by Mónica González
After the swooning tellall chronicles of how I went out of my way to find the perfect blind date candidate, it wouldn’t be fair to forget about the details of the actual date. I had a pretty fun and intense time with The Memory of After, previously published as Level 2, written by Lenore Appelhans.
This novel narrates the afterlife of Felicia Ward, how she’s stuck in a place called “Level 2,” a place in between life on earth and death in heaven (which would be Level 3); and how her involuntary recruitment, to a rebel human organization against angels (who are harvesting humans for their energy) is key to their defeat.
Felicia doesn’t understand why she’s so important to the cause, all she knows is that she had a troubled past while on Earth and that in death, she can re-watch all of her memories. She spends all of her time reliving her memories of Neil, her handsome and kind boyfriend, who she wishes to reconnect with.
One day, a boy shows up in her chamber, but not she one she expected, or wanted to see. Instead of Neil, she finds herself facing Julian, the jerk who ruined her life before she met Neil. After her memory chamber goes up in flames, forcing her to escape, she has no choice but to trust Julian in hopes of finding Neil, and hopefully getting back home, wherever that is.
In general, it was a pretty enjoyable book. It had a very realistic portrayal of the typical “Church Youth Group” dynamic, as well as accurate biblical references mixed in with the actual storytelling. It was one of those books that kept you coming back to find out what happened, but I have to admit that it wasn’t exactly a match made in Level 3.
While I enjoyed the book, it left too many questions unanswered that should’ve been solved before a sequel. For example, there was a very important death in Felicia’s past that should’ve been explained better. It was the root of everything that happened and it remained inconclusive until the end of the book. Also, there were many things about Julian and his past that seem confusing as well.
I understand that since this book is part of a series, some of my questions will probably be answered in the remaining books, but Felicia’s lack of intrigue towards them, made me feel like these might’ve been mistakes that won’t be discussed prior to this novel.
Aside from that, it was an awesome read. I loved how the ending had a very conclusive feel to it, but leaving space to continue. In other words, didn’t end in a cliffhanger, but makes you think of all the possibilities.
In the end, I decided to give it a three star rating, which is actually a reasonable amount of stars to give. Needless to say, it might not have been my top choice, but I am certainly not chickening out from the next event.