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Elsewhere

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3.90  ·  Rating details ·  50,695 ratings  ·  5,277 reviews
Welcome to Elsewhere. It is warm, with a breeze, and the beaches are marvelous. It's quiet and peaceful. You can't get sick or any older. Curious to see new paintings by Picasso? Swing by one of Elsewhere's museums. Need to talk to someone about your problems? Stop by Marilyn Monroe's psychiatric practice.

Elsewhere is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has
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Paperback, 277 pages
Published May 15th 2007 by Square Fish (first published September 9th 2005)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  50,695 ratings  ·  5,277 reviews


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Kim
Feb 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Kim by: Me
You know what sucks?

When you get 53 (YES, FIFTY THREE) pages into a book and realize that you've read it before. That blows.

You know what doesn't suck?

You really like said book. I mean, it's been a good 8 months, and I was still hazy about the plot throughout the whole book, but it's SUCH a good story that I didn't mind kinda knowing the plot.

Liz is 15 and is a hit and run victim. She wakes up on the S.S. Nile (cute, huh?) and it takes her a bit but she finds out she's died and then ends up in
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Rick Riordan
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fascinating, a well-imagined, well-written YA novel. A fifteen-year-old girl dies and finds herself in Elsewhere, where the deceased age backwards until they become babies and return to the Earth for their next lives. It's a quick read, but wow -- it made me appreciate my life, my family, and love. The potentially heavy subject matter is counterbalanced with some great humor. Highly recommended.
Tatiana
A rather disappointing book. Having read and liked Zevin's "Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac," I expected "Elsewhere" to be a book of the same high quality. No luck.

"Elsewhere" is not strictly a bad book. It raises an always interesting question - what happens when you die? In the book you move to Elsewhere where you age back (instead of getting older you get younger) while growing up mentally, until you become a baby and then you are sent back to earth to live another life. The book is about comi
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Phrynne
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Firstly I have to admit I read this because I needed an author whose name started with z for a challenge. This demonstrates clearly how good challenges can be for getting us to read books we might never otherwise come across. I was very happy that I read this book which is aimed at a Young Adult audience but is totally readable by any age.
The story takes place in the afterlife, which is a place called Elsewhere. As a reader you need to suspend belief at this stage because the whole theory behind
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Gregory Baird
Maybe if I were still thirteen I would think differently, but Elsewhere reads like a Hallmark movie of the week. It's sappy and hopelessly predictable. While Zevin's depiction of the afterlife is kind of creative, it's mostly confounding (turns out death is just as routine and dull as everyday life ... except that dogs talk). Her jokes either fall flat or induce a lengthy groan, but are never really amusing. And while Zevin can occasionally turn a phrase in an interesting way, for the most par ...more
Melanie
Mar 24, 2008 rated it it was ok
The whole "relationship" (if you can even call it that) between Liz and Owen frustrated me. How could Owen's marriage have been so happy if after only two weeks of being reunited with his wife he didn't want her anymore? Argh!

The story moves quickly from one event to the next without setting anything up or wrapping anything up. It is hard to care about the characters or events this way.
Grace
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved it from the first page till the end. The story idea itself was captivating; living life backwards.
Liz died at the young age of 16 and found herself in a place called “elsewhere”, where you don’t grow old but younger till you are born again as a baby. She was furious, that she didn’t get to fall in love, get her driver’s licence, and even grow boobs...one thing led to another and she found that living life backwards wasn’t so different. It is full of unknowns as much as growing older, sh
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Eshusdaughter
What is the story? Elsewhere is an idea spun into a book and then left floundering as the author seeks to fill pages. There is no story here - no cohesive plot that moves the thing forward. The main character, Lizzy, dies at fifteen and is transported to Elsewhere, a land where all people who die go. In Elsewhere you live just like on Earth, only you age backward. Cool concept and idea and there are so many avenues the author could have taken this! Instead she enumerates on her world a little an ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

