Tag Archives: Lenore Appelhans

May Author Signings Recap & Giveaway!

Event: Author appearances by Lauren Oliver + Lauren Morrill + Lenore Appelhans, Richelle Mead, Pitch Dark Days Tour
Location: Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL
Date: May 2 – 9

So excited to finally be catching up on these author recaps! Anderson’s Bookshop (my local indie bookstore, for those of you who don’t know it) has had some AMAZING author events this month so far. I mean like, MY FAVORITE AUTHORS AND I GOT TO MEET THEM *happy dance*

LAUREN OLIVER, LAUREN MORRILL, LENORE APPELHANS
MAY 2, 2013

OMG, you guys. I was so nervous and excited to meet Lauren Oliver! She was one of the authors that even got me into YA in the first place!!! Meeting her was honestly a dream of mine, one of my “bucket list” authors, if you will. And don’t count out Lauren Morrill or Lenore Appelhans! I’ve been fortunate enough to work with BOTH of them for a Selective Collective feature, not to mention that MEANT TO BE was an instant favorite of mine!

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  • Firstly, Chicago traffic and rain made L. Morrill and L. Appelhans late BUT, the lovely Lauren Oliver was there to entertain us and introduce each of the books being promoted AS each other. She did a great job as Lauren Morrill and Lenore Appelhans! Very funny. I actually didn’t IMG_1275expect Lauren Oliver to be that outspoken and “bossy” as she called herself, maybe just because her books carry such a serious tone! She was a blast to listen to and I really heard some interesting things about her writing process!
  • Did you know that Lauren Oliver’s BEFORE I FALL was written entirely on a Blackberry? I did not!! L. Morrill said “SEE, there are no excuses not to write!” which I totally commend, but I would never be able to concentrate writing on the subway or in transit like L. Oliver did!
  • It was really interesting to hear Lenore talk about how she came up with ideas for LEVEL 2! She knew she wanted memories to be involved and involving good memories as sort of a currency. Lenore is a world-traveler so most of Felicia’s travels were easy for Lenore to write! And sadly…. There really are no prancing goats. That was a total creation from Lenore!
  • Quick bragging moment: Each of the authors played a game where they decided to read a passage from the book that they were promoting. Since Lauren Oliver was promoting the third and a trilogy and didn’t want to spoil anything, I volunteered my copy of Delirium. So Lauren Oliver read from my copy of Delirium and call me crazy, but I honestly found it SO. COOL. that the author herself was reading the very same book and the very same words that I read and fell in love with. It was an awesome thing for me!
Reading from my copy of Delirium eeeeep

Reading from my copy of Delirium eeeeep

Of course I was extremely awkward when trying to talk to any authors because let’s face it… I always am, BUT I did get to take photos with all of them and they were all super sweet!

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RICHELLE MEAD
MAY 5, 2013

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Okay, I know Richelle Mead is hugely popular and has had many, many books, but I had no idea that the crowd for this event was going to be that huge! Thankfully I come to these events alone (or not thankfully, because that sounds sad) so I was able to squeeze into a solo seat and not have to stand in the back for the whole event! I was SHOCKED to find out that probably about half of the people who were at this event came from two hours away or more (quite a few were four hours or more!!) so that just tells you the magnitude of her writing and the audience that she reaches!

  • Richelle started off by giving us a lengthy taste of THE FIERY HEART (Bloodlines #4) which actually alternates between Adrian’s & Sydney’s point of views. It was a darker & deeper side of Adrian and interesting to hear thoughts from his perspective. Usually I don’t like when books start with one narrator and switch to dual POVs, but I’m actually pretty anxious to hear what Adrian has to say!
  • The audience got to do a Q&A and there were some specific questions which Katie at The Polished Page Turner was kind enough to take notes on for her own recap of the event! I’m not a note taker so… I forgot all of them haha.
  • She talked about the MOVIE. I guess the guy who plays Dimitri, although most of us probably haven’t heard of him, is kind of a big deal in Russia so that’s pretty cool! I hope that the movie does the books justice because the VA series is one I felt come off SO well in books and I’m scared the wrong actors could ruin it! Hopefully not 🙂

