"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? This moving, often funny book about grief, death, and loss will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned." - GoodreadsTitle: Elsewhere
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: September 9th 2005
Age Group: Young Adult
Sub-Genre(s): Social Issues/Fantasy/Paranormal
Where to Buy: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository
To sum up the book: Liz is just 15 years old, doesn't even have her permit yet let alone unable to go to prom. But all that changes one day when she realizes that won't happen in her lifetime, well on earth at least. Liz learns that being dead is something different, but more so when you go to Elsewhere: a place is neither here nor there.
Okay this was like Benjamin Button but instead with humor, a 15 year old girl, and everyone is dead. This book had me thinking a lot about "what if.." this were real. How cool would it be to age backwards and then start all over again on earth as a baby. I could live life different just like Liz did and more.
What compelled me to read more was the fascination of Elsewhere in general. The idea of how Canine is a language and people can talk to dogs or how money doesn't exists but you can buy eternims which are tokens that can be used on observation decks through telescopes to see what's happening back on Earth. I won't say much more about what goes on in this place, but there is mentions of famous people, including a gardener named John Lennon.
Anyway, my only issue was how Liz handle things. I know she was dead. In shock and upset. But she was a little too over dramatic sometimes early on about how she felt. Then again she was depressed from dying at 15, I think I would be too if I died that young. But I do feel that there is not correct way to grieve in general, so to each their own in how they much feel towards death. Also she was mostly upset about how she never will get to love or learn to drive or even have sex or so many other things. I totally get how that kind of fear or sadness or both can harp on a teens ability in Elsewhere to heal or in real life.
I do have to say that I'm enticed by death or all things in regards to that subject with literature. It's such a mystery and at times it's not. So this new take on how we die and then go to a place as magnificante as Elsewhere is kind of enlightening. If this place were real, I would most certain hope for the ability to fluently speak the dog language, cause they also have pets end up in Elsewhere too! Be cool to see some of my old cats or even my old dogs, talk to them, even take care of them too.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was very different from most books I've read in the last 10 years and I'm hoping to find more as unique and entertaining as Gabrielle Zevin's has done with her novel. © 2012