Becky's Reviews > Elsewhere

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
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F 50x66
's review
May 23, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult-fiction

** spoiler alert ** My 14 year old sister-in-law recommended this to me. It was a fun read. The premise of the whole book is a little morbid, but the author handles it with a quirky humor and perspective.

The main character starts out the book dead. Not usually a good way to begin a story. The plot focuses on her adjustment to "afterlife" in Elsewhere. I love the characterizations--there is her Grandma that she never met because she died of cancer before she was born, a rock-star who died of a drug overdose, and several dogs with their own personalities and opinions.

That said, there is a little mature content in the book. One character was killed in a drive-by shooting, there is the above mentioned rock-star and subsequent short conversations about heroin addiction ("I was an idiot."). Nothing vivid or morbid though.

Somehow these didn't bother me as much as the two "sex scenes." One of the perks of Elsewhere is that you can watch your friends and family back on Earth. In one scene the main character watches her mom and dad ("gross!") and in another she watches her best friend lose her virginity after prom ("but mostly she watched the curtains, out of respect for Zooey.". Again, nothing explicit, but there is no need for these scenes in a book for young readers.

This book makes you think about those big questions: what is the meaning and purpose of life (and death), what is love, and do the choices we make really matter?
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