( 530 )


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 ...

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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 2006 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In many ways, Elsewhere is out of this world. Within this pleasant, inviting place, so much like Earth, no one gets sick or grows old. In fact, everyone is growing younger. For 15-year-old Liz Hall, who arrives in Elsewhere after her demise, aging backward is not a happy prospect. Like any living teenager, she wants to turn 16, not 14; yearns to fall in love, not reenter infancy. Gabrielle Zevin's first teen novel about being dead offers keen insights about living.
From the Publisher
“A work of powerful beauty. This inventive novel slices right to the bone of human yearning, offering up an indelible vision of life and death as equally rich sides of the same coin.”—Booklist, Starred Review

“With an intriguing and well-developed premise, thoughtful characterization, and refreshing style, Zevin’s poignant novel rewards readers with a view of death that celebrates the rich complexities of being alive.”—The Horn Book, Starred Review

“Intriguing. Surely guides readers through the bumpy landscape of strongly delineated characters dealing with the most difficult issue that faces all of us. Provides much to think about and discuss.”—School Library Journal, Starred Review

“Zevin’s touch is marvelously light even as she considers profundities, easily moving among humor, wisdom and lyricism. . . . No plot synopsis can convey what a rich, wise spell this book casts.”—The New York Times Book Review

Elsewhere is a funny, fast-paced, and fascinating novel. The concept is completely out there and yet the emotions are so weirdly realistic. I loved reading the story of Liz’s life (death?).”—Carolyn Mackler, author of The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things and Vegan Virgin Valentine

“An unusual premise and a thoughtful treatment make Zevin’s first effort at writing for young adults a success. Will captivate teens ready for a thought-provoking read. Hopeful and engaging.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Funny and pensive, happy and heartbreaking. Readers from a broad range of beliefs will find this a quirky and touching exploration of the Great Beyond.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Fascinating. Zevin, in her first novel for young people, bends the laws of physics and biology to create an intricately imagined world.”—Publishers Weekly

“A fun and thought-provoking page-turner. Readers . . . will relish Zevin’s lively imagination and her fast-moving plot. Buy this book for them.”—VOYA

“Great humor and speculation, on pets as well as people.”—Chicago Tribune

“Zevin presents an intriguing concept of the afterlife in her first novel for young adults.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer (paperback edition review)

“A charming story about growing up, Elsewhere encourages the reader to look toward the future and to expect the unexpected.”—Armchair Interviews (paperback edition)

