Author: Gabrielle Zevin
First published September 9, 2005
277 pages, Paperback
Welcome to the mysterious Echo Falls, where secrets lurk around every corner. Ingrid finds herself inadvertently involved in a murder investigation, which proves to be just as perplexing as the cases her hero, Sherlock Holmes, solves.
Between soccer practice, school assignments, and her starring role in Alice in Wonderland, Ingrid’s schedule is already full. However, she quickly realizes that she must take matters into her own hands and solve the murder herself, before it’s too late.
As Echo Falls becomes more and more enigmatic, Ingrid dives deeper into the investigation, determined to uncover the truth.
Elsewhere, published in 2005, is a young adult novel written by Gabrielle Zevin. The book is a unique take on the afterlife and explores death and the concept of what happens next.
Zevin, known for her previous works such as The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, has a reputation for crafting enthralling stories with characters readers can connect with. Elsewhere tells the story of Liz, a teenage girl who dies in a hit-and-run accident shortly before her 16th birthday.
When she wakes up, she finds herself in Elsewhere, a place for souls in transit between life and death where people grow younger, and they are sent back to Earth as babies. Liz struggles to come to terms with her death and the idea of living her life backward.
She befriends other inhabitants of Elsewhere, including her grandmother Betty and her roommate, Owen, and starts to find happiness in her new reality. However, Liz is haunted by the connection she left behind on Earth and struggles to let go of her former life.
The novel is a joy to read, and Zevin’s writing style is imaginative and vivid. The book also offers a unique perspective on the afterlife, challenging traditional beliefs about what happens after we die.
Zevin’s portrayal of Elsewhere is whimsical and inventive, with the world-building consistent and thoroughly thought-through. The plot is compelling, with unexpected twists and turns that keep the reader engaged.
Zevin also skillfully explores the emotions that come with loss, such as grief and regret. Liz’s journey of finding acceptance and the story’s overarching theme of moving on offer a moving and uplifting message.
Elsewhere is also a hopeful and life-affirming novel that reminds readers of the value of each moment they have. One potential criticism of the book is that the pacing can be slow at times, requiring patience from the reader.
However, this can also be seen as a strength, emphasizing the idea of the afterlife as a process of healing and growth. In conclusion, Elsewhere is a beautifully crafted novel that offers a unique perspective on death and the afterlife.
Zevin’s writing is masterful, creating complex and relatable characters and a charming world. The book is recommended to readers of all ages, whether looking for a heartwarming story or thought-provoking themes.
For its captivating and imaginative storytelling, Elsewhere earns a rating of 4.5 out of 5.