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4.4 531
by Gabrielle Zevin

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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,


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.

Editorial Reviews

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.
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+)
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)

Product Details

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
8.48(w) x 10.06(h) x 0.94(d)
720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin (Farrar Straus Giroux / September 2005)

Welcome to Elsewhere

"We're here!" Thandi is looking out the upper porthole when Liz enters the cabin. She jumps down from the top bunk and throws her solid arms around Liz, spinning her around the cabin until both girls are out of breath.

Liz sits down and gasps for air. "How can you be so happy when we're...?" Her voice trails off.

"Dead?" Thandi smiles a little. "So you finally figured it out."

"I just got back from my funeral, but I think I sort of knew before."

Thandi nods solemnly. "It takes as long as it takes," she says. "My funeral was awful, thanks for asking. They had me made up like a clown. I can't even talk about what they did to my hair." Thandi lifts up her braids. In the mirror, she examines the hole in the back of her head. "It's definitely getting smaller," she decides before lowering her braids.

"Aren't you at all sad?" Liz asks.

"No point in being sad that I can see. I can't change anything. And I'm tired of being in this little room, Liz, no offense."

An announcement comes over the ship's PA system: "This is your captain speaking. I hope you've enjoyed your passage. On behalf of the crew of the SS Nile, welcome to Elsewhere. The local temperature is 67 degrees with partly sunny skies and a westerly breeze. The local time is 3:48 p.m. All passagers must now disembark. This is the last and only stop."

"Don't you wonder what it's like out there?" Liz asks.

"The captain just said. It's warm with a breeze."

"No, not the weather. I meant, everything else."

"Not really. It is what it is, and all the wondering in the world isn't gonna change it." Thandi holds out her hand to help Liz off the bed. "You coming?"

Liz shakes her head. "The ship's probably super crowded. I think I'll wait here a bit, just until the halls clear out."

Thandi sits next to Liz on the bed. "I'm in no particular rush."

"No, you go on ahead," says Liz. "I want to be by myself."

Thandi looks into Liz's eyes. "Don't you stay in here forever."

"I won't. I promise."

Thandi nods. She is almost out the door when Liz calls out to her, "Why do you think they put us together anyway?"

"Beats me." Thandi shrugs. "We were probably the only two sixteen-year-old girls who died of acute head traumas that day."

"I'm fifteen," Liz reminds her.

"Guess that was the best they could do." Thandi pulls Liz into a hug. "It was certainly nice meeting you, Liz. Maybe I'll see you again someday."

Liz wants to say something to acknowledge the profound experience that she and Thandi have just shared, but she can't find the right words. "Yeah, see you," Liz replies.

As Thandi closes the door, Liz has the impulse to call out and ask her to stay. Thandi is now her only friend, except for Curtis Jest. (And Liz isn't even sure if she can count Curtis Jest a friend.) With Thandi gone, Liz feels more alone and wretched than she has ever felt before.

Liz lies down on the bottom bunk. All around her, she can hear the sounds of people leaving their cabins and walking through the ship's halls. Liz decides to wait until she can't hear any more people and only then will she venture from her cabin. In between doors opening and closing, she listens to snippets of conversation.

A man says, "It's a little embarrassing to only have these nightgowns to wear..."

And a woman, "I hope there's a decent hotel..."

And another woman, "Do you think I'll see Hubie there? Oh, how I have missed him!"

Liz wonders who "Hubie" is. She guesses he is probably dead like all the people on the Nile, dead like she is. Maybe being dead isn't so bad if you are really old, she thinks, because, as far as she can tell, most dead people are really old. So the chance of meeting new people your own age is quite good. And all the other dead people you knew from before you died might even be in the new place, Elsewhere, or whatever it was called. And maybe if you got old enough, you'd know more dead people than live ones, so dying would be a good thing, or at least wouldn't be so bad. As Liz sees it, for the aged, death isn't much different than retiring to Florida.

But Liz is fifteen (almost sixteen), and she doesn't personally know any dead people. Except for herself and the people on the trip, of course. To Liz, the prospect of being dead seems terribly lonely.

On the drive over to the Elsewhere pier, Betty Bloom, a woman prone to talking to herself, remarks, "I wish I had met Elizabeth even once. Then I could say, 'Remember that time we met?' As it is, I have to say, 'I'm your grandmother. We never met, on account of my untimely death from breast cancer.' And frankly, cancer is no way to begin a conversation. In fact, I think it might be better not to mention cancer at all. Suffice it to say, I died. At the very least, we both have that in common." Betty sighs. A car honks at her. Instead of speeding up, Betty smiles, waves, and allows the car to pass. "Yes, I am perfectly content to be driving at the speed I'm driving. If you wish to go faster, by all means go," she adds.

