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Showing 1-10 of 167 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 394 reviews
on July 16, 2017
Elsewhere was a wonderful read. The storyline revolved upon the subject of the afterlife. Elizabeth , the main character, has recently died and must learn to live in Elsewhere. Elsewhere is where all the dead people end up and where the people age backwards until they are seven days old and are shipped back to Earth to start a new life. Elizabeth must come to terms that she will never be able to do the things she has been waiting for, as she died at the young age of 15. Without having been able to even go to prom Elizabeth must learn to get used to Elsewhere with the help of her new friends.and relatives. This book has shown that death does not result in the end but a new beginning. This book showed that you have to learn to live with your current circumstances even if those circumstances are not that good. Elizabeth was thrust into this new life without even having been able to complete most of her life goals. She learned that she must make the best out of every situation and that is what she was able to do. Elizabeth was able to live on even if she was surrounded with new people and not knowing her surroundings. Elizabeth was able to find happiness there and she was finally able to be content after she was in a period of denial after learning that she died. This book taught me that even when all seems lost there will be a way to find happiness.
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on June 24, 2017
One of my favorite books ever. The author's conception of the after-life is creative and touching. This is a rare book that I will probably read a second time.
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on July 26, 2013
I think that Gabrielle Zevin did a wonderful job with this Teen/Young Adult novel! The story is centered around fifteen-year-old, Liz Hall. She gets hit by a car, dies, and wakes up on the SS Nile, headed for Elsewhere, where she will begin her age, going backward, instead of forward, like on Earth. Liz has a difficult time accepting her death, at first, just like I'm sure we all would, at any age. Zevin did a great job with her imaginative view of her after-life, including the O.D.s (observation decks) and the Well, where she meets Owen, her first love. This is a wonderful read that depicts how life goes on, whether aging forward or backward, and the lessons learned with living (or dying); and even lessons of forgiveness. She develops all of her characters very well, and including dogs is also a nice touch; especially when Liz speaks to them in "Canine". I would highly recommend this, especially for teenage girls. A truly wonderful book!
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on June 5, 2016
I've reread this book over and over for 10 years, and I think I cry every time. I find something new to appreciate every time, especially since I was the age Liz was when she died when I first read this, and now I'm the age she would be been when she was released. This'll never stop being my favorite book.
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on July 3, 2011
Ok, so imagine that you're almost 16... and then you die.

And then you wake up on an ocean liner, and you keep trying to figure out where you are, and how you can get back to your life. And when you realize that you're dead, suddenly the life you've left behind doesn't seem as bad as it did when you were almost 16 and still alive. The ocean liner is moving inevitably towards an unknown shore...

Turns out, you end up in Elsewhere. A perfectly nice place to be, but still, you're dead and separated from the people you love. At least, that's how Lizzie sees it. She never got a chance to go to prom, or get her driver's license, or fall in love, and now she's separated from everything she knows and everyone she loves. She's dead, and she's stuck in Elsewhere.

Slowly, Lizzie starts to let go of the obsessive need to revisit the life and people she left behind. She starts to embrace living, even though she's dead. She makes new friends, she experiences love, and all of it means more than what she experienced in life, because now that she's dead, she knows just how fleeting it all is. She learns to appreciate the life she has and the people (and dogs) she loves in Elsewhere. She does a lot of growing up, even though she's also moving backwards. You'll have to read the book to understand what that means.

No matter what, it is comforting to imagine that we all pass through Elsewhere eventually. And it is also comforting to imagine that none of the love, none of the laughter, none of the happiness is ever wasted just because it eventually comes to an end. In fact, sometimes Elsewhere is even better than Earth, because you know exactly how much time you have left, and you try to never waste a single moment.

As Lizzie learns, it all depends on how you look at it, after all. And after reading this book, I'm taking a second, or even a third look at what it means to be born and to die, and what might be possible in between.

