Book Reviews

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin book review




‘Sorry, but nothing of much importance ever happened to me…
I’m just a girl who forgot to look both ways before she crossed the street.’

When Liz is killed in a hit-and-run accident her ‘life’ takes a very unexpected turn. At nearly sixteen she knows she will never get married, never have children, and perhaps never fall in love. But in Elsewhere all things carry on almost as they did on earth except that the inhabitants get younger, new relationships are formed and old ones, which have been sadly interrupted, are renewed.

This book. Awwwwww.

It begins with Liz waking up on a boat, with no recollection of how she got there and, she can see her family from the shore.

Her bunkmate Thandie has a pretty good idea as to why she’s there but Liz is still in denial.

When they stumble across rock star Curtis Jest on the boat, Liz still thinks she is dreaming. Until she’s called to the observations desk and she gets to see her funeral. That’s when she realizes she’s dead.

Then starts her life in Elsewhere. Where she meets her grandmother, who died before she was born. Liz becomes depressed and obsessed with her old life. Spending all her time on the Observation Desk watching her family and friends.

After a while she realizes how fruitless all this is. She gets a job at the Division of Domestic Animals, where she speaks Canine, to help the dogs that have died. There she adopts a dog called Sadie and her life suddenly has meaning.

Then she stumbles across Owen Welles and it becomes clear that the pair like each other, despite the fact that Owen is still ‘married’ to his living wife. But the pair are falling in love with each other…

Then his wife comes to Elsewhere and that’s when things get complicated. And Liz decides she’s going to take the Sneaker Clause in order to get back to earth earlier than she thought.

Of course she changes her mind and Owen and Liz become a couple.

Except things in Elsewhere are a little different on Earth. Instead of growing old, they grow young, ready to be reborn again…

This book was just exceptional. It was heartbreaking and poignant but also uplifting. With some funny bits thrown in.

Liz is a character who rake to your heart. She’s amazing and strong and despite her depression in the first few months she comes through it and ends up having a good life, despite the fact that she’s dead.

And Owen… Awwwwww.

Elsewhere puts your mind at ease and I loved the concept that after we die that’s where we go. To get younger and eventually get reborn again as someone new. It makes you feel better to know that.

Its an original concept on death and what happens and the fact that Liz and Owen fall in love with each other despite being dead and getting younger.

And oh my life…

When her dog Lucy dies with old age and ends up in Elsewhere… God blub fest!

It makes you cry and laugh at the same time and it makes you feel much better about death and dying.

And at the end of the book… I have hope that when Owen gets reborn again, Liz and Owen manage to find each other and can live another life together. Where this time they manage to fall in love again, get married, have kids and grow old together.

It was such a lovely book. You have to read it. I’m going to try and find her other books and see what they are like.

Definitely read this book.

5 out of 5 stars


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