Publishers Weekly
Even readers who have strong views on what happens after death may find themselves intrigued by the fascinating world of "Elsewhere," the place 15-year-old Liz ends up after she is killed in a bicycle accident. A surreal atmosphere permeates chapter one as Liz awakens on a ship (mostly occupied by elderly people), unaware of its destination. Her situation gradually comes into focus after she arrives at the island of Elsewhere and is greeted by her grandmother, who died before Liz was born. Liz learns that the aging process works differently in this land of the dead: instead of getting older, humans (and animals) grow younger. When they reach infancy, they are sent down the River to be reborn on Earth. In other ways, Elsewhere resembles the world Liz left behind; residents work at jobs (although here, everyone has a chance to pursue an "avocation... something a person does to make his or her soul complete"), celebrate holidays and form friendships. Liz also falls in love for the first time, while her grandmother (who has progressed back to her thirties) becomes engaged to a famous rock star; and readers will likely be intrigued by the "strictly forbidden" Well. Prudently skirting the issue of God's role in Elsewhere (when she asks about God, Liz is told simply "God's there in the same way He, She, or It was before to you. Nothing has changed"), Margarettown author Zevin, in her first novel for young people, bends the laws of physics and biology to create an intricately imagined world. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Lizzie is dead. The 15-year-old was killed in a car accident on her way to the mall to meet a friend. This novel is the story of her "life" in the hereafter—in Elsewhere. Loosely reminiscent of the Greek myths, the people experience time backward, growing younger until they are infants who then once again return to Earth. Lizzie is a typical teen and she cannot believe that she is dead. The "life" she finds in Elsewhere seems to be a sick joke. What difference does it make where you live or what you do when you are dead? Lizzie lives with her grandmother, a woman she never knew on Earth, and she spends her days on the Observation Deck where she can see her best friend and family as they continue to live without her. She even tries to make use of an "escape clause," which would allow her to return to Earth after one year. Her adjustment counselor finds her a job and soon she is helping the dogs who come to Elsewhere. She meets Owen, a young man who pines for the wife he left behind. Together they come to terms with their existence in Elsewhere. Lizzie is able to experience some of what she left behind on Earth with a growing realization that love transcends death and that regardless of the situation, you can make the most of the circumstances in which you find yourself. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2005, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 288p., Ages 12 to 15.
—Janis Flint-Ferguson
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-This coming-of-age novel by Gabrielle Zavin (Farrar, 2005) has a unique twist. Although Liz is maturing, coping with disappointments, and controlling her anger, she is getting younger. Having been killed by a hit and run driver, she now lives in Elsewhere with the grandmother who died before she was born. After death, the residents get younger until they become babies and are reborn onto Earth again. Initially mad at the driver and sad that she will not have a boyfriend and attend the prom, Liz misses her family and is sullen and depressed. Gradually, she begins to realize that life is not so bad in the hereafter. Although written in the second person, the text and the narration by Cassandra Morris draws listeners into this new world, giving them a sense of immediacy. Morris's youthful, gentle, slightly nasal voice clearly brings out Lizzie's life and frustrations, and her tone becomes harsh to show anger. For the most part, she reads quickly, almost sprightly, but at dramatic moments she slows to heighten suspense. There is no significant voice changes to differentiate between male and female characters. An excellent choice to motivate reluctant readers or just for enjoyment.-Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An unusual premise and a thoughtful treatment make Zevin's first effort at writing for young adults a success. Liz Hall is 15. She's looking forward to getting her license, enjoying helping her best friend plan for the prom and anticipating a long, full life. Her sudden death in a hit-and-run accident puts an end to her life on earth-and that's when the story begins. Zevin's creation of a believable, intriguing afterlife and her depiction of Liz's struggle to adjust to her new situation will captivate teens ready for a thought-provoking read. Love, jealousy, grief, commitment, frustration and friendship all exist "Elsewhere," making death not that different from life after all. Personal choices still make a difference and characters continue to learn and grow, despite the fact that they age backwards from the moment of their deaths. Zevin's smooth, omniscient third-person narration and matter-of-fact presentation of her imagined world carries readers along, while her deft, understated character development allows them to get to know her characters slowly and naturally. Hopeful and engaging. (Fiction. 12+)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312367466
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 5/28/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 78,174
  • Age range: 12 - 18 Years
  • Lexile: 720L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.45 (w) x 8.18 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Gabrielle Zevin

Gabrielle Zevin is the author of award-winning books for young adults including Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, and books for adults including The Hole We’re In and Margarettown. She was also the screenwriter for Conversations with Other Women, which received an Independent Spirit Award nomination. Of her writing, The New York Times Book Review said, “Zevin’s touch is marvelously light even as she considers profundities.” A dog lover and Harvard graduate, she lives in New York City.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 24, 1977
    2. Place of Birth:
      Poughkeepsie, New York
    1. Education:
      A.B. in English and American Literature, Harvard College, 2000
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

ELSEWHERE (chapter 1)

At Sea

Elizabeth Hall wakes in a strange bed in a strange room with the strange feeling that her sheets are trying to smother her.

Liz (who is Elizabeth to her teachers; Lizzie at home, except when she's in trouble; and just plain Liz everywhere else in the world) sits up in bed, bumping her head on an unforeseen upper bunk. From above, a voice she does not recognize protests, "Aw hell!"

Liz peers into the top bunk, where a girl she has never seen before is sleeping, or at least trying to. The sleeping girl, who is near Liz's own age, wears a white nightgown and has long dark hair arranged in a thatch of intricately beaded braids. To Liz, she looks like a queen.

"Excuse me," Liz asks, "but would you happen to know where we are?"

The girl yawns and rubs the sleep out of her eyes. She glances from Liz to the ceiling to the floor to the window and then to Liz again. She touches her braids and sighs. "On a boat," she answers, stifling another yawn.

"What do you mean 'on a boat'?"

"There's water, lots and lots of it. Just look out the window," she replies before cocooning herself in the bedclothes. "Of course, you might have thought to do that without waking me."

"Sorry," Liz whispers.

Liz looks out the porthole that is parallel to her bed. Sure enough, she sees hundreds of miles of early-morning darkness and ocean in all directions, blanketed by a healthy coating of fog. If she squints, Liz can make out a boardwalk. There, she sees the forms of her parents and her little brother, Alvy. Ghostly and becoming smaller by the second, her father is crying and her mother is holding him. Despite the apparent distance, Alvy seems to be looking at Liz and waving. Ten seconds later, the fog swallows her family entirely.

