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Elsewhere | [Gabrielle Zevin]

Elsewhere

Elsewhere is where 15-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 again and returns to Earth. But Liz wants to turn 16, not 14 again. She wants to get her driver's license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. And now that she's dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn't want.
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Publisher's Summary

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 15-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 again and returns to Earth. But Liz wants to turn 16, not 14 again. She wants to get her driver's license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. And now that she's dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn't want with a grandmother she has only just met. And it is not 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? This moving, often funny book about grief, death, and loss will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned.

©2005 Gabrielle Zevin; (P)2005 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, a division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Fascinating. Zevin, in her first novel for young people, bends the laws of physics and biology to create an intricately imagined world." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (120 )
5 star
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4.1 (31 )
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4.1 (31 )
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  •  
    Arleen Lincoln, AR, USA 12-04-05
    Arleen Lincoln, AR, USA 12-04-05
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    "An interesting concept"

    I really enjoyed the reading of this book and felt Cassandra Morris was indeed suited to the telling. The thought of aging backwards was an interesting concept and the return of the babies to earth gave food for thought. Ms. Zevin's imagination was in full swing with the lives the inhabitants of Elsewhere were living or not living as the case may be.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie USA 11-19-05
    Natalie USA 11-19-05
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    "Great Book, Great Performance!"

    I thought that Cassandra Morris did a great job reading this title. Her voice was really suited to the material. I also thought it was a great book -- really hopeful and well written -- a great book to discuss for young and old.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa Olney, IL, United States 11-11-07
    Teresa Olney, IL, United States 11-11-07 Member Since 2006
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    "Wonderful listen!"

    Light-hearted, simplistic, yet thought-provoking! Although, written for young adults, I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. It is one of few audiobooks that I have felt compelled to jot down a review. It gives a unique look into life-after-death and reincarnation. Liz Hall, the main character, is a likeable 15 year old. She is very typical in her initial thinking, yet grows emotionally as she decreases physically in age. As a side note, I loved the idea of understanding and talking to dogs. I laughed out loud at the conversation of Sadie and Liz about drinking out of the toilet. I can definately see why teachers everywhere are using this as a group-read discussion book. Well done author Gabrielle Zevin and Cassandra Morris as the narrator!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Olean, NY, United States 03-26-10
    Kelly Olean, NY, United States 03-26-10 Member Since 2007

    I love to read... love to listen while I walk my dog, Sally Jo.

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    "Very entertaining, enjoyed every minute."

    I seriously loved this book. It is a neat way to look at what happens after, and why not? We really don't know -- so it is great to imagine a place like Elsewhere. Love, family, friends, pets -- it could be a wonderful place.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Turiello Overland Park, KS USA 03-29-13
    Heather Turiello Overland Park, KS USA 03-29-13 Member Since 2006

    I'm a voracious audiobook listener, rarely found without my iPod.

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    "A light too short..."
    Any additional comments?

    This was the first book I read by Gabrielle Zevin and it has been a benchmark YA, to which I hold all others up to for comparison. High-schooler Liz was hit by a car when on her bike, tragically ending her life. When she next wakes, she is on a boat headed to a place called Elsewhere. Elsewhere isn't the heaven many of us Christians have pictured. In this peaceful town, you live with other dead, but you age backwards. Liz is extremely resistant to being dead, refusing to let go of her friends and family. I won't get into any more detail except to say, this book really spoke to me. For many of us, we are so busy living our lives, that we forget to really LIVE our lives. Liz is a teen that personifies the passion and verve teens have for their LIVING their lives, an element of young life that we forget when we grow up.

    It's sad to watch her grieve this way, but it does have a sweet, hopeful ending. Many YA books are loaded with angst, and this one does not fall short of that expectation, but this book shows the nature of that tight grasp teens have of their own emotional attachment with their friends, families, and how important those emotional reactions are to who a teen is.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bette Gustine, CA, United States 05-20-14
    Bette Gustine, CA, United States 05-20-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Great for a Pre-teen that you know...."

    I purchased this book because I'd enjoyed "The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry". I suffered through "Elsewhere" because it's too juvenile for me. Nice storyline. The kid reading it does a good job (if she's a kid) but without a doubt, this is not for anyone over 30. *Yawn*

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Stuart Walden, NY, USA 11-12-05
    Stuart Walden, NY, USA 11-12-05
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    "Adequate Portrayal of Depressing Afterlife"

    In Elsewhere, Gabrielle Zevin describes an afterlife very much like life except that people age backwards from the time of their death and, when they are babies again, are returned to Earth for another go-round. Into this world comes Liz, dead by accident at 15, angry and depressed that she will never become an adult. While the author works hard to make her afterlife internally consistent and filled with a host of sympathetic and interesting characters, she's never able, in my view, to overcome a central problem with her plot: her afterlife is a benign but horrible place. Who wants to have the mind and desires of a 45 year-old and be trapped in the body of a 9 year-old. Crreepy. Talking animals and the occasional mermaid are just lipstick on the proverbial pig. I still gave the book 2 stars for not being badly written.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
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