Sunday, June 25, 2023

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin


My third Zevin (though I haven't written about Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, I did review The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry) and my thoughts about her are still the same. I'm not a huge fan of her gaps in time, nor the distance from the characters' thoughts and emotions. I feel incredibly aware that I'm reading a book the entire time, instead of really engaging with the world and thinking of the characters as real people. That said, her story concepts are AMAZING.

In this book, I LOVED her concept of death - the logistics, how it happens, how you realize, how you "age." I did think the love story was pretty forced. It felt like it was there just because a book "should" have a love interest (disclaimer: not my opinion) or the editor said to add it. I didn't feel anything for the characters, I didn't "ship" them. I also thought it was pretty icky - I know the ages are different on Elsewhere, but there was still a strange gap that I just couldn't get on board with.

I also didn't like the end, mostly because I wanted to experience more "life" on Elsewhere. However, I appreciate the concept of everything going full circle. (Although, spoiler alert: the newborn baby laughing? I know it's a book but that took me right out of this reality, it seemed way too cutesy and unrealistic.)

I guess this makes a pretty unsatisfactory review of the book because I'm not totally raving or ranting about it, but I do think it's worth a read. I'm glad I read it for the concept of death alone - it definitely got my imagination running wild.

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