Liz lies back in bed. Even though she feels remarkably awake, she knows she is dreaming, for several reasons: one, there is no earthly way she would be on a boat when she is supposed to be finishing tenth grade; two, if this is a vacation, her parents and Alvy, unfortunately, should be with her; and three, only in dreams can you see things you shouldn't see, like your family on a boardwalk from hundreds of miles away. Just as Liz reaches four, she decides to get out of bed. What a waste, she thinks, to spend one's dreams asleep.

Not wanting to further disturb the sleeping girl, Liz tiptoes across the room toward the bureau. The telltale sign that she is, indeed, at sea comes from the furniture: it is bolted to the floor. While she does not find the room unpleasant, Liz thinks it feels lonely and sad, as if many people had passed through it but none had decided to stay.

Liz opens the bureau drawers to see if they are empty. They are: not even a Bible. Although she tries to be very quiet, she loses her grip on the last drawer and it slams shut. This has the unfortunate effect of waking the sleeping girl again.

"People are sleeping here!" the girl yells.

"I'm sorry. I was just checking the drawers. In case you were wondering, they're empty," Liz apologizes, and sits on the lower bunk. "I like your hair by the way."

The girl fingers her braids. "Thanks."

"What's your name?" Liz asks.

"Thandiwe Washington, but I'm called Thandi."

"I'm Liz."

Thandi yawns. "You sixteen?"

"In August," Liz replies.

"I turned sixteen in January." Thandi looks into Liz's bunk. "Liz," she says, turning the one syllable of Liz's name into a slightly southern two, Li-iz, "you mind if I ask you a personal question?"

"Not really."

"The thing is"—Thandi pauses—"well, are you a skinhead or something?"

"A skinhead? No, of course not." Liz raises a single eyebrow. "Why would you ask that?"

"Like, 'cause you don't have hair." Thandi points to Liz's head which is completely bald except for the earliest sprouts of light blond growth.

Liz strokes her head with her hand, enjoying the odd smoothness of it. What hair there is feels like the feathers on a newborn chick. She gets out of bed and looks at her reflection in the mirror. Liz sees a slender girl of about sixteen with very pale skin and greenish blue eyes. The girl, indeed, has no hair.

"That's strange," Liz says. In real life, Liz has long, straight blond hair that tangles easily.

"Didn't you know?" Thandi asks.

Liz considers Thandi's question. In the very back of her mind, she recalls lying on a cot in the middle of a blindingly bright room as her father shaved her head. No. Liz remembers that it wasn't her father. She thought it was her father, because it had been a man near her father's age. Liz definitely remembers crying, and hearing her mother say, "Don't worry, Lizzie, it will all grow back." No, that isn't right either. Liz hadn't cried; her mother had been the one crying. For a moment, Liz tries to remember if this episode actually happened. She decides she doesn't want to think about it any longer, so she asks Thandi, "Do you want to see what else is on the boat?"

"Why not? I'm up now." Thandi climbs down from her bunk.

"I wonder if there's a hat in here somewhere," says Liz. Even in a dream, Liz isn't sure she wants to be the freaky bald girl. She opens the closet and looks under the bed: both are as empty as the bureau.

"Don't feel bad about your hair, Liz," Thandi says gently.

"I don't. I just think it's weird," Liz says.

"Hey, I've got weird things, too." Thandi raises her canopy of braids like a theater curtain. "Ta da," she says, revealing a small but deep, still-red wound at the base of her skull.

Although the wound is less than a half inch in diameter, Liz can tell it must have been the result of an extremely serious injury.

"God, Thandi, I hope that doesn't hurt."

"It did at first; it hurt like hell, but not anymore." Thandi lowers her hair. "I think it's getting better actually."

"How did you get that?"

"Don't remember," says Thandi, rubbing the top of her head as if she could stimulate her memory with her hands. "It might have happened a long time ago, but it could have been yesterday, too, know what I mean?"

Liz nods. Although she doesn't think Thandi makes any sense, Liz sees no point in arguing with the crazy sorts of people one meets in a dream.

"We should go," Liz says.

On the way out, Thandi casts a cursory glance at herself in the mirror. "You think it matters that we're both wearing pj's?" she asks.

Liz looks at Thandi's white nightgown. Liz herself is wearing white men's-style pajamas. "Why would it matter?" Liz asks, thinking it far worse to be bald than underdressed. "Besides, Thandi, what else do you wear while you're dreaming?" Liz places her hand on the doorknob. Someone somewhere once told Liz that she must never, under any circumstances, open a door in a dream. Since Liz can't remember who the person was or why all doors must remain closed, she decides to ignore the advice.

ELSEWHERE. Copyright 2005 by Gabrielle Zevin.

