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Elsewhereby Gabrielle Zevin
Synopses & Reviews
Is it possible to grow up while getting younger?
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 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 sixteen, not fourteen 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.
"Even readers who have strong views on what happens after death may find themselves intrigued by the fascinating world of 'Elsewhere,' the place 15-year-old Liz ends up after she is killed in a bicycle accident. A surreal atmosphere permeates chapter one as Liz awakens on a ship (mostly occupied by elderly people), unaware of its destination. Her situation gradually comes into focus after she arrives at the island of Elsewhere and is greeted by her grandmother, who died before Liz was born. Liz learns that the aging process works differently in this land of the dead: instead of getting older, humans (and animals) grow younger. When they reach infancy, they are sent down the River to be reborn on Earth. In other ways, Elsewhere resembles the world Liz left behind; residents work at jobs (although here, everyone has a chance to pursue an 'avocation... something a person does to make his or her soul complete'), celebrate holidays and form friendships. Liz also falls in love for the first time, while her grandmother (who has progressed back to her thirties) becomes engaged to a famous rock star; and readers will likely be intrigued by the 'strictly forbidden' Well. Prudently skirting the issue of God's role in Elsewhere (when she asks about God, Liz is told simply 'God's there in the same way He, She, or It was before to you. Nothing has changed'), Margarettown author Zevin, in her first novel for young people, bends the laws of physics and biology to create an intricately imagined world. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In this delightful novel death is a begining, a new start. Liz is killed in a hit a run accident and her 'life' takes a very unexpected turn. At nearly sixteen she knows she will never get married, never have children, and perhaps never fall in love. But in Elsewhere all things carry on almost as they did on earth except that the inhabitants get younger, dogs and humans can communicate (at last) new relationships are formed and old ones sadly interrupted on earth are renewed.
Full of the most ingenious detail and woven around the most touching and charming relationships this is a novel of hope, of redemption and re-birth. It is a novel that tells of sadness with heart-breaking honesty and of love and happiness with uplifting brilliance.
"A quiet book that provides much to think about and discuss." School Library Journal (Starred Review)
"[A] work of powerful beauty....[T]his inventive novel slices right to the bone of human yearning, offering up an indelible vision of life and death as equally rich sides of the same coin." Booklist (Starred Review)
"An unusual premise and a thoughtful treatment make Zevin's first effort at writing for young adults a success. Will captivate teens ready for a thought-provoking read. Hopeful and engaging." Kirkus Reviews
"Great humor and speculation, on pets as well as people." Chicago Tribune
"Zevin's touch is marvelously light even as she considers profundities, easily moving among humor, wisdom and lyricism....No plot synopsis can convey what a rich, wise spell this book casts." The New York Times Book Review
"A fun and thought-provoking page-turner. Readers...will relish Zevin's lively imagination and her fast-moving plot. Buy this book for them." VOYA
"Elsewhere is a funny, fast-paced, and fascinating novel. The concept is completely out there and yet the emotions are so weirdly realistic. I loved reading the story of Liz's life (death?)." Carolyn Mackler, author of The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things and Vegan Virgin Valentine
"Funny and pensive, happy and heartbreaking. Readers from a broad range of beliefs will find this a quirky and touching exploration of the Great Beyond." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
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. However, Liz wants to turn 16, not 14 again in this moving, often funny book about grief, death, and loss.
Is it possible to grow up while getting younger?
When 16-year old Gabriela's death is foretold by a letter, she must complete her "wrap-up list" before she's forced to say goodbye forever in this smart, funny, compelling, and mysterious young adult novel.
In this modern-day suburban town, one percent of all fatalities come about in the most peculiar way. Deaths—eight-foot-tall, silver-gray creatures—send a letter (“Dear So-and-So, your days are numbered”) to whomever is chosen for a departure, telling them to wrap up their lives and do the things they always wanted to do before they have to “depart.” When sixteen-year-old Gabriela receives her notice, she is, of course devastated. Will she kiss her crush Sylvester before its too late? Friendship, first love, and fantasy artfully mesh in this magically realistic world that ultimately celebrates life.
Reality TV has a dark future in this thought-provoking thriller
To the people suffering on the war-torn mainland, Bliss Island seems like an idyllic place. And it is: except for the fact that the island is a set, and the islanders lives are a performance. Theyre the stars of a hit TV show, Blissful Days—Characters are adored by mainland viewers, yet in constant danger of being cut if their ratings dip too low. And no one really knows what happens to cut Characters.
Nettie Starling knows shes been given the chance of a lifetime when a producer offers suggestions to help her improve her mediocre ratings—especially when those suggestions involve making a move on the boy shes been in love with for years. But she'll soon have to decide how far she's willing to go to keep the cameras fixed on her. . . especially when she learns what could happen to her if she doesn't.
About the Author
Gabrielle Zevin is a screenwriter and a novelist. In 2005, Elsewhere, her novel for young adults, will be published by Bloomsbury.
As a screenwriter, Gabrielle has optioned several screenplays, and her screenplay for Conversations with Other Women, was recently filmed with Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckhart in the lead roles.
Gabrielle is a 2000 graduate of Harvard with a degree in English & American Literature. She was born in New York and lives there still with one pug dog, Mrs. DeWinter, and her partner of ten years, director Hans Canosa.
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