Sunday, February 21, 2010

Elsewhere, by Gabrielle Zevin *Review*

Wow. That's all I can say about this book. Elsewhere is one of the most original stories I've read in quite a while, a good break from vampires and magicians and all that other stuff that's been rewritten a million times. It grabs you from the very beginning, where you're reading from the point of view of a pug dog named Lucy who's owner has just died. Then the story shifts to Liz, dead at the age of 15 & Lucy's owner, who finds herself on a cruise ship with a bunch of other newly dead people on their way to "Elsewhere," or the afterlife. Elsewhere totally defies our usual ideas of the afterlife, since it's a normal place with normal people, no angels or devils or burning lakes of fire or Elysian Fields or anything else like that. In Elsewhere, once you arrive you start aging backward, and once you get to 7 days old you are sent on the River back to Earth to be reborn. Mostly the story focuses on Liz's struggles to find happiness in Elsewhere, being one of the youngest residents there and not having very much time to live backwards. Like all good stories, there are a few comical parts, and of course some sadder parts, but mostly the story was just plain intriguing and made me read it all in one sitting. Elsewhere has plainly earned its 5 stars.
Review by Katie Gisi

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