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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

1. Water is a powerful image and symbol that runs throughout the book. Liz’s story opens on the ocean; the Well is in the water; the Observation Decks face the water; Liz can communicate through a water source with her brother, Alvy. What other aspects of the importance of water are evident in the novel? Why does the author elect to use water as such an essential symbol? Comment on some of the other symbols, such as Liz’s stitches, the watch her father gave her, and the snow globe.

2. This novel is divided into three separate parts and also employs a prologue and an epilogue. Understanding the structure of the novel is important to understanding the story itself. Why is the scene with Liz’s dog, Lucy, the first glimpse the author provides of the story? How does this scene foreshadow what will come later in the novel? How does the epilogue bring the novel not to a close but to a resolution? What purpose do the three parts serve? What important events occur in each of the three parts?

3. There are many characters who are part of the story of Elsewhere, all of them critical to it. The author, Gabrielle Zevin, introduces the characters early in the story. Liz meets Thandi and Curtis on the ship, Grandma Betty upon her arrival, Aldous Ghent at the acclimation session, and Owen at the Well. No characters, not even the canine ones, are minor to the story. Explore how the characters move the novel forward. For instance, what important role does Esther, the supervisor at the Observation Deck, play? Why is Thandi critical to the story? Could the novel be complete without Sadie or Lucy or Alvy? How does each of them help Liz adjust to life on Elsewhere and come to understand that life on Elsewhere is something to be cherished?

4. Notice the allusions made to classic and contemporary literature throughout the novel. Liz recalls a line about antique lands. Aldous Ghent prompts Liz to read Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Liz reads E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web as she grows younger. Finally, Owen reads Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting to Liz when she is no longer able to read on her own. Every one of these titles deals with some aspect of life as it relates to Elsewhere as well as Earth. How does each address some facet of Liz’s life and experiences?

5. How does the author use humor in the novel? What examples of wordplay are evident? For instance, Liz is aboard a ship called the Nile and Thandi tells her she is in denial (de-nile). Another example of this gentle humor is when Liz meets Sadie and informs the dog that she is drinking from a toilet. Locate other instances of humor and discuss how it is used in the novel. Is the humor intended to defuse the emotion of a serious situation or scene? Is it more of a way to show how Liz is becoming acclimated to life on Elsewhere?

6. How does the structure of the site reflect the structure  and content of the novel?

7. Liz and all the other arrivals in Elsewhere are encouraged to find an avocation to pursue during their time there. Ghent explains to Liz that an avocation is something that makes one’s soul complete (page 74). Some of the residents of Elsewhere work in avocations similar to the jobs they did on Earth; others have new ones. Marilyn Monroe becomes a psychiatrist. Curtis Jest decides to be a fisherman and comments that John Lennon is a gardener. How do the avocations of Monroe, Lennon, Owen, Betty, Curtis, and other characters reflect what they really want out of their new lives?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 530 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 530 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 26, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    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 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.

    48 out of 49 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2010


    Elsewhere is so emotional and riveting, I couldn't stop reading it! Its hilarious and bittersweet at parts, and the relationships the characters have are fascinating. The afterlife described in this book is intriguing. The writing flows beautifully with the story and makes the reader want MORE!

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2008

    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 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?

    6 out of 50 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2010

    Best book ever

    I really liked this book because it kept me on the edge of my seat. I think the author did a really good job on this book because I enjoyed it very much. This was definitely the best book I have ever read. I recommend this book to other people like me who like fictional books. I really liked it there really should be another one!

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Well worth the read!

    In this unique vision of the afterlife, the recently deceased find themselves aboard the SS Nile, bound for Elsewhere. The thing about Elsewhere is that it's just like "here", with houses and cars and jobs, except that people age backwards, getting younger every year.
    "What happens when you hit the big zero?" you may ask.
    Let's just say that in Elsewhere, recycling is the way to go, gently down the stream, without a paddle.
    At first, fifteen year old Lizzie finds it hard to adjust to not being alive, but with the love and support of her now middle-aged grandmother, she is finally able to find her niche in death. Along the way she makes mistakes, but she also makes life-long friends, although of course that's a variable factor anywhere.
    A "coming of age" story in reverse and an intriguing concept (albeit a little over-simplified in certain aspects) this book is recommended for ages twelve and up, but definitely one to be considered.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2012


    The ending was the best. It was so well put together and happy that i felt like crying. Elswhere is about a girl named liz who dies getting hit by a cab when she is only 15 years old. After dying liz finds her self on the ship to elsewhere- a mgical land where the dead go only to be reborn again. Elswhere is an amazing book full of adventure, friendship, and even a little romance. An unforgetable storry that will remind you never to fear death. A great book that will keep you on the edge of your seat all night long.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2012

    Made me cry

    This was one of the best books I 've ever read. It was emotional and I was practically BAWLING at the end of this book.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012


    I dont read very often ... but this book caught my eye. This book i think is a very different type of perspective. It was quite obviously written by someone with a wild and creative imagination and i think it deserves to at least be given a chance if u cant buy the book read the sample or go to a library because trust me it was worth my time. if i could give this book more stars i would. :)

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    Loooooooved it!!!!!