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We didn’t get to do any posed pictures since there were SO many people so I got some awkward photos as someone was nice enough to snap a few haha. I made THE MOST awkward conversation with Richelle as she was kind enough to sign my books by telling her that I almost didn’t pick up VA because it was “another vampire series”. Of course I went on to tell her that I love it (duh) and I’m so glad that I read them because they’re really unique! I hope she didn’t think I was TOO awkward. I really shouldn’t be allowed to talk to authors. I don’t know how I’ll survive BEA with my pride intact.

PITCH DARK DAYS TOUR
MAY 9, 2013

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Fierce Reads isn’t coming into town, but I got to go to the Pitch Dark Days tour!!! Aprilynne Pike, Amy Tintera, Elizabeth Norris, and Kiera Cass were all in attendance and a great group of ladies to meet!!

I was kind of overjoyed that……. I forgot everything that happened. With four authors, it was all kind of a daze (in a great way) but once again, Katie at The Polished Page Turner did a great write up about it so I can refer you to her page haha. I feel terrible that I don’t take notes at some of these things sometimes because I have no specifics to tell you but I feel awkward being on my phone the whole time or writing things down. I just feel like I’m not paying attention even though I’m taking notes! So I just watched and listened, smiled and laughed and had a grand old time!

True to form, I made awkward small talk with the authors (I’m just SO BAD at small talk. Why do I do this???) and took pictures will ALL OF THEM.

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Also got to meet Alison from Harper! She was super sweet and a little ball of energy! She did a great job at moderating the event!! (Also a pretty awkward picture of me but… meh!)

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GIVEAWAY

Oh yes, there is a giveaway! I don’t have books from every author mentioned in this post (because I wanted to keep a lot for myself hahaha), BUT I do have a signed hardback of LIFE AFTER THEFT and a signed copy of THE INDIGO SPELL for one lucky winner! Best of luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is open until Friday 5/24/13. US and Canada entries only, please. (Sorry, international!) Go forth and enter!

Here are a few more upcoming events that I will be attending! If you’re going to be at Anderson’s in Naperville, IL for any of these signings, let me know and we can say hi! 🙂

Rick Yancey – The 5th Wave: May 22nd, 2013
Joelle Charbonneau – The Testing: June 4th, 2013
Young Authors Give Back Tour: June 14th, 2013

The Selective Collective Features Level 2: Review

The Selective Collective reads LEVEL 2 by LENORE APPELHANS

This the first of our January posts for The Selective Collective, we read LEVEL 2 by LENORE APPELHANS, sent to use by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for review and book club discussion. For my part in this month’s Selective Collective post, I will be doing the review for LEVEL 2!

The Selective Collective Features Level 2: ReviewTitle: Level 2 (The Memory Chronicles #1) by Lenore Appelhans
Publishing Info: January 15, 2013 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 1, 2013

    In this gripping exploration of a futuristic afterlife, a teen discovers that death is just the beginning.
Since her untimely death the day before her eighteenth birthday, Felicia Ward has been trapped in Level 2, a stark white afterlife located between our world and the next. Along with her fellow drones, Felicia passes the endless hours reliving memories of her time on Earth and mourning what she’s lost-family, friends, and Neil, the boy she loved.
Then a girl in a neighboring chamber is found dead, and nobody but Felicia recalls that she existed in the first place. When Julian-a dangerously charming guy Felicia knew in life-comes to offer Felicia a way out, Felicia learns the truth: If she joins the rebellion to overthrow the Morati, the angel guardians of Level 2, she can be with Neil again.
Suspended between Heaven and Earth, Felicia finds herself at the center of an age-old struggle between good and evil. As memories from her life come back to haunt her, and as the Morati hunt her down, Felicia will discover it’s not just her own redemption at stake… but the salvation of all mankind.

