Welcome to Elsewhere. It is warm, with a breeze, and the beaches are marvelous. It’s quiet and peaceful. You can’t get sick or any older. Curious to see new paintings by Picasso? Swing by one of Elsewhere’s museums. Need to talk to someone about your problems? Stop by Marilyn Monroe’s psychiatric practice.Elsewhere is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different. Here Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. But Liz wants to turn sixteen, not fourteen again. She wants to get her driver’s license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. And now that she’s dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn’t want with a grandmother she has only just met. And it is not going well. How can Liz let go of the only life she has ever known and embrace a new one? Is it possible that a life lived in reverse is no different from a life lived forward?
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
I liked the concept of this book, how Gabrielle Zevin wrote it, structured it and put a spin on the whole afterlife thing. However, this book brought a kind of bittersweet nostalgia back to me. Part of this book is learning how to let go of some things, which is a struggle for Liz–who just wants to go back to Earth and live her life. Then there’s the presence of the OD’s, Observation Decks, where you can see what’s going on on Earth. In a way, some books really make you think about what you would do and about what you’re doing in real life. This book was one of those books for me. So was Uglies by Scott Westerfeld.
It takes awhile, but Liz finally realizes that spending hours upon hours at the OD’s is not helping her adjust to life on Elsewhere. She finds a new friend in Owen, one of the detectives in charge of keeping the inhabitants of Elsewhere away from the Well, where contact with people on Earth is possible, but illegal. She once again befriends Thandi, a young girl killed on Earth by a stray bullet, who was her bunkmate on the SS Nile. She gets closer to grandmother Betty, finally takes a job in the Division of Domestic Animals helping recently departed pets find new owners, and seems to be finding a place on Elsewhere.
Lit up by glints of humor that will actually make you laugh, this an awesome summer read that goes by fast. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I would give it four stars. Highly recommend for teenagers.
pg count for the paperback: 277