"I do wish I had more time to prepare for Elizabeth's arrival. It's odd to think of myself as someone's grandmother, and I don't feel very grandmotherly at all. I dislike baking, all cooking actually, and doilies and housecoats. And although I like children very much, I'm not very good with them, I'm afraid.

"For Olivia's sake, I promise not to be strict or judgmental. And I promise not to treat Elizabeth like a child. And I promise to treat her like an equal. And I promise to be supportive. And I won't ask too many questions. In return, I hope she'll like me a little bit, despite anything Olivia may have told her." For a moment, Betty falls silent and wonders how Olivia, her only child, is doing. Arriving at the pier, Betty checks her reflection in the rearview mirror and is surprised by what she sees. "Not quite old, not quite young. Very strange, indeed."

An hour passes. And then another. The halls grow quiet and then silent. Liz begins to hatch a plan. Maybe she could just be a stowaway? Eventually the boat would have to make a return trip, right? And if Liz just stays on it, maybe she could simply return to her old life. Maybe it's really that easy, Liz thinks. Maybe when she heard stories of people who had had near-death experiences, people who had flatlined and then come back, those "lucky" people were not lucky at all. They were the ones who knew enough to stay on the boat.

Liz imagines her homecoming. Everyone will say, "It's a miracle!" All the newspapers will cover it: LOCAL GIRL BACK FROM DEAD; CLAIMS DEATH IS CRUISE, NOT WHITE LIGHT, TUNNEL. Liz will get a book deal (Dead Girl by Liz Hall) and a TV movie (Determined to Live: The Elizabeth M. Hall Story) and an appearance on Oprah to promote both.

Liz sees the doorknob move, and the door begins to open. Without really thinking about it, she hides under the bed. From her position, she can see a boy of around her brother's age, dressed in a white captain's costume with gold epaulets and a matching captain's hat. He sits himself on the lower bunk and appears to take no notice of Liz.

The boy's only movement is the slight swinging of his legs. Liz notices that his feet barely reach the floor. She has a perfect view of the soles of his shoes. Someone has written L on the left one and R on the right one in black marker.

After a few minutes, the boy speaks. "I was waiting for you to introduce yourself," he says with an unusually mature voice for a child, "but I don't have all day."

Liz doesn't answer.

"I am the Captain," the boy says, "and you are not supposed to be in here."

Liz still doesn't answer. She holds her breath and tries not to make a single sound.

"Yes, girl under the bed. The Captain is speaking to you."

"The Captain of what?" Liz whispers.

"The Captain of the SS Nile, of course."

"You look a little young to be the captain."

"I assure you my experience and qualifications are exemplary. I have been the Captain for nearly one hundred years."

What a comedian, Liz thinks. "How old are you?"

"I am seven," the Captain says with dignity.

"Isn't seven a bit young to be a captain?"

The Captain nods his head. "Yes," he concedes, "I must now take naps in the afternoon. I will probably retire next year."

"I want to make the return trip," Liz says.

"These boats only go one way."

Liz peers out from under the bed. "That doesn't make sense. They have to get back somehow."

"I don't make the rules," says the Captain.

"What rules? I'm dead."

"If you think your death gives you free rein to act as you please, you are wrong," says the Captain. "Dead wrong," he adds a moment later. He laughs at his bad pun and then abruptly stops. "Let's suspend disbelief for a moment, and say you managed to take this boat back to Earth. What do you think would happen?"

Liz pulls herself out from under the bed. "I suppose I'd go back to my old life, right?"

The Captain shakes his head. "No. You wouldn't have a body to go back to. You'd be a ghost."

"Well, maybe that wouldn't be so bad."

"Trust me. I know people who've tried, and it's no kind of life. You end up crazy, and everyone you love ends up crazy, too. Take a piece of advice: get off the boat."

Liz's eyes are welling up with tears again. Dying certainly makes a person weepy, she thinks as she wipes her eyes with the back of her hand.

The Captain pulls a handkerchief out of his pocket and hands it to her. The handkerchief is made from the softest, thinnest cotton, more like paper than cloth, and is embroidered with the words The Captain. Liz blows her nose in it. Her father carries handkerchiefs. And the memory necessitates another nose blow.

"Don't cry. It's not so bad here," the Captain says.

Liz shakes her head. "It's the dust from under the bed. It's getting in my eyes." She returns the handkerchief to the Captain.

