Elsewhere: Letter Essay Hannah


I just completed the book Elsewhere, written by Gabrielle Zevin. This 276 page, fantasy novel was absolutely amazing.  Elsewhere, was the author’s, fourth out of the eight books she has written. Gabrielle Levin wrote the beginning of Elsewhere in 2002, then stopped writing because she felt her ideas weren’t going anywhere. Her first novel “The Storied Life of AJ Fikry” has spent four months on the New York Times Bestseller list. I never heard of Elsewhere and just picked it up at the media center one day. I recalled my friends reading this book so I decided to give it a try and am so happy I did.


In the book Elsewhere, 15 year old Lizzie Hall died tragically in a car accident. When she wakes up she finds herself on a boat, not knowing where she is. She figures she is dreaming. Then she meets a girl named Thandi, who has a large hole in her head. When Liz asks Thandi what that hole is from she says she was shot in the head. Finally the boat docks and Lizzie realizes she is not dreaming. She is… dead and has just entered the afterlife. Otherwise known as Elsewhere. For the most part, Lizzie has no idea what happened to her. How did she die? The pain of leaving all her loved ones is so unbearable to Liz and throughout the book she has to learn how to live in Elsewhere and just be… happy.


I liked the way the author created this “magical” world that Liz was know living in. Gabrielle Zevin vividly described everything you could want to know about Elsewhere. She also made us feel for Liz, and imagine how she was feeling. Many times throughout the book I felt so sad for her, but happy for her at the happy parts. The character development in the book was very well described. In the beggining Liz would do anything to be living again with her family and friends and go back to worth. She hates that she can’t be with her best friend Zoe anymore. By the end she is a completely different person. The genre of this book would probably be Fantasy. The author created a fake world that Liz is living in. She created things like the Deep Dive and listening to the living people through water that made this book fantasy. Things that probably can not happen in reality. I was interested in this passage-

“Liz peers into the top buck, where a girl she has never seen before is sleeping, or at least trying to. The sleeping girl, who is near Liz’s own age, wears a white nightgown and has long dark hair arranged in a thatch of intricately beaded braids. To Liz, she looks like a queen. “Excuse me,” Liz asks, “but would you happen to know where we are?” I liked this passage because it was very suspenseful and kept me reading because I wanted to know where Liz was. The dialogue kept this specific paragraph very suspenseful.


I would rate this book a 10 out 10. Elsewhere is one of my favorite books I have ever read. People who like Fantasy- type books would really like this book.



Hannah Wergeles

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 thought on “Elsewhere: Letter Essay Hannah

  1. Hannah,
    I actually began reading this book several years ago and remember liking it but for whatever reason I abandoned it. When I’m in the mood for a book like this in the future, I will keep it in mind.
    In your Reflection, I like how you talked about how you empathized with the main character; that is a sign of a strong reader and also a result of strong writing; as a writer, we always want to make our characters so real, through their emotions and thoughts and words, that people feel they know them. The fact that you were happy for the main character in the end shows that the author did this. Keep that in mind, too, when you write, particularly narratives: what details can you add to make the reader really connect to the character or narrator? Great letter-essay!
    Mr. Jockers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *