Monday, October 22, 2012

Elsewhere, Gabrielle Zevin

Elizabeth Hall wakes in a strange bed in a strange room with the strange feeling that her sheets are trying to smother her.

Elsewhere was a really fascinating novel. It's the story of fifteen year old Elizabeth or "Lizzie" or "Liz" who is hit by a taxi while on her bicycle. After she dies, she wakes up on a strange boat which takes her to a world called Elsewhere, where people who die go. But once you get there, you age backwards. For older people, this would be a good thing, because then you get to become younger and younger. But Liz is 15, so she'll never go to college, never have kids. It's a disaster for her in every way. Or so it seems.

This is definitely a powerful story. Though it's written for teens, I think anyone could read it. I loved the narrative voice of this one; Liz is a really likable character. I really felt for her. At the beginning, I thought it was going to be too sad, but it ended up as a not that sad novel. It reminded me a bit of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, except that it was more about life on Elsewhere, and this one was more simpler, so much more beautiful. Yes, so at the beginning, it was like there was a hole being drilled through my heart. I was tempted to put it down. But I'm so glad that I didn't. Because really, it does get better. I think that's really the message of this story. No matter how bad something is, you can eventually find a way to cope with it, however long it takes you, and however hard it is.

Another thing that I was glad about was that it didn't talk about religion. If it was all Christian or any other religion, it would have totally detracted from the book. I would recommend this one to everyone. It's hard to classify as a genre; it feels like realistic fiction, but obviously, it's not. But whatever genre love, this is an amazing book.

277 pages.
Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!

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