Book Review: Elsewhere

Book Review: ElsewhereElsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
Published by Farrar Straus & Giroux (BYR) on September 9th 2005
Pages: 277

Welcome to Elsewhere. It is warm, with a breeze, and the beaches are marvelous. It’s quiet and peaceful. You can’t get sick or any older. Curious to see new paintings by Picasso? Swing by one of Elsewhere’s museums. Need to talk to someone about your problems? Stop by Marilyn Monroe’s psychiatric practice.

Elsewhere is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different. Here Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. But Liz wants to turn sixteen, not fourteen again. She wants to get her driver’s license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. And now that she’s dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn’t want with a grandmother she has only just met. And it is not going well. How can Liz let go of the only life she has ever known and embrace a new one? Is it possible that a life lived in reverse is no different from a life lived forward?

This moving, often funny book about grief, death, and loss will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned.

Elsewhere is a book I've been meaning to read for a while. I found it in audiobook format at the library, so I picked it up. Listening to books helps motivate me to clean, workout and organize.

This book had such an interesting concept. This place called Elsewhere – the place you go after you die is so intriguing. You age backwards while you are there and then eventually become reborn on Earth as a baby. Beyond that, I loved the way this worked for Lizzie. That love could be found and you could still "live" in Elsewhere like when you were alive.

Liz reacted how I expected her to, like a girl pulled away from her life at 16. She becomes obsessed with trying to get a hold of her family and spends hours a day watching them. But things start to change, a boy shows up that makes her rethink her dislike of Elsewhere and her want to go back to Earth. The other characters I loved were the dogs – they were hilarious. In fact, the book starts from the POV of Lucy, Liz's dog.

Final Verdict: Everyone at some point thinks about what happens after we die, so I think it's easy to relate to this novel. Also, dog-lovers will get a kick out of this book.

Cover Commentary: Love it. I have a love for snowglobes.

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19 responses to “Book Review: Elsewhere

  1. Shy

    Very interesting, I must say and I’ve been hunting this book for a very long time now. The plot is what intrigue me most since I do love reading what ones idea regarding to afterlife. Hoping that I’d be able to pick this one up soon.

  2. I loved this one too! I’ve been looking for Gabrielle Zevin’s other book, but I can’t find it. This one was fantastic, though!


    I haven’t heard of this one. The plot sounds very unique. I’ll have to check this one out.

  4. Sandy Shin

    Great review! This sounds like a very, very intriguing book — and I agree, the snowglobe is pretty. 🙂

  5. Rebecca

    I’ve been wanting to read Elsewhere for ages I just haven’t gotten round to it yet. I may have to look for it soon.

  6. Emily a.k.a WilowRaven : )

    I really liked this one as well. Such a different take on what happens to us when we die. I’m a sucker for a happy ending too and this one had a perfect one 🙂

  7. Sassy CC

    Elswhere nis book i have seen but always left to later, I think I should stop doing that from this review.
    Thanks for the review.


  8. NotNessie @ Today's Adventure

    This has been sitting on my shelf awhile, and I just haven’t gotten around to reading it. It sounds really good, though!

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