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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  55,062 ratings  ·  5,596 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
Paperback, 277 pages
Published May 15th 2007 by Square Fish (first published September 9th 2005)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  55,062 ratings  ·  5,596 reviews

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Feb 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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. ...more
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
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
the book that started my lifelong love of Beautifully Written And Unique Young Adult Magical Realism.

the best super niche subgenre.

part of a series i'm doing in which i review books i read a long time ago
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
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 A.
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
Oct 05, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2022
4.0 - what a sweet & uplifting story, easy to read & enjoyable!
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
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
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.
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
I'm bummed but not surprised that this re-read didn't live up to how much I remember loving this book back when I was in middle/high school. If I were to rate this now as if it were my first time reading it, I would probably rate it a 1 or a generous 2, but out of respect for younger Chelsea I'm gonna leave this one un-rated and just let that be that lol

CW: death of a loved one, gun violence, drug abuse, overdose, suicidal ideation, terminal illness, cancer
Susan's Reviews
Apr 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This one broke my heart, it was so sad, but so beautifully written!
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
Jenny Baker
Sep 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2019, young-adult
*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.
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
rowanthorn ✨
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.
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. ...more
Cortney LaScola Hornyak -  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 ...more
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
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
April Cooper
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
Rosanna Threakall
A re-read for me, just as good as the countless times before. Will always be on of my faves.
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. ...more
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
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
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
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was AMAZING! It really made me think about life and the afterlife and what it could be like and what happens. It a great book and an exceptionally easy read. I flew through this book no problem. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone! :)

Happy reading to all my booklover friends. :)
Ivana - Diary of Difference
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I remember loving Elsewhere when I read it as a teenager. And now, reading it again, I know why I always loved it so much. It’s sad, happy, but most importantly, real.

“I’m just a girl who forgot to look both ways before she crossed the street.”

Liz is almost 16 and she dies in a hit-and-run accident. And this is where her story begins. Instead of going wherever it is that people go when they’re dead, she wakes up on a big boat that’s he
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GABRIELLE ZEVIN is a New York Times best-selling novelist whose books have been translated into forty languages.

Her tenth novel, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow was published by Knopf in July of 2022 and was an instant New York Times Best Seller, a Sunday Times Best Seller, a USA Today Best Seller, a #1 National Indie Best Seller, and a selection of the Tonight Show’s Fallon Book Club. Mauree

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“There will be other lives.
There will be other lives for nervous boys with sweaty palms, for bittersweet fumblings in the backseats of cars, for caps and gowns in royal blue and crimson, for mothers clasping pretty pearl necklaces around daughters' unlined necks, for your full name read aloud in an auditorium, for brand-new suitcases transporting you to strange new people in strange new lands.
And there will be other lives for unpaid debts, for one-night stands, for Prague and Paris, for painful shoes with pointy toes, for indecision and revisions.
And there will be other lives for fathers walking daughters down aisles.
And there will be other lives for sweet babies with skin like milk.
And there will be other lives for a man you don't recognize, for a face in a mirror that is no longer yours, for the funerals of intimates, for shrinking, for teeth that fall out, for hair on your chin, for forgetting everything. Everything.
Oh, there are so many lives. How we wish we could live them concurrently instead of one by one by one. We could select the best pieces of each, stringing them together like a strand of pearls. But that's not how it works. A human's life is a beautiful mess.”
“But I believe good things happen everyday. I believe good things happen even when bad things happen. And I believe on a happy day like today, we can still feel a little sad. And that's life, isn't it?” 267 likes
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