October 18, 2008

Gabrielle Zevin: Elsewhere

I knew right from the beginning that this book was a Young Adult book about a girl who begins her tale after becoming newly dead. I began reading it perhaps expecting something a little different from what I got, so while Elsewhere had a story unique to itself perhaps I was very frustrated with it. There were a few times I closed the book thinking I wouldn't continue reading it and that I would trade it away.

I think my biggest problem with Elsewhere had been Zevin's capture of an almost sixteen-year-old teenager. I felt Liz seemed much less mature than she should be at her age and even that Zevin was writing to capture an audience range of adults reading to children, to kids reading the book on their own only up to thirteen years old. At the same time it was definitely funny and she was often trying to be humorous, but some of the jokes just fell flat to me. A parrot making jokes about being "dead, dead, dead" just didn't seem like what I wanted to be reading.

I kept reading and luckily it was actually good that I did because things began to change. Main character Liz had been mopping about because of her death and not making anything out of her death. She had opportunities to go have hobbies, do things with friends, and spend time getting to know her never-before-met dead grandmother, Betty, but Liz had bored me to tears instead.

Liz finally decides to start living as someone dead rather than just being dead, and that's when the story picked up for me. At that point I decided to just finish it hoping the book might improve more. Surely Liz had important lessons to learn about death and would see something that would change everything to her much more at some point. Something does.

Liz makes much more out of her death and things happen for her that she had been sad about because some were things she had never gotten to experience during her life while some where things involving getting to reconnect with some lives that she misses. I would not reread this book but rather would recommend it to teens up to fifteen years old.

52 / 52 books. 100% done!