by Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: 2005
Summary (via Goodreads)
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.
Elsewhere is a beautifully written, well laid-out story about loss, endings, new beginnings and acceptance. Following the story of Liz, a barely sixteen year old who dies suddenly as she learns to adapt to her new after-life, the reader is absorbed into a new theory on what happens when we die - we age backwards until we are reborn! For me, this book showed how even after we die, life moves on, both on earth and for the dead themselves.
The book is a charming coming of age story that at times will pull on your heart strings or just as easily make you laugh aloud. I especially love the last word part!! For me personally, this book helped me accept and move on from the death of a loved one, and I highly recommend it to any lover of books.