Monday, December 16, 2013

Bookish Thoughts: Young Adult Fantasy (Semi) Mini Reviews

The Memory of After (The Memory Chronicles #1) by Lenore Appelhans
(Simon and Schuster, 2013; 304 pgs)

The Memory of After by Lenore Appelhans is a combination of romance and science fiction set in the after life on what is referred to as Level 2 (the original title of the book).  It's not a particularly happy place, Felicia has found, and she wonders if there is more to it or if this is what eternity will mean for her.  When an old friend from her past appears and asks for her help, promising to re-unite her with the boy she loved in life, Felicia agrees.  She soon finds herself in the middle of a rebellion and isn't sure which side she really should be on.

I wanted to like this book more than I did.  I wanted to love it.  Unfortunately, I never completely warmed to Felecia's character, although I did come to care for her and want a good outcome for her.  I wasn't as taken with Neil as one might expect, unusual given his "good boy" status, which is the guy I typically fall for, as rare as that might be of the female species.  He seemed a bit too perfect, really.  I was, however, especially curious about Julian. To me, he was the most interesting character.  There were moments I wondered if the book was meant to have a Christian Fiction edge to it.  Which wouldn't be a bad thing, but it wasn't what I expected.  

That said, I really liked the way the author told her story, sharing the characters' backstories through memories.  The flashbacks never felt forced or out of place.  And the timing was perfect, building the suspense to the climax.  I never lost interest in the story. 
Rating:   (Fair +)

To learn more about the author and her books, please check out the author's website.

Source: I purchased both a hard copy and e-copy of this book for my reading pleasure.

Die for Her by Amy Plum
Harper Teen, 2013; 60 pgs

If I Should I Die by Amy Plum
Harper Teen, 2013; 405 pgs

I was first introduced to the Revenants Trilogy by Marg of The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader, and was instantly taken in by the world Amy Plum had created.

It is next to impossible to review the third book of a trilogy without giving away spoilers, and given the ending of the second book which had a huge cliffhanger, to say much of anything about what this book is about would give too much away.  Therefore, I refer you to my review of the first two books, Die For Me and Until I Die, and will only lightly touch on my thoughts on the final two installments in the trilogy.

Die For Her is a novella, an aside really, in the trilogy. Written from the perspective of one of the major series characters, Jules Marchenoir, readers get to experience the events in the first two books through someone else's eyes.  Jules is an interesting character to begin with.  He is the best friend of our heroine Kate's boyfriend, Vincent.  Jules is a Bardia, a Revenant who fights to save the lives of humans.  I enjoyed getting to know Jules better, but mostly I found this novella a great way to refresh my memory of the first two books which I read last year in preparation for the third.

If I Should I Die is perhaps my favorite book in the trilogy.  Kate still has that too perfect air about her, but she also seems more vulnerable.  This novel is full of tense moments that had me nearly biting my finger nails.  I really wanted Kate and the Bardia to come out on top.  I've come to care for many of the characters.  I shared their disbelief, doubts, pain and victories.  I also shared in their grief.  Should I Die is the big war between good and evil the other books have been building towards, and  it did not disappoint.  I thought the ending was perfect--although I do wonder about Louis.

Rating: * (Good +)

To learn more about the author and her books, please check out the author's website.

Source: I purchased a copy of these two books for my own reading pleasure.

© 2013, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. Funny, yesterday I was thinking about how many YA books deal with death, afterlife, ghosts, etc. I've read two in a row with this kind of plot, and it started me thinking about all of the similar books (especially YA) I've read in the last year. Maybe I should assemble a list of titles and rate them. :)

    Now you've given me two more to consider!

    1. Jenclair - Quite a few deal with death, you're right! I hadn't really thought of it before.

  2. I would like to read Amy Plum sometime, her books seem to be everywhere so I'd like to see what the fuss is about! Level 2 I wondered about because of the author's background, but I'm not sure otherwise. It is good to hear the ending is well written though.

    1. Charlie - Level 2 (The Memory of After) has gotten some really good reviews, so don't let mine alone be the determining factor.

      I've enjoyed Amy Plum's books. I wouldn't say they would be counted in my top favorite YA series (if I had a list), but they are entertaining.

  3. I have The Memory of After and really should get to it at some point... I also read the first Amy Plum book, didn't mind it, and then promptly forgot about the series...

    1. Kelly - Haha! I can see that. At first, I had to remind myself I wasn't reading the Mortal Instruments series when reading these final two installments of the Revenant trilogy. They're different enough, but similar too.

      I'll be curious to read your thoughts on The Memory of After. It was a hard review to write, given the author and I are book blogging acquaintances. I'm just not sure the book was for me, ultimately. Not to mention I can be hard on YA fiction. Others have loved it though, and hopefully you will too.

  4. Oh too bad the Memory of After wasn't better. It sounded like it had potential. And, I had to skim your review of the Plum book because I really want to read the series! You got me hooked from your review of If I Should Die!

    1. Iliana - You might really like The Memory of After. It just wasn't for me, I don't think.

      I hope you do enjoy the Plum books if you give them a try!


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