Customer Reviews for

Elsewhere

Average Rating 4.5
( 529 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

47 out of 48 people found this review helpful.

Read It!

Liz is your typical teenage girl until she is killed in a car accident. She then finds herself on a strange boat with a one-way ticket to Elsewhere where she will begin her afterlife. All Liz wants is to be back home with her family and friends. She just can't seem to ...
Liz is your typical teenage girl until she is killed in a car accident. She then finds herself on a strange boat with a one-way ticket to Elsewhere where she will begin her afterlife. All Liz wants is to be back home with her family and friends. She just can't seem to move on from the past and start her new "life" in Elsewhere.

In her novel Elsewhere, Gabrielle Zevin weaves an intriguing story about a fascinating world called Elsewhere that will change the way you think about an afterlife. Elsewhere is the home to people who have died.
When Liz arrives in Elsewhere she meets her Grandmother who had died of Breast Cancer before Liz was born. Liz soon discovers the Observation Decks, which allow the residents of Elsewhere to see what is happening on earth. She becomes obsessed with watching her family and friends and even tries to make contact with the living, which is illegal in Elsewhere.
One of the things that makes this book so thought provoking is that every resident of Elsewhere ages backwards until they are babies. When they are seven days old, the babies are placed in the river to float back to earth where they are reborn. I think this an interesting twist that the author added to give the story more depth.
Elsewhere is a great book for readers who enjoy a little bit of fantasy mixed with realistic fiction. In the end, readers will come to understand that death is not something to fear. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin is a bittersweet book full of thoughtful details.

posted by CarlJM on February 26, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 49 people found this review helpful.

Gee what if we could just make up our afterlife!

I read the book, and I even read the reviews and am surprised to find so many think this is 'exactly' what happens after you die or MIGHT be. Well, I am not sure what the motive of the writer was, but introducing another myth about the afterlife to comfort people who fe...
I read the book, and I even read the reviews and am surprised to find so many think this is 'exactly' what happens after you die or MIGHT be. Well, I am not sure what the motive of the writer was, but introducing another myth about the afterlife to comfort people who feel a NEED to believe such fluff is harmful if it prevents them from asking more rational questions about life after death, God, etc.. Even just logically speaking, if kids really believed in Elsewhere rather than some depiction that could be demonstrated to be more reasonable and that truly prepared them for the afterlife, wouldn't Elsewhere be the WORST thing that ever happened to them?

posted by Anonymous on February 13, 2008

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  • Posted December 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Terrible

    After struggling to read the first two chapters, I had a headache. A pounding, annoying headache. This book is simply lifeless, and the characters are loose, aloof and weak. There was nothing worth reading about this book.
    I forced myself to read the first chapter, though I just couldn't continue reading half of the the second. It was simply loose. The writing was weak. I see that many people like this book, thouhg the reasons I do not understand.
    The characters are kind of wierd, too. A teenager like the main character would never exist. She thought of what she was saying, and the author made her seem like an angel. No one would think that deeply into what they do.
    The story itself is odd, peculiar, and strange.
    I do not recommend this book at all, though some readers that don't like thinking too deep into books might find this appliable.

    3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2011

    Not so much

    I liked this book but, it just didn't "fill my hunger" and hope I had.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2011

    Readable, But Not Lovable

    Although the story itself was both a new and creative outlook on the mystery of what will happen after you die, the writing is slightly dysfunctional and hard to follow, as it switches between third character omniscient and third character limited. Liz Marie Hall is a character that is relatable enough. She is an entirely average, normal and completely dull character. She wastes a frustrating amount of time moping about her early death when she could be enjoying her new life in Elsewhere. In fact, about a third of the book is listening to her pine about her dreadful situation. Although the main character is a boring person, that doesn't mean that all the characters are. There are some truly special and insightful characters in Elsewhere. Like Liz's Grandmother Betty who loves Liz, but doesn't know how to raise her. Or Curtis Jest, the lead singer of Liz's favorite band who died of a heroin overdose. The conflict of this novel is basically Liz's attempts to come to grips with the fact that she is dead. This is both fascinating and boring at the same time. Because although I found myself wondering what I would be like in Liz's situation, her problems became tiring and you soon lost interest in what would happen to her. The best part of the book was the ending. I can't of course give anything away, but Liz makes a decision that shows her ability to be a strong person, just when you begin to think that she is a gutless baby. This book holds the potential to be a light and easy read for most, but beware. If you don't have patience with the characters, this book could be highly unpleasant for you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 31, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A Unique Story that Could Have Been A Little Better

