Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Review: Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
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.
I'll admit, this cover pulled me in first. It's pretty. Elsewhere is a sweet story about life after life. I thought it was a new and interesting take on the afterlife. Liz Hall has a hard time adapting to life in Elsewhere and accepting the fact that she has died. Even harder is accepting the idea that she will continue to age there but in reverse. As a teenager, that's a huge setback. I remember thinking that I would NEVER turn 16, it was just taking sooooo long. Now, I think I would kill to be 16 again but that's besides the point.
As she slowly begins to adapt to her new life, Liz is able to find happiness with her new friends and with the grandmother she'd never met in life. She also finds fulfillment in her work with dogs. The dogs in the book are just so cute. Eventually, she finds peace and acceptance of her situation.
The book is an easy and quick read. (I finished it in under a day) It mixes light-hearted moments with more serious ones. I did have quite a few questions regarding the world of Elsewhere that weren't covered but considering it's audience as a YA book, I could let that slide. I found it entertaining and enjoyable.
Posted by Rachel at 9:51 AM