    Great book! Definately one of my favorites.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    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 October 30, 2011

    Even the beginning was confusing and boring

    Th beggining of the book was really confusing. How were u even soppused to know that she was a dog? I didnt even finish reading the sample before i ended the book and deleted it from my library. I dont even understand where the author was coming from when she made the speaker a dog. No offense bur wjoever rated this more than two stars reling has boring tasteof reading choice. But than again that is only my opinion.
    Excuse my review if anything is spelled wrong typing on Nook is quite difficult.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2008

    Book lover

    I HATED this book. HATED it. I will say it gave an interesting theory but still worse book I ever read. Please Don't read this book! I would have rated it a zero stars but there isn't a rating that low.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2007


    When I first read the back of this book in the store, I was really excited. It was a book that was different than anything I've ever read. Okay, well I finished it in like 4 hours..but I was sooo disapointed, ugh. The book has a weird ending, puts you in a weird mood, and it's just..uh. So yeah I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2007

    A reviewer

    well, the story line is fantastic, and i wanted so bad to absolutely fall head over heals in love with this book. but i simply couldn't. Gabrielle zevin had an amazing idea when she came up with this, but sadly, i don't think she had the skill and talent to pull through with it properly. the story is written as if it should be read to a 10 year old. despite the fact that it has teen related situations, the actual writing and character info is poor. it just didn't come to life, like i felt it should have. it's the kinda story you hate to hate.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2007

    This is a REALLY bad book!

    This book was a horrible book for me. She died, then she ends up in this weird place, falls in love with a married dude, then is born again as a baby. It just doesn't make sense to me! She isn't even a very lovable character to me. I wouldn't EVER advise ANYONE to read this book! EVER!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2006

    A reviewer

    This book was poorly written, every problem was solved with a simple change of things. Everyones ends up happy. The way you age backwards is messed up too. THis is a horrible book. the only thing I liked was the very miniscule amount of romance in the book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2014

    I had high hopes for this book. It was described by other review

    I had high hopes for this book. It was described by other reviews as emotional, well-written, fantastic...all of which are not the adjectives I would use to describe Elsewhere.
    The concept of aging backwards is creative, but there are logic holes. For example, why can't Liz get her driver's license if she's still maturing mentally as opposed to the 7-year-old who drives by once? 
    Liz and Owen's relationship. Ignoring the whole unreasonable age dynamic others before me have pointed out, their story is lackluster. Owen first takes note of Liz because, apparently, she was "different" from others (hmmm...only the Most Cliche Reason for Taking Interest ever in fiction) in that she used the Well to tell her father about a sweater as opposed to more important things. Owen and Emily's reactions to each other at the pier were pretty flat for a married couple who had been separated for ten years and hadn't stopped thinking about each other. And then there's the matter of how unrealistic and convenient the events leading up to Liz/Owen's reunion was...
    There's a disappointingly lack of emotion. Part of the reason is the writing style; part of it is Liz; part of it is the story line. If I recall correctly, the climax of the story was about five pages and made me raise my eyebrow at the end. At no point did I particularly feel for Liz nor any of the other characters. Only one part in the entire book provoked a reaction from me, and that was a smile at the part with the "Liz For Now" tattoo on his buttocks.
    Whyyy did there have to be talking dogs? I get that Elsewhere is a utopia, a place from a fantasy, everything we'd idealize the afterlife to be, but the talking dogs were comical at best, and not in a good way. This book is geared towards YA, not eight-year-olds. Also, as a teenager, I found Liz's (and all of the characters', for that matter) style of speaking unrealistic. She speaks like how people write, and people--especially teenagers--do not speak like how they write. The occasional burst of teenage slang was a little pitiful, too.
    Elsewhere had an interesting premise and a lot of potential, which is the reason why I picked up the book in the first place. However, Ms. Zevin's style falls flat for me and I couldn't get into the plot, Liz, or any of the other characters as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2013


    READ IT READ IT READ IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2013


    Could you imagine dying and getting younger? I couldnt. Elsewhere is a must read book ! I would even read it to my kids if i had someone ! Read it !

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2013


    This book was really well written. You just connect with the characters. I loved it, would definitely read it again!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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