(The Memory Chronicles #1)
Date Released: January 15th 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 288 pages
Date Read: January 15th 2013
*One: Welcome to Level 2/Limbo, where you can only access your memories.
Level 2 is the space between earth and....heaven? In this point you can only view your memories over and over, but you can also sort of trade your memories with the rest of the dead people. Ok so, this is really depressing, I mean, think about it, you die and you can only look at what you had, the people you loved, what you lost. I'd want to kill myself even if I was already dead. I personally think it would be really miserable and seriously depressed, just there never going anywhere. Because even though our memories are what make us, I still don't think I'd just want to spend the rest of... limbo watching them.
Felicia was not depressed and neither of her companions - that's fine. But they also weren't really questioning things or trying to break free. They seemed way too calm for my taste, also immature. One would think that after watching your life a couple of thousands of times you would have a different vision of things, be a bit of an 'old soul', but no; Felicia and her 'friends' are just a bunch of teenage giggly girls that want boys.
*Two: Flashbacks/Memories. Lots of them.
Usually when there's flashbacks in books they annoy me, in Level 2 they were actually enjoyable. I think they were better than the 'present'. Bonus point on the author for managing the memories well, they weren't tedious, nor was I tapping my foot impatiently waiting for them to be over. So yeah, thumbs up to that.
Oh and speaking of memories, Felicia has this really terrible terrible past, well, I personally didn't think it was THAT terrible. Sure, she made lots of BIG mistakes, but I felt like she was a little bit too dramatic about them - my opinion, of course.
Another good point for the author. Writing about things like the in between and heaven and such can be a tricky subject. There's God, good, evil and so many things that can be hard to go through, but I do think that the author handled them really well. And even if a lot of Felicia's memories had to do with Church and her Christian Camp, it didn't feel like they were trying to shove religion down my throat. Double thumbs up.
*Four: The characters.
All, and I do mean ALL of the characters in this novel were as flat as cardboard sheets. If something happened to any of them, I didn't care. There was an exiting moment for Felicia, I felt nothing. She was in love, nothing. She was angry, nada. Just, meh. I passed the pages, and I never engaged with the novel. They could have all died and I really would have not cared at all.
There were parts that were meant to be inspiring, but I just read and read and kept thinking 'yeah yeah, what's next?' The only emotion this book managed to provoke in me was frustration. Here and there Felicia would say or do things that made me want to hit her, she seemed too selfish or too stubborn to me. Her little tantrums would appear here and there through the book, apart from that, she was flat.
*Five: The wanna-be Love triangle?
I'm not even sure if it was supposed to be a sort of Love triangle, but I really felt nothing for either of the boys. Neil seemed as plain as Felicia. Julian was the only character that seemed slightly interesting and I have no idea of what happened to him by the end of the book. Basically he would be the only reason why I would read the next book in this series (I still don't know if I will)
*Six: The Ending (no spoilers, don't worry)
I mean, what? I read it two times and I believe that I was meant to feel something? like, you know, apart from confusion? I guess it was meant to be sort of...intense? because a lot of things do happen in those last few pages but, em... yeah, no, just no.
The book wasn't THAT bad. I did NOT love the story, nor did I hate it. It was a simple meh. It's sad, I really hoped I would like it, especially because the story did have its value. It really points how our memories make us who we are and that they are really all we have. The people we meet, the things we go through, both good and bad are all part of us, you can't erase anything, otherwise you wouldn't be the you you are right now. I tried to engage with the story, but it didn't work. This was all my personal opinion, lots of people loved this book, in fact I have yet to stumble on a bad review, maybe I'm just weird, but this was not my type of book.
I do think that it's a book worth a try. I suggest you pick it up and see what you think, because just as it was not my cup of tea, it can easily be your perfect cup of tea. Overall it was okay, I guess. Will I continued with the next book? Maybe.
This book was given to me by the publisher. This was my honest review.