Friday, 24 June 2011

Book Review: Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

ELSEWHERE by Gabrille Zevin

Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Released:  June 2006
Review Format:  Paperback
Source:  Library
Pages:  269
Series: No

Elsewhere is where 15-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different from it. Here Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. Is it possible that a life lived in reverse is no different from a life lived forward?
Synopsis from Goodreads.
This book came to me highly recommended by quite a few people so I was really excited to find that my local library actually had a copy in. It’s not often I get books from the library as I tend to read more new releases than anything and my library rarely has those in.

My very first thoughts on the book were about the cover. It intrigued me with the girl sitting on a beach with her back to me. Why was she alone? With her hunched shoulders, I got the feeling she was pretty sad. I realised as I got into the story that this cover fits really well.

Elsewhere is the story of what happened to Elizabeth Marie Hall (Liz) after she was killed whilst riding her bike to the mall to meet a friend. The plot idea is great and it would be so lovely to know that something like that awaited you after your death, but so much more could have been made of it. Things were mentioned - like when Liz’s beloved Pug arrived at Elsewhere, but nothing really happened and I was left wondering why it was even mentioned. This kind of thing happened a few times through the story and it did lessen my enjoyment slightly.

Liz was a funny character. She was quite likeable and sweet, but also very moody. Mind you, I think I’d be a bit moody too if I’d just died! She met some very interesting people … and animals and I think that is what made it for me. I really loved the animals and their role in the story.

Elsewhere is a light, quick and cute read, but it’s not going to get your heart racing. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more to it, especially later in the book where there were big leaps in time when I would have liked to have known more at these stages about how Liz was feeling and thinking and acting. There were times when I was expecting more of a storyline about a particular event that was mentioned, like when Liz’s beloved Pug arrived at Elsewhere, but it didn’t happen and the ending seemed a little too rushed.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, if you’re looking for some nice, light summer reading then I think you’ll enjoy it.

My rating: 3 stars 


Vivienne said...

Oh it reminds me a little of The Curious Life of Benjamin Button. What an extraordinary book.

Kate said...

I was really excited when I got this one a few weeks ago. I'll definitely be saving this one for a summer read :)

Raimy-rawr said...

awww I like the sound of this one, I might have to see if my library can get it in! :)

Clover said...

I tried reading this one last year and I just couldn't get into it no matter how much I thought the premise was interesting. Shame..