    The prologue was sort of amusing, but the first half of the book was dappled with moments of dullness. It was in the last half, after Liz started getting on with her "life" (death), that things started to pick up and get interesting. I thought it was cool that both Liz and I want(ed) to be vets and if I had gone to Elsewhere, I would have probably chosen the exact same avocation that she chose. Zevin's idea of the afterlife was truly a unique perspective compared to anything I've ever heard or read. I, personally, have Heaven set as my default place to go when I die, but Elsewhere strikes me as a good vacationing spot. lol. I like the idea of the fact that Elsewhere isn't some perfect place where bad things never happen and you never get hurt. It is bad things and hurtful moments that make one appreciate the good in their life. So even though the beginning could have been better, it was still a fast and pleasent read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2007

    cool cover, ok story

    Loved the cover. Loved the premise. But the dialogue and characters were stilted and unbelievable. This was plot heavy and character Lite. Cool ideas, tho.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2007

    A reviewer

    When I first read the summary of this book I thought 'WOW! This book sounds soooo different and cool!' I went right out and bought it, and finished it in 3 days. I pretty much only finished it that fast because I couldn't wait to finish it! It really had no plot, and I thought it was one of the most depressing books I have ever read. Just the concept of living backwards and the possibility of meeting people who you love and love you back and then never seeing them again just seemed so upsetting, and made me cry. I didn't think it had much of a plot, and seemed weak in some spots. In some parts, I really enjoyed it, but I really hated the concept. Not too many books I read are ones I don't like, but this was definately one of the ones I wouldn't recommend. I would only read this book if you don't mind depressing concepts, and plots about life, birth, and death. Otherwise, don't read it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2013

    I HAD to read this book for class. I hate reading but this book

    I HAD to read this book for class. I hate reading but this book was good. It held my attention until the end. I didnt understand the beginning. I started understanding more when Liz went to choose an avocation. Elsewhere is a very interesting place too me. Liz meets alot of interesting people in elsewhere. She is a great person in the book though after she get over being angry. Their should be a movie made based on the book. TerricA

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  • Posted May 8, 2013

    Elsewhere is a ok book.Its a book about a fifteen yr old girl wh

    Elsewhere is a ok book.Its a book about a fifteen yr old girl who dies in a hit and run accident.She wakes up on a ship called the S.S. Nile.
    She gets dropped off in a place called elsewhere.Where she meets a girl named Thandi. A girl who died from a shot in the back of the head.
    She also meets a rockstar called Curtis Jest who died from a drug overdose. She also has a grandma Betty who died from breast cancer. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2013

    Elsewhere was an ok book. My favorite part was when Liz got her

    Elsewhere was an ok book. My favorite part was when Liz got her job at the DDA. She was speaking canine and didnt even know it. I liked how Liz gets along very well with the animals and it helped her to like elsewhere a little more to me. I feel like Sadie helped her out alot and so as the DDA.My worst part of the story was when Liz was trying to do the sneakerclause. I say that because i really didnt want her to go there just because of Owen. Im glad Owen came to her rescue because it wasnt worth it to go back to earth yet. I also really hated how Emily came to elsewhere because i felt like it caused a lot of tension to the atmosphere.Im glad they decided to seperate.