Great premise. Very plainly written, but there was a lot of whimsy, too. (Talking dogs, anyone?) This was young adult fiction, but definitely the best type of young adult fiction that any adult would also enjoy.
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on August 21, 2017
This is a feel good book. The reader knows after getting into the book what will ultimately happen to the characters, but not saddened by that knowledge. Unusual concept, but well done. I believe preteens and young teenagers will especially enjoy the novel.
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on July 18, 2015
We had to read this for book club - and it was really mediocre. I don't think the YA needs to be simplistic and condescend to younger readers, but this felt exactly thus. Character development is non-existent; and the writing is full of cliches. I cannot recommend this at all.
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on March 24, 2010
I am an avid reader of young adult books. I do not often find the need to write reviews for such books because, honestly, they are all quite the same. Although they may be based around different situations somehwere in there you'll find the same themes of love/friendships/teenage angst/parents that a teenager themselves is supposed to feel. Elsewhere is no exception to the norm; it is centralled around an idea we have all probably seen before (the afterlife) and has all the young adult qualities...yet it manages to be so different.

Liz's life is cut short after a hit-and-run accident outside the local mall and she is sent to live in Elsewhere. The fact that she is dead is hard enough for Liz to take, and she is apalled at the ease of others. In the beginning she becomes addicted to watching her family, ignores the people around her, and gets pretty sassy with her grandmother (also dead, and has never seen Liz before Elsewhere). And why shouldn't Liz be upset? She was only fifteen. She'll never get to fall in love and get married, go to college, get a job, or see any of her loved ones again. But as Liz slowly learns to let go, she realizes she can make her own life in Elsewhere. She meets some witty and wonderful people and animals alike, and gets used to the idea of aging backwards (which is what happens in Elsewhere).

Zevin's style of writing is so pleasing to the mind, and the words sweep you by. I finished this book in record time, around 3 hours, because it's not one you will want to put down. Liz's story has no pauses, and at the end you feel you have gone through a lifetime with the characters. While I do agree that sometimes the dialougue can get a bit flat, the situations too surreal, and the details a bit lacking, I still say it is a wonderful book and a quick read.
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VINE VOICEon February 17, 2009
Gabrielle Zevin's YA novel Elsewhere conjures up an interesting answer to the question of what happens to us after death. Elsewhere exists alongside but apart from Earth. Death itself turns out to be much like life--rather boringly so, in fact--the singular exception being that the dead age backwards, regressing from the age they were at death to infancy and, finally, rebirth. This makes things interesting logistically, as a dead person's "real" and physical ages don't correspond, and the relative ages between people who knew one another in life are more often than not altered significantly. Also strange is the body's backward development: tattoos eventually disappear and bald heads sprout hair; people who've been gumming food for decades teethe.

The protagonist of Elsewhere is Elizabeth Hall, who is killed in a hit-and-run accident at the age of 15. The book follows her death from her initial difficulties accepting the truth through her embrace of life in Elsewhere. I found the book clunky in parts: A couple things Lizzie does--but which I won't reveal--don't seem realistic, and none of the characters jumps off the page as particularly appealing or true to life. The idea of talking dogs also left me cold. (In Elsewhere, communication with dogs is an easy matter of picking up a new language, Canine.) Presumably this is meant to appeal to readers, but dogs would lose much of their charm if they could betray our confidences or comment on our ability as providers. They'd just be stupid humans with fur.

In short, Elsewhere is not a great book, but the author's conception of an afterlife is an interesting one, and young readers may be intrigued by the logistics of reverse aging.

-- Debra Hamel
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on January 2, 2012
Well, thanks to a friend of mine I recommended this to me, last night I finished Elsewhere, and what great read it is! As everyone probably knows, it is a "what happens when you die" story where a 15 year old girls is killed in a hit and run accident and wakes up dead in "Elsewhere" -- a world hauntingly similar to earth, but where everyone ages backwards. I don't want to give anymore of the story, but it kept me intrigued the entire time. Some books are great reads, but tedious and take time to get through -- Elsewhere is a great read AND a page turner. Don't let the Young Adult category turn you off -- this book tackles serious issues about life, death, and what it means to be "alive" or "dead" in THIS life. No, this is not your typical "floating on clouds" or worshiping God in heaven story -- it's not meant to be. The message is quite clear -- live your life to it's fullest TODAY because you never know what tomorrow may bring. Great, great read. Bravo to the author. 5 stars!
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