Stories about the Afterlife have always appealed to me. There are thousands upon thousands of interpretations out there about what, exactly, happens to a person after they die. ELSEWHERE is a new spin on an old topic, but it manages to bring emotion, realism, and entertainment to something that is, in most circumstances, a very depressing situation. To me, ELSEWHERE is a combination of Mitch Albom's THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN and Alice Sebold's THE LOVE
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Amerie
Mar 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
First read in March 2014
Reread in July 2016

Just as magical, if not more so, as the first time I read it. Probably a novel I will reread every few years or so.
Ashley
Mar 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 9th-grade
ISBN: 0374320918
Elsewhere by Gabriel Zevin
Do you want to see the latest Picasso paintings? Well you just spring by his gallery and see his new paintings. Maybe you can say hey to Marilyn Monroe at her psychiatric center. Well if you want to do all that you’d take a cruise there. But of course there’s a catch to it all, and Liz Hall knows all about that because under her circumstances she can do all of that because she’s a fifteen-year-old girl and she’s dead.
The curious adventurous Liz Hall is
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Jenny Baker
Sep 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult, 2019
*A Reading Roulette selection with the group A Million More Pages*

Although I enjoyed the characters and their relationships, the story was a silly and often a ridiculous idea of the afterlife. It almost seemed like it was mocking life after death. I seriously doubt dead people eat, sleep, or have dog allergies. Aging backwards was interesting though.
khungkhing
Aug 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
It’s hard for me to write a review about Elsewhere without any spoil or philosophy of life. So, please bear with me.

“A life is a good story, Liz realizes, even a crazy, backward life like hers.”

Liz is only 15 when she dies (she's a hit and run victim). She wakes up on the S.S. Nile on the way to Elsewhere which is the place everyone goes after their death. Forget about white light, tunnel. Everyone in Elsewhere ages backward and becomes a baby, and then they are sent back to Earth. For Liz, it's
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Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach
Eh, this was just OK for me. I've read 5 other books of hers that I really loved, but this one was unremarkable. 2 stars
Scott  Hitchcock
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fantasy, spiritual
Story of an alternate afterlife as experience from the point of view of a 16 year old girl. Although certain aspects of the story I could poke holes in for inconsistencies overall it was very good. It elicited emotion from me, in this case sadness, and if a book can do that the author is doing his/her job. As a parent it's probably different than a teen reading it.
Mark Porton
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Elsewhere was a wonderful surprise, not so much because it’s written by Gabrielle Zevin (author of one of my favourites for 2019, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry) but more so because this book fits into the Young Adult genre.

The story involves a teenager called Liz who is unfortunately the victim of a hit and run accident, after her death she finds herself in an alternative ‘world’ called Elsewhere. Here, the dead “live” in a world where they go backwards (they get younger) in age and are eventua
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April
Feb 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-books
Awesome. I love creative renditions of the afterlife, and seeing into the writer's imagination. This was a very whimsical, fascinating take on death and life - I loved the image of the tree: that life and death are like the roots and branches of a tree - neither can see the other, but they are both alive and connected. I loved the message that life after death is still real life, and that things move on, you keep growing, working and building relationships. The characters were great, especially ...more
Scott
What is there to say about Elsewhere? Give me a second and I'll come up with it. Oh, it has a promising premise. It is at times heartbreaking and funny. Mostly it is disappointing. I'd heard good things about this book from another blog I read constantly, it was a YA book, and I couldn't wait to read it. The prologue is amazing, a funny, little dog running around trying to deal with her owners death. Hilarious and strangely touching. And then it switches to Lizzy, the main character of the book, ...more
belle ✨
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
1000/5 STARS

I always get so surprised when I see the low ratings of Elsewhere on Goodreads, because this one of my favorite books of ALL TIME. The synopsis on both Goodreads AND the back of the book itself just doesn't do it justice.

I would very much recommend this to anyone, and suggest you give it a chance!!!!

