Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Review of 'Elsewhere' by Gabrielle Zevin

"'Dear Dr. Fujiyama,

By now, you have probably heard that I'm dead. This means I won't be attending this year's regional science fair, which is a great disappointment to me as I'm sure it also is for you. At the time I died, I felt I was starting to make real progress with those earthworms.

I really enjoyed your class and continue to follow along from the place where I'm now living I now find myself. Dissecting the pig looked pretty interesting, and I thought I might try it. Unfortunately, there aren't any dead pigs here for me to dissect.

I was disappointed not to see you at the funeral as you were my favorite teacher, even including middle and elementary school. Not to give you a hard time or anything, Dr. F :)

Elizabeth Marie Hall, 5th Period Biology'

How can fifteen-year-old 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?"

I'm going to back to more books that I've read in the past. I haven't been getting through new books as quickly as I would have liked. Maybe this will make up for it in some way...

I have read this book several times-- it's just that good! I thought that it provided an interesting twist on where one goes when they die. It's not heaven or, uh, the place down there... it's just Elsewhere. It's like the life we live in now. The people have jobs (avocations, actually), they can drive, you can make friends and everything like that. The only real differences are, you can't die, and if you get into what would be a fatal accident, it'll take anywhere from a couple hours to a few days to recover and you're back to normal. You arrive in Elsewhere by boat. You also age backwards. If you die at the ripe old age of one hundred and four, you will eventually age backwards until you are a baby and at that point, you are sent back to earth to be born again.

The characters were all very lovable-- well, I wasn't terribly taken with Liz, but I digress... Owen was a sweetie, when he wasn't dealing with emotional trauma, Betty was someone you would really want to meet and become friends with/adopt in real life...

The reason why I didn't like Liz is because she just couldn't move on. She spent most of the book moaning and complaining because she couldn't change anything and she was still utterly attached to life on earth. But I supposed if she was able to move on and let go and start a new life, this wouldn't be a very good read.

Gabrielle Zevin is a genius. I recently picked up 'Margarettown' at the library, so I can't wait to read and review that. You should also read 'Confessions of a Teenage Amnesiac' (another book that I want to review, but I think that I should read it once more, because it's been a while).

Thanks for reading!



  1. Great review, Jude :)
    I'm a new follower from the Blog Hop. Please stop by and follow back!
    Hafsah @ IceyBooks

  2. Thank you!
    I will definitely stop by your blog as well.

  3. This book got to me-- I loved it. The ending seemed so perfect (and a bit depressing!) If you like this, you might want to check out "Heaven Looks A Lot Like A Mall" by Wendy Mass. It's a good read in a similar vain to this one!

    Hoppin' along!

  4. Thanks for the recommendation! I will add that to my list of books to read. Thanks for stopping by!


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