Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review: Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Square Fish
Release date: May 15, 2007
Number of Pages: 304 pages
Rating: 7/10
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. Zevin's third-person narrative calmly, but surely guides readers through the bumpy landscape of strongly delineated characters dealing with the most difficult issue that faces all of us. A quiet book that provides much to think about and discuss.–Sharon Grover

Elsewhere is one of those books that make you say "ehh". Nothing spectacular, nothing great, really. Just ehh. For some reason I thought this was going to be Allison Noel esque, and so of course I expected the greatness that sides with Allison Noel books. It just didn't happen. The plot was ehh, the setting was ehh. And the thing is, Elsewhere had huge potential. The idea was there, but the execution wasn't surreal. Also, the setting and plot should have surpassed "ehh", because for God's sake, the setting was HEAVEN!!! The possibilities that side with thy name are endless, yet again, it was just ehh. I mean don't get me wrong- it wasn't terrible. It just wasn't all that great, either. The main character, Liz, annoyed me severely, and her romance with the dead police officer is bland and lacks excitement. I wouldn't recommend Elsewhere.

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