Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Title: The Best Things in Death
Author: Lenore Appelhans
Series: The Memory Chronicles, book #1.5
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Source: gifted by author
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Neil -- A week before his car crash with Felicia, Neil spends a perfect day at the swimming hole. He and Felicia have never been happier. But can he work up the courage to tell her that he loves her?

Julian -- Months before the events of THE MEMORY OF AFTER, Julian and Mira spy on Felicia and Autumn during a trip to Iceland.

Libby -- Character first introduced in CHASING BEFORE. Libby and her boyfriend Jeremy head off on a road trip to Las Vegas and stumble upon truths potentially deadly to their relationship.

Brady -- Character first introduced in CHASING BEFORE. An unexpected encounter with the charming Oliver brings cancer-patient Brady out of his shell.

I really liked the premise behind this collection of memories, the recurring theme of "the best things in life are free," and what we might see if we were able to pull up everyone's best memory. I also like that this novella serves to introduce us to some intriguing characters who will play a larger role in the sequel, as well as reacquainting us with the boys who stole Felicia's heart before her life was cut tragically short.

Neil Corbet, memory: Swimming Hole

This was the sweetest kind of memory. I can see why it would be a favorite of Neil's, except for that niggling need to divulge his feelings to Felicia. It's a memory of missed opportunities but also one that shows us that he hasn't always been the perfect church-going, youth-leading, choir-singing boy he is now. Or was, I guess I should say. I thought Neil was a little too perfect in Level 2/The Memory of After, but I'm terribly intrigued by what he's hiding, what he's locked away for safe-keeping, and who this Gracie person is to him.

Libby Hayes, memory: Road Trip

Libby's road trip memory was not at all what I was expecting from the title. Honestly, this memory was depressing, more depressing, and then just completely and utterly awful. Things seemed to be going okay for Libby and Jeremy, though I had some lingering doubts thanks to Marie. And the more I learned about Jeremy, the more I understood why Marie might be worried for her friend. But their plans aren't even the half of it. This particular memory will leave you reeling, shocked into speechlessness, and while some of the memories in this novella are at least somewhat hopeful...this one is decidedly NOT.

Brady Sandoval, memory: Latte Macchiato

A friendship based on a lie. A friendship that morphs into something more once the lie is out. Cancer. Coffee. Monster trucks and big-ass belt buckles. It's all quite entertaining if not but a little bittersweet. Brady himself is unbearably sweet and completely endearing and I want all the good things in life death for him.

Julian Jones, memory: Iceland

Julian, Julian, Julian. So many secrets. So much potential. I am still beyond intrigued by this boy angel angel-boy and what he means for Felicia's future. And now I, too, want to experience the joys of Iceland's thermal springs. Also, I just re-read Level 2 somewhat recently, but I don't remember the significance of that keychain...maybe it's in Chasing Before? Good thing I'll be starting on it momentarily so I can figure it out! :D

I really enjoyed the insight these memories provided into the characters that are sure to prove important in the next installment of The Memory Chronicles. And I love what each memory reveals about them and how easy it was for me to connect to them all. I know that the fact that we have their memories to experience along with them means that they're all dead already, but I sure hope things work out for all of them. Even the enigmatic Julian...who, if I'm being honest, is still kinda my favorite.

GIF it to me straight:
Bittersweet. Hopeful. Sad. Much how I remember Casper. 

The Memory of After (The Memory Chronicles, #1)The Best Things in Death (The Memory Chronicles, #1.5)Chasing Before (The Memory Chronicles, #2)

About the author:

Lenore Appelhans is the debut author of a YA novel THE MEMORY OF AFTER (also known as LEVEL 2) as well as a picture book CHICK-O-SAURUS REX (under the name Lenore Jennewein) with her husband, illustrator Daniel Jennewein.

Find Lenore:

Website | BlogTwitter | TumblrGoodreads

1 comment:

  1. I haven't had the chance to read these books yet but I can tell how much you're enjoying them. I like the collection of short stories that create a deeper insight to the actual novel it's based from.

    Great review!


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