Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

I'm not sure how to classify Elsewhere, the first novel screenwriter Gabrielle Zevin has published -- is it fantasy? Is it realistic fiction? I think it might be one of those things that you have to read and judge for yourself...all I know is that I really liked it.

Elsewhere is a book about death, and life, and living after you die. It's about a fifteen year old girl who's hit by a taxi cab while riding her bike, and her coming to terms with her death. It's about a place called Elsewhere, where people go after they die and age backwards until infancy when they're sent down the river to be reborn again on Earth. It's about love, and hope, and learning what your passion is.

It's good. Read it.

And if you're interested in novels about life after death, you might also like The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. One warning, though: Elsewhere, although slightly sad, is ultimately hopeful and not depressing. The Lovely Bones, on the other hand, is very sad and rather disturbing. In fact, it's an adult title, but one lots of teens I know really liked.

1 comment:

joe said...

I found Elsewhere depressing, since Lizzie finds no personal God, no ultimate meaning to existence, and no eternally secure situation (since reincarnation would have to end when the earth did, or whenever mankind did). It would just leave everyone regressing until they disappeared!

To say God can be whoever you want Him/Her/It to be is just plain illogical. If there is a God, there is a God. This book simply says there is no God, basically, and this is perhaps why teens draw comfort from it... there is nothing unknowable in the afterlife, only what is.