"Keep it," says the Captain. "You'll probably need it again." He stands with the perfect posture of a career military man, but his head only comes up to Liz's chest. "I trust you'll be leaving in the next five minutes," he says. "You don't want to stay." And with that, he quietly closes the cabin door behind him.

Liz considers what the strange little boy has said. As much as she longs to be with her family and her friends, she doesn't want to be a ghost. She certainly doesn't want to cause more pain to the people she loves. She knows there is only one thing to do.

Liz looks out the porthole one last time. The sun has almost set, and she passingly wonders if it is the same sun they have at home.

The only person on the dock is Betty Bloom. Although Liz has never seen Betty before, something about the woman reminds Liz of her own mother. Betty waves to Liz and begins walking toward her with purposeful, even strides.

"Welcome, Elizabeth! I've been waiting such a long time to meet you." The woman pulls Liz into a tight embrace that Liz attempts to wiggle out of. "How like Olivia."

"How do you know my mother?" Liz demands.

"I'm her mother, your Grandma Betty, but you never met me. I died before you were born." Grandma Betty embraces Liz again. "You were named for me; my full name's Elizabeth, too, but I've always been Betty."

"But how is that possible? How can you be my grandmother when you look the same age as my mother?" Liz asks.

"Welcome to Elsewhere." Grandma Betty laughs, pointing matter-of-factly to the large banner that hangs over the pier.

"I don't understand."

"Here, no one gets older, everyone gets younger. But don't worry, they'll explain all of that at your acclimation appointment."

"I'm getting younger? But it took me so long to get to fifteen!"

"Don't worry, darling, it all works out in the end. You're going to love it here."

Understandably, Liz isn't so sure.

Excerpt from ELSEWHERE by Gabrielle Zevin. Copyright © 2005 by Gabrielle Zevin. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC in 2005. All rights reserved. Visitors to this Web site are warned that this work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.

Meet the Author

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.

Brief Biography

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

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Elsewhere 4.4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 531 reviews.
CarlJM More than 1 year ago
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.
SeasandOceans More than 1 year ago
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!
penguin123 More than 1 year ago
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!
Jessi-21 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! Definately one of my favorites.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its a good book to put down when you are bored or mad. I think its a good book to read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book that I have ever read in my whole entire life
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much and never wanted it to end! It was so descruprive and i felt like i was there
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
READ IT READ IT READ IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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 !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was really well written. You just connect with the characters. I loved it, would definitely read it again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So we have our typical, everyday, run-of-the-mill mail character, Liz. She's your average teenage girl who is pretty and smart and she leads a normal life...until she gets hit by a cab. This book talks about her journey through the afterlife and how she deals with the fact that she is dead. I thought the begining was amazing and I could not seem to put the book down but it was a little short for my taste. If you prefer short and sweet, this book would greatly appeal to you but if you like a longer book that goes in to detail about the story then maybe this book won't appeal to you as much. Even though I did enjoy Elsewhere, I feel a little cheated and dissapointed. So to sum up, a great beginning and middle but the end of the book went by way too fast.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this book at my school library. I absolutly loved it. I made my mom read it and she said the main character is just like me. We both like dogs, but she is has a very different story than I do. While in the end don't we all have different stories. :) D.N.
nelliebly1025 More than 1 year ago
A great book on a very interesting subject. You follow the story of a young teenage girl as she grows into a wonderful women, but her body gets younger. The author is captivating in getting you into the story. A simple read, I read it in one day, but well worth. 4 stars only because it was too short!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book "Elsewhere" was a amazing book. Gabrielle Zevin created a story of a fantasy land to take place of heaven. When th main character dies of a car crash she ends up on a boat with other people. She makes many friends but is really confused on why she is on a boat and where is the boat taking her? Zevin really makes the book good when the main character is clueless on not knowing where she is. She makes the story a story you can't put down until you finish reading it. Its breath taking descriptions makes you feel like your actually there. You follow the main character until she is a small baby again and goes back to earth. The many adventures of the main character in her after life include all the same things you would do in real life. This makes the book amazingly good. She falls in love in her after life but then gets to young to realize where she is. Gabrielle Zevin is a amazing author and put a amazing book "Elsewhere." -Katie H.
ElizabethRG More than 1 year ago
The book Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin was absolutely outstanding. The logic of the book was kind of hard to grasp, but after a while the fact of where she was living didn't make my head hurt as much. I think that the author really put lots of thought and time into this book. Even the story line amazes me; the plot of the story is about a girl that gets hit by a car and dies. She wakes up on a ship and has no idea where it goes and doesn't remember what happened last. She is kind of stuck with her past and has trouble moving forward, but eventually pushes through. For someone to write a book that is so "out of the box" blows my mind. I could almost perfectly in vision every aspect of the book. Some of the concepts were so unreal while others were everyday life things. I think that this book was a dazzling book with many new ideas to get your brain going. It is definitely one of my all time favorite books and I recommend it to everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Elsewhere is a very creative story. The author takes you on a jurney though Liz's hard lose; her life. She finds herself in Elsewhere where she meets her Grandmother and other great characters. She also finds out that you age back. She will never be 16, go to prom or drive. She trys to cope with the fact that she is gone but she can't. She meets new friends and someone that helps her cope with her lose. By the end of Elsewhere you will be believing that Elsewhere is real! It is amazing at how the auther created such a story!
soon_to_be_a_teacher More than 1 year ago
I read this book for as a project for my college class in adolesent literature. I felt this would be a good book for a young person to read especially after they might have lost a loved one, it gives one a sense that live goes on after death in a different way, and that your loved ones can still see you and watch over you.
bookaholic_girl More than 1 year ago
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.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Stories about the Afterlife have always appealed to me. There are thousands upon thousands of interpretations out there about what, exactly, happens to a person after they die. ELSEWHERE is a new spin on an old topic, but it manages to bring emotion, realism, and entertainment to something that is, in most circumstances, a very depressing situation. To me, ELSEWHERE is a combination of Mitch Albom's THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN and Alice Sebold's THE LOVELY BONES, two other wonderful books dealing with death and the Afterlife. ELSEWHERE goes beyond those two books, however, taking readers on a journey into a land so much like Earth, and yet so very, very different.

