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Elsewhere: A Novel by Gabrielle Zevin
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Elsewhere: A Novel (edition 2007)

by Gabrielle Zevin (Author)

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3,2161842,909 (3.92)221
After fifteen-year-old Liz Hall is hit by a taxi and killed, she finds herself in a place that is both like and unlike Earth, where she must adjust to her new status and figure out how to "live." Is it possible to grow up while getting younger?
Member:lj_library
Title:Elsewhere: A Novel
Authors:Gabrielle Zevin (Author)
Info:Square Fish (2007), Edition: First, 304 pages
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Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

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» See also 221 mentions

English (181)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (183)
Showing 1-5 of 181 (next | show all)
A 15 year old girl dies and has a difficult time accepting this.
"Elsewhere" isn't what she thought "heaven" would be like and she learns how to "live" in this new place.
It's an emotional book, especially towards the end.
( )
  VhartPowers | Dec 27, 2018 |
Interesting story about the afterlife, in which you start at the age you die and get younger. The author sticks with a distant third person voice that gives the book the tone of a fable and keeps the reader from connecting with the characters. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
Though I’d abandoned this book once before, I kept it on my shelf, and, through other books, developed a taste for this author. This is not my favorite of her works but i came away happy I read it. An interesting concept of afterlife and what makes a life s life. ( )
  bookczuk | Jun 5, 2018 |
I read this because a student in my YA literature class asked to do an Honors conversion, and selected this novel as the basis for her supplementary research project. She ended up opting to not complete the research project. I wish she had, partially for the selfish reason that maybe it could have convinced me there was something more to this book. The fundamental idea is okay: when you go to the afterlife, you live there as you age backwards until you're a baby again, and then you get dispatched back to the real world to begin a new life. Zevin's afterlife is weirdly conventional, and conventionally contemporary America at that: people have jobs and drive on highways and stuff. But on the other hand, animals talk? A mundane afterlife could work, but in Elsewhere I felt like it was more a lack of imagination than anything else-- there's no coherent logic that backs this up. Like, where does money even come from? Why is everything like middle-class 21st-century America? Where are all the dead Chinese and Indian people, who surely would make up the majority of the residents of Elsewhere? A good book could get away with leaving out this kind of detail, but this book isn't that good. It's not terribly tedious or anything, but it sure takes its time with things. The sparse style is going for literary, I think, but it mostly comes across as underwritten.
1 vote Stevil2001 | Dec 15, 2017 |
This used to be my favorite book for the longest time. I don't even know how I got ahold of it. I wouldn't say it's my favorite now, mainly because I've read many books I've liked more since, but it still feels as if this holds the title. I think the premise is super cool. There may be more concepts of "heaven" books out there, but for now, having not read them. I am in awe of this ageing backwards concept. And the relationship between the two main characters is so cute. I especially liked the fact that the concept of death was not at centre stage here, despite everyone getting to Elsewhere by, well, dying. ( )
  erinla | Oct 31, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 181 (next | show all)
The whole concept of Heaven was so interesting and beautiful. Instead of going to a fluffy place in a clouds, a spirit lives their life over again but in reverse. Almost as if to reflect on life on Earth and to find Heaven in new experiences and people you have otherwise never met. A person never dies in Elsewhere—souls are reborn again and again forever. They will always gain new experiences and become new people. God remains to be an enigma, but I think that’s the point. It’s to still have faith regardless of meeting Him or not.
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The end came quickly, and there wasn't any pain.
Elizabeth Hall wakes in a strange bed in a strange room with the strange feeling that her sheets are trying to smother her.
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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.
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After fifteen-year-old Liz Hall is hit by a taxi and killed, she finds herself in a place that is both like and unlike Earth, where she must adjust to her new status and figure out how to "live." Is it possible to grow up while getting younger?

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Book description
What happens when you die? Where do you go? What do you do? Zevin provides answers to these questions in this intriguing novel, centering on the death of Liz Hall, almost 16 years old and looking forward to all that lies ahead: learning to drive, helping her best friend prepare for the prom, going to college, falling in love. Killed in a hit-and-run accident, Liz struggles to understand what has happened to her, grief-stricken at all she has lost, and incapable of seeing the benefits of the Elsewhere in which she finds herself. Refusing to participate in this new life, Liz spends her time looking longingly down at the family and friends back on Earth who go on without her. But the new environment pulls her into its own rhythms. Liz meets the grandmother she never knew, makes friends, takes a job, and falls in love as she and the other inhabitants of Elsewhere age backward one year for each year that they are there.
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