Published by Farrar Straus & Giroux (BYR) on September 9th 2005
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 book I've been meaning to read for a while. I found it in audiobook format at the library, so I picked it up. Listening to books helps motivate me to clean, workout and organize.
This book had such an interesting concept. This place called Elsewhere – the place you go after you die is so intriguing. You age backwards while you are there and then eventually become reborn on Earth as a baby. Beyond that, I loved the way this worked for Lizzie. That love could be found and you could still "live" in Elsewhere like when you were alive.
Liz reacted how I expected her to, like a girl pulled away from her life at 16. She becomes obsessed with trying to get a hold of her family and spends hours a day watching them. But things start to change, a boy shows up that makes her rethink her dislike of Elsewhere and her want to go back to Earth. The other characters I loved were the dogs – they were hilarious. In fact, the book starts from the POV of Lucy, Liz's dog.
Final Verdict: Everyone at some point thinks about what happens after we die, so I think it's easy to relate to this novel. Also, dog-lovers will get a kick out of this book.
Cover Commentary: Love it. I have a love for snowglobes.