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  • Posted May 2, 2013

     I have recently read Elsewhere with my reading class. I thought

     I have recently read Elsewhere with my reading class. I thought it was a very good book. It's about a girl named
    Liz who was hit my a taxicab. Then she finds herself in a place where everyone who has died goes. This 
    place is called elsewhere. It takes Liz a while to accept the fact that she is dead and might be here in 
    this strange place for her entire afterlife. The more she explores elsewhere and comes out of her shell she finds
    friends , love , peace, and most of all happiness. In my opinion this book should be read in classes all across the country .
     Simply because it teaches a valuable lesson. ~Julian Edmonds~

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2013

    Hello I'm a student in school and my class read this book so I'm

    Hello I'm a student in school and my class read this book so I'm writing a review. My Personal opinion was that the book was good but it just didn't give me the excitement I was looking for yet I couldn't put it down I was always waiting for the next event. Owen and lizzie's relationship saga and the unexpected love connection between Curtis jess and betty was a shocker and something that kept me entrusted. My favorite part of the book Emily came to elsewhere and a lot of commotion and everything changes between the couple. All when Emily comes mixed emotions pop up. My least favorite part of the book was when Owen chose Emily over Lizzie even though they were already "In Love" not cool. I Did like Emily and her character and how in the end Owen still ended up with Lizzie. Though I didn't like that when Owen couldn't get what he wanted he went to second best. In the end all well that ends well and it worked out then Curtis and betty just pop up . My favorite part of elsewhere is how they communicate with earth with the massage in a bottle then they talk to people through water I thought that was neat. Also how in elsewhere no one ever gets old or dies and you cant get sick so I liked that it was kind of like a dream place. The book is a pretty good okay in my opinion and it is great do a book report on or a group read but for me nothing I would personally pick. Autumn G

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  • Posted April 24, 2013

    this book is good to me , but it got on my nerves sometimes with

    this book is good to me , but it got on my nerves sometimes with the awkward conversation liz and owen would have , but its whatever . the book other wise was good the realationships though .... were a little retarded . but umm okay .

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  • Posted April 24, 2013

    This book is about a girl who dies in the beginning. She gets hi

    This book is about a girl who dies in the beginning. She gets hit by a cab. The cab driver drives off. When she wakes up she in some place called " Elsewhere".

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    Brox Masquerade Niki Grimes ... Nz Bronx m Bronx Mas Bronx Masquerade Niki Grimed Bronx Masquerade Niki Grimes

    This book is about love,dreams, and connections in a high school. This book is about diffrent kids in high school telling their feelings. On Fridays diffrent kids read their poems. My favorite episode is when devon talks because he plays basketball. And he dose open mike Friday. I kinda like this book if you like this book u will also like holes by Lewis Sacker

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    Okay

    Ya

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2011

    ?

    How many pages?????

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2011

    Didn't Meet The Expectations

    I have heard many friends rave about this book so I thought I would give it a try. I found that it was boring at most parts but I will give it that it was an interesting plot. It's deffinetly different but I don't think it's for everyone. Many people have different opinions about the "afterlife" and this explains one of those many opinions but it didn't hold my interest nor attention and it didn't have any parts that made me truly want to read on. Give it a shot and see what you think because many do believe it is a good book, but in my opinion I would spend the $7.00 on a different book.

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  • Posted January 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I expected better.

    When I first read the summary of the book and some reviews I thought I would love it. Don't get me wrong, I liked it ... But not anywhere near love. I think Gabrielle Zevin is a creative writer though and I will probably end up buying The Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac. If you're debating whether buying this book or another that is pretty popular like The Hunger Games or something, I would recommend buying The Hunger Games. Even though I haven't read it, I expect it would be better then this book. But it all depends on what you like. If you like light entertainment then this is the book for you. But if you like books with a little more surprise and less predicting ... then maybe you should just rent this from a library instead of spending money on it.

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  • Posted December 6, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    It's 'kay.

    When I first read the description, I thought, 'Wow, what a cool idea.' But the way it was executed was just alright. I was getting very bored during the beginning and middle, but the ending was cute.<BR/><BR/>I'm not going to say, this is a deffenate read. 'Cause it's not. But if you have a little extra time, and are looking for a cute book, it's okay.<BR/><BR/>And, I wouldn't buy it, but get it at the library.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2008

    Good

    I really think it was good but I'm a Christian and believing in that kind of afterlife is not ok. Don't get me wrong. I am a fantasy writer myself but in my defense, when your dead your dead. There is no coming back.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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