Fifteen-year old Elizabeth "Liz" "Lizzie" Marie Hall has found herself in ELSEWHERE after dying in a bicycle-meets-taxi accident. After taking a long ride on the SS Nile, Liz has finally realized that she's not in a dream after all, but really, truly dead. When she arrives on Elsewhere, she meets her maternal grandmother, Betty, for the very first time. A woman who died at fifty from breast cancer, Betty is now a woman in her thirties--one of the first surprises Liz is in for is the fact that, on Elsewhere, lives are lived backward from the age of a person's death. Needless to say, this thought depresses Liz. She'll never be sixteen, never have a Massachusetts driver's license, never go to the prom or graduate from high school or go to college or get married. The only thing she has to look forward to is growing younger, until she returns to being an infant and is sent back to Earth to be born again.

Liz spends her first month on Elsewhere spending all of her time--and her grandmother's eternims, the currency used there--to watch her family, friends, and classmates back on Earth. She's soon a regular at the OD's, or Observation Decks, watching life on Earth pass her by. She's upset that her best friend, Zooey, didn't attend her funeral. Her parents are inconsolable, her younger brother, Alvy, tells jokes to get through the day, and her dog, Lucy, refuses to accept that Liz isn't coming back.

It takes awhile, but Liz finally realizes that spending hours upon hours at the OD's is not helping her adjust to life on Elsewhere. She finds a new friend in Owen, one of the detectives in charge of keeping the inhabitants of Elsewhere away from the Well, where contact with people on Earth is possible, but illegal. She once again befriends Thandi, a young girl killed on Earth by a stray bullet, who was her bunkmate on the SS Nile. She gets closer to grandmother Betty, finally takes a job in the Division of Domestic Animals helping recently departed pets find new owners, and seems to be finding a place on Elsewhere.

I really loved this story. One of the most delightful things in ELSEWHERE is the animals, especially the dogs. Liz, a natural at the language of Canine, is able to interpret for her four-legged friends, and finally understand everything they have to say. I can't truly imagine aging backwards, but Gabrielle Zevin has managed to make a truly believable story that is realistic, entertaining, and emotional, all at the same time. This is definitely a recommended read, and in all honesty, I would love to visit the land of Elsewhere again in the future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was, by far, the most enteresting book i have ever read. I am a christian, so I dont believe that everything in this book could happen, but it sure makes you wonder what really does happen once you are deceased. I hope that everyone can enjoy this book as much as I did! Also even though you might not believe everything that is written in this book you can still enjoy the thought and energy put into it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
There really is nothing I can say about this book, it was beyond flawless!! The author was so very creative with her take on the afterlife! I just thought it was a little sad I even cried at some parts, but it is a MUST READ!!! When Liz is re-born by sneaker clause or by aging backwords, [hehe, I would NEVER give that part away] I think she should have been Zoey's daughter, after she got married at some point in her life [Or did that happen in the book? Read to find out!!] WAY worth more than 5 stars!!! Read in two days!!!