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4.0 

Elsewhere

By Gabrielle Zevin
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

A TIME MAGAZINE BEST YA BOOK OF ALL TIME

Beloved by generations of readers, Elsewhere is an original, moving novel about love, loss, and the meaning of it all from the New York Times–bestselling author of Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow and The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry.

Is it possible to grow up while getting younger?

Welcome to Elsewhere. The beaches are marvelous. It’s quiet and peaceful. You can’t get sick, and you’ll never turn even a day older . . .

This is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth yet completely different. Here, Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby and returns to Earth.

But Liz wants to turn sixteen, not fourteen again. She wants to get her driver’s license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. Now that she’s dead, though, Liz is forced to live a life she doesn’t want with a grandmother she has never met before. And it isn’t going well. How can Liz let go of the only life she has ever known and embrace a new one? Is it possible that a life lived in
reverse is no different from a life lived forward?

A book that transcends genre and category, Elsewhere is a modern YA classic.

511 Reviews

4.0
“When I picked this up I didn't realise it was one of Gabrielle Zevin's earliest works (if not the actual earliest) and while I did enjoy the book overall I did feel that this was a very obvious early novel. The concept of this book is really cool and is what kept me hooked on the story. The story basically follows Liz as she navigates Elsewhere - a place where people go when they die to age backwards towards the point of rebirth. I really loved the idea of Elsewhere and was fascinated by the concept of the place and how it would work with all of the residents aging backwards, I wasn't surprised that so much of it was like earth but elements of it did confuse me. There were some general details I didn't love or fully understand, like how residents still need a vocation of sorts and money to live in Elsewhere. I just didn't see why the afterlife would require funds and it wasn't clesr if everything required funds or just small things e.g. they needed funds to use the ODs but were they just given houses for free? Just a lot of small details that I wish we'd had more information about (but I am a very open hoarder of small details). The aging process also confused me at times and felt a little inconsistent. It is heavily implied that though physically the residents are deaging, mentally they're the same as they were at the age they died until they begin to 'regress' as children... but that doesn't always work. Betty, Liz's grandmother, is a good example of how a character who is physicslly much younger than when she died but Liz tells us she still has the personality/feel of an older person and you would assume that applies to everyone but it doesn't. Owen died in his midtwenties but is physically 17... and he thinks/feels like a teenager. Later in thr book when Liz and Owen are physically children they still talk/feel much older (Owen himself actually points this out). It just felt inconsistent - do they mentally and physically deage at the same time or do they remain mentally the age they died at? If the latter is the case it poses some red flags about a few relationships in the book and left me not knowing how to feel about them. This book is also very obviously YA and at times the writing was not the greatest. Some of the speech felt clunky and unnatural, some of the writing was very simplistic and at times it did feel as though the author was stating the obvious and dumbing down things for us, which wasn't necessary. On the other hand, the writing was easy to follow and occasionally very witty - I did laugh out loud a few times - which made the overall book enjoyable if not very complex. It has definitely made me curious about more of Gabrielle Zevin's newer work, I'm hoping with her ideas and wit plus the time she's had to develop her writing, her later works will be gripping.”
Loudly Crying Face
Characters change and growBeautifully writtenDescriptive writingBeautiful settingThought-provoking
Slightly Smiling Face
Believable charactersCharacters change and growFunny writingOriginal writingAddictiveMagical settingRealistic settingComicalComing of ageFeel good

About Gabrielle Zevin

Gabrielle Zevin is the New York Times and internationally best-selling author of several critically acclaimed novels, including The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, which is now a motion picture, and Young Jane Young. Her most recent novel is Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, one of the best books of the year, according to the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time, Entertainment Weekly, the Atlantic, Oprah Daily, Slate, NPR, the Hollywood Reporter, and many other outlets. Her novels have been translated into forty languages. She lives in Los Angeles.

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