Can't Stop Reading

Lucky for me I get a hefty discount at work, because I just can't seem to stop myself!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I will be the first to admit that I haven't read The Lovely Bones. Well, actually, I think I started it a few years ago, but it was while I was doing my undergrad, and I got distracted by some paper I had to write or something. But I guess I didn't enjoy so much what I did read, because I never went back to it. That rather long preamble is my way of introducing you to Elsewhere. Because I'm not really sure how derivative it is, and I don't want to get some stupid email saying that this is just The Lovely Bones all over again. I don't care!

This is the story of almost 16 year old Liz, who is dead. Liz was hit by a cab when she was riding her bike without a helmet, and now she finds herself on the SS Nile with a bunch of really old people. Turns out when you die, you don't really die. You end up on a ship heading to Elsewhere, and then your age reverses, until you are a baby again, and then you go back to Earth to be reborn. Liz struggles with this, mostly because everyone else in Elsewhere is a lot older. Liz never got to get a driver's license, go to college, or fall in love, and now she never will.

I have to admit, that I haven't quite finished this one yet, but I’ve only about 40 pages to go, so I thought I'd write this anyways. I am loving this book. Liz's struggle to deal with her grief at leaving her old life behind, her budding relationship with her grandmother (who's now at biological age 34), and her enjoyment of her new avocation as a dog counselor are all lovingly rendered by author Gabrielle Zevin. Although I know this isn't the sort of book one writes a sequel to (and again, I'm not at the end yet, so it could be that Zevin will wrap things up really nicely), I don't want to leave Elsewhere. Elsewhere is funny, quirky and touching in all the right places. I hope I get to go there when I die.

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
ISBN 0374320918
277 pages


  • At 9:00 PM, Anonymous Kim said…

    I read The Lovely Bones on the way back from Audtralia. The girl in the story is in fact, dead, but she stays dead, even though she takes possession of someone elses body temporarily. So like Stuart Little, only not at all.

  • At 2:51 PM, Blogger joe said…

    I just can't like a book that tells me that God is whoever people believe Him/Her/It to be... that means there is no God that can personally be known by us at all, which is what Lizzie seems to find out, or what the author wants us to think is the case.

  • At 10:28 AM, Blogger bookstore girl said…

    Joe, sorry it took so long for me to get that up. Blogger was being stupid all weekend.

    I actually kind of like a God like the one described in the book. It makes me feel like it is possible for me to believe there is a God at all. But I guess that's the great thing about belief, right? Its very much a personal thing.

  • At 2:18 PM, Anonymous joe said…

    That's the point, though, isn't it? We WANT God to be a certain way, and so this book should just be taken as wish-fulfillment, rather than anything that holds up to logic. And, if it doesn't hold up to logic, why do we give in to it? (For instance, is it logically possible that a genuine Creator can be the creation of its creatures? That is the premise of the entire scenario.)

    Do we want young adults and kids to give in to feeling over thought when it comes to such things as their eternal destiny?


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