is obsessed with having sex with her boyfriend, so there’s a lot of talk about sex. They actually do have sex, eventually, but that’s entirely off screen. It’s in the YA section (grades 6-8) at the bookstore but I’m thinking about moving it.
Having saved Level 2 from the evil, vindictive Morati, Felicia and her boyfriend, Neil decide to move on to Level 3, to see what that part of the afterlife entails. They expect it to be all sunshine and roses, but when they get there, they realize that the Morati has made it through to this level, and they are terrorizing those there, determined to get Their Way.
Felicia is determined to be happy, to be with Neil, but that isn’t what is in store for her. She ends up in the middle of a conspiracy, trying to root out the Morati spies, while discovering more about her past. Her decisions have the potential to affect everything around her, from the safety of her friends to her future with Neil.
The question becomes: can she handle this?
I wanted to like this one, but I just… didn’t. I think a lot of that is that it’s just not my sort of book. I like my romances to be more organic, for a lack of a better word. I think I like to read about falling in love more than I like to read about actual relationships. It didn’t help that Felicia spent the entire book obsessing about wanting to have sex with Neil. I want more out of my female characters. And Applehans tried to give me more: Felicia, at times, was quite capable of being an interesting person. But too often, she went back to her relationship with Neil, with wanting to take it “to the next level” (pun intended?). And too often, I was annoyed with her.
Again, I think there’s an audience for this book. And it’s not badly written. I just don’t think it’s my cup of tea.