Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Book Review: Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin


                          
                                   ( U.S - right, U.K - left )

                                             

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish (May 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312367465
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312367466



Back Cover Description (Because it didn't give so much away):


Dear Dr. Fujiyama,


By now, you have probably heard that I'm dead. This means I won't be attending this year's regional science fair, which is a great disappointment to me as I'm sure it also is for you. At the time I died, I felt I was starting to make real progress with those earthworms.


I really enjoyed your class and continue to follow along from the place where I'm now living I now find myself. Dissecting the pig looked pretty interesting and, I thought I might try it. Unfortunately, there aren't any dead pigs here for me to dissect.


I was disappointed not to see you at the funeral as you were my favorite teacher, even including middle and elementary school. Not to give you a hard time or anything, Dr. F :)


Yours,
Elizabeth Marie Hall, 5th Period Biology.


Review:
This story was a light at the end of the tunnel. When the main character Elizabeth or "Lizzie" dies, she finds herself in a place where one continues to keep living, only it is a life that we never would expect to have after one dies. 


I grew attached to the animals in this story. When Lizzie's dogs get sent back to Earth [read the book for further explanation ;) ] a light bulb popped up over my head. I was so busy during the story worrying about Lizzie getting what she wanted out of her "death" and feeling sorry for her that I didn't get the bigger message. In the end, it didn't matter if she was dead and her family were alive, because the circle of life is beautiful. If we take ourselves out of the picture and stop being so selfish, we realize that life and death itself are miraculous occurrences, weather you believe in reincarnation or not, at the basis of our own theologies we unanimously agree that life is sacred. 


The concept of this story was unique. I can truly say that I have never read anything with the same concept. I have watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but even that is not entirely the same as the story of Lizzie and her life in Elsewhere. The only downside to me is that it was anti-climatic. There were a lot of building of relationships that in the end didn't go anywhere. Maybe it was written that way on purpose, but for me I wanted a different ending. Then again, we can't all have our perfect endings. 


The characters were believable and lovable, but I would've liked to see more of what the inside flap of the book promised. It stated that Marilyn Monroe was the psychiatrist and you could see new paintings of Picasso, I wanted to meet more characters that are dead that are now living in Elsewhere, but it was overall still a good read! 


I give it three out of three book geeks.

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