Summer Storm by Elizabeth Baxter
Release Date: September 25, 2012 / Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I wasn't sure what to expect when I began reading Summer Storm. It ended up being a good read though. I liked the main character Falen. She's a smart and tough girl. The writing was well done, and the story made me want to continue reading the rest of the series.
Summer Storm is actually a prequel novella to Everwinter, which I have not read yet. Apparently Falen shows up in Everwinter (not sure if she's a major character), so I'm glad I was able to read this before I started the first book. Hopefully she is able to figure out how to resolve the issues that were left open in this novella.
Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans
Release Date: January 15, 2013 / Rating: 2.5 - 3 out of 5 stars
It took me awhile to finish Level 2. I received an advanced copy back in October, started reading it, but put it down at around page 80 and didn't pick it back up until two months later. Needless to say I hadn't really enjoyed what I had managed to read.
The characters were unlikeable. Felicia was the narrator, but I could not connect with her in any way. Julian was a douche and so was Felicia for how they treated her 'best friend' Autumn. Basically, all the scenes in the book where Felicia accessed her memories before her death didn't do her and Julian any favors. Because no matter how much they seemed to have changed for the better or how remorseful they were, I couldn't dismiss how they acted back then. I didn't dislike Neil (Felicia's boyfriend), but at the same time, I didn't feel like he stood out or that I learned much about him. He was a bit too perfect.
When I finally picked this book back up again, I was able to finish it rather quickly. I liked that it was easy to get through, even if I still couldn't bring myself to like the characters. One other thing, the pace of some parts felt rushed. Especially the ending! It went by super fast. Things were resolved a bit too conveniently and easily. If you're interested in reading Level 2...I think you should go for it and form your own opinion about it because hey, you might end up liking it more than I did.