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Okay, let’s start by saying that this is a VERY difficult review to write without spoilers… BUT I promise that there aren’t any specific spoilers about plot or characters – Just clarification of the main idea of the book.

LEVEL 2 was definitely a unique story, combining a few different genres to come together to create one novel. We get a taste of dystopian, paranormal, and contemporary all wrapped in one. Based on the cover, I was personally expecting it to be predominately dystopian, but I was surprised to continue reading and find out there’s a lot more to the story than just the outward appearances of “Level 2”, where Felicia is currently passing the time after her death.

LEVEL 2 has a mix of fast-paced action sequences and touching flashbacks, thanks to the system that’s set up in the afterlife. Each “person” (spirit? I’m not quite sure what to call them because their very presence in Level 2 means they’ve already died) is able to catalog, store, share, and view their own personal memories and actually feel like they’re reliving them as well as having the ability to relive the memories of others for a fee. At times, I felt like the memories were a bit disjointed from the story when they cut through the exciting pacing, but a lot of them were our only insight to Felicia’s backstory as well as the stories of Neil, Julian, and Autumn and we get to see what Felicia’s life was like before Level 2.

I will throw a warning out there to all those who shy away from religious undertones and references because in this book, there are definitely a lot of them – We see Felicia and Neil not only at church, but youth group-like events which are a main part of their relationship. It’s up to the reader to gauge how that might affect their feelings about the book because it is a constant theme and in fact, some of it gets wound into the plot even deeper than just the relationship of Felicia and Neil.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about LEVEL 2. I finished the whole book in one day and was really curious to see what happened next, but at the same time, I was also confused on some of the plot twists in the end and just feel like they could have been written just a tiny bit better to clarify to the readers a little bit more and really secure their place in the story. I also had a very, very small issue with all of the different countries that Felicia travels to (via her memories) because of her parents’ jobs, traversing North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. My issue was that I didn’t quite feel like all of those scenery changes were necessary to the story. There wasn’t anything quite so specific that Felicia needed to be in these exact places for these events to occur so I was left wanting…. I’m not sure. A little more culture description? More attachment to the place? A reason to be there other than that’s where she ended up? Just my personal opinion.

LEVEL 2 definitely creates a unique story and has a lot of original ideas (or at least ones that I haven’t read about recently)! It’s quite an interesting adventure following Felicia through her adventure in Level 2, and I’m definitely curious to see how book two goes. I wouldn’t say we end with a cliffhanger, but it is a bit surprising and leaves me wondering about how the next book will start.

character_breakdown1Felicia: I was kind of back and forth with Felicia. Sometimes she and I were getting along great and than other times I was like, “Girl, you must be crazy!” She’s had quite a few polar opposites in her life so I felt like she was swinging back and forth a little too much for me to really make a solid character out of her. I want to say more about her but don’t really know what to say…. I almost felt like “old Felicia” was more of a real person than “new Felicia” and she was almost running away from her old self rather than growing into a bigger person.
Julian: I was all about Julian as Felicia knew him on Earth. Julian in Level 2? A bit confusing. Then towards the end I got even more confused, but to be honest, I was rooting for him!
Neil: I didn’t like Neil as the romantic interest for Felicia. He was too “good”. I don’t know… I think I just like reading about characters whose flaws are accepted and make them into better people. Neil didn’t have any flaws. He was a good, Christian boy and for me, it almost made him seem unrealistic. I’m not coming up with the right words for this, but I just didn’t like Neil very much.

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So that’s it! That’s my review for LEVEL 2. Have you read the book? What were your favorite parts? Anything that stood out? Haven’t read the book and excited to pick it up? 

And please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of WENTWORTH HALL so please go visit their take on the book as well!

Tee @ YA Crush  Roundtable: Book Club Discussion
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA  Casting Call: Level 2
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks  Exploring the Edgy Girl Meets Good Guy Romance
Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan  Author Q&A and Giveaway