What I liked: I've read it more times than I can count, and each time I get something new. It's so moving and bittersweet and wonderful - I sob through the whole book each time I reread.
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Carrie Hope Fletcher
“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 had been sadly ...more
Rosanna Threakall
A re-read for me, just as good as the countless times before. Will always be on of my faves.
Amber J
I try to express only my most honest opinion in a spoiler-free way. Unfortunately, there is still always a risk of slight spoilers despite my best efforts. If you feel something in my review is a spoiler please let me know. Thank you.

Liz is dead. She was hit by a car and died. Now she's in elsewhere, a place where she grows younger not older, till she is young enough to be sent back to earth and reborn. But Liz is only 15 years old, and it took her 'so long' to get there. She doesn't want to bac
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Jennie
Aug 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
Liz is more than confused when she wakes up one morning to find herself on a cruise ship with a girl she’s never met before in the top bunk. But then she starts to remember being hit by a car as she rode her bike to the mall and eventually is brought up to the observation deck to watch her own funeral.

The boat eventually lands in Elsewhere, where dead people get a day younger every day until they are taken down the river back to Earth to be reborn. In Elsewhere, Liz meets up with the grandmother
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joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire*
calm and thoughtful
funny, unpredictable, stand-out original

*be happy now -- don't wait until you're grown-up, or done with college, or the kids move out
*know who you are
*think, think, think
*look both ways before crossing the street

i can see why reader-teens rave about this one, because it asks awesome, deep questions about life in a thoroughly roundabout way

that's a snowglobe on the cover, not a crystal ball, by the way. i didn't pick this up for awhile because somehow i thought there were seanc
...more
Lisa
Jan 21, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This book was God awful. I suppose it is meant to be a "Lovely Bones" of sorts for the teenage set, but either Ms. Zevin is a teenager herself who never took a writing class OR she never met an actual teenager in the flesh. The characters are one-dimensional stereotypes (15 year-old main character Liz is an angst-ridden, moody, whiner who has a habit of saying "Um" and "I guess"), the dialogue is bland at best and completely unrealistic (NO ONE TALKS LIKE THIS!) and although the book is sprinkle ...more
Laura
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Quality of writing: 3/5
Pace: 4/5
Plot development: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Enjoyability: 5/5

Score: 4 Stars out of 5


Overview:

I don’t often read such juvenile books but I remember enjoying this one several years ago and reading it again I am not disappointed.

There are some small plot holes with how things work in this reverse aging, afterlife but the story itself is fresh and beautiful. I found myself crying at the end both tears of joy and sadness.

Quick, fun read.
Amanda
Mar 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
...
This book is one of my favorite books. Although it is not a very challenging read, it kept me reading throughout each chapter, until I had finished it in only a couple of hours! It expresses many themes such as death, afterlife, teenage problems, insecurity, relationships, and much more. But instead of using these themes in a cliche sort of story, Gabrielle Zevin looks on the issues in a new light, and goes places other authors would have never thought of going.
...
For instance, when you re
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Kassi
Sep 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed the premise of the book. However, I didn't like that the writing style was in the present tense through-out the entire book. I thought the characters weren't developed enough and felt very flat to me. Each character had the same manner of speaking and same sense of humor, so they all were basically the same characters but with different names or genders and different backgrounds. But then again, I'm an adult reader and well aware that the book was intended for young-adults. In a ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Apr 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was like Audrey Rose + The Lovely Bones, and was incredibly well-written and vivid. Liz is a likeable character and I really love how the author gives us perspectives from everyone who knew her, from the family dog to her grief-stricken brother. ...more
Jessica
Dec 31, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: youngadult
This is an inventive book. Essentially it's a look at the afterlife, through the eyes of young girl who dies and then has to come to terms with that in Elsewhere, which is a clever combination of a Christian heaven and reincarnation. This is the book that I think a lot of people were hoping The Lovely Bones would be, but Zevin's writing is far better and her world flawless.
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4,580 followers
GABRIELLE ZEVIN is an internationally bestselling author whose books have sold millions of copies and been translated into over thirty languages.

Her eighth novel, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (2014), spent months on the New York Times Bestseller List, reached #1 on the National Indie Best Seller List, and has been a bestseller all around the world. The Toronto Globe and Mail called the book “a p
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