Books | Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Death, Grief, Bereavement
A TIME MAGAZINE BEST YA BOOK OF ALL TIMEBeloved by generations of readers, Elsewhere is an original, moving novel about love, loss, and the meaning of it all from the New York Times–bestselling author of Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow and The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry.Is it possible to grow up while getting younger?Welcome to Elsewhere. The beaches are marvelous. It’s quiet and peaceful. You can’t get sick, and you’ll never turn even a day older . . .This 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 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. Now that she’s dead, though, Liz is forced to live a life she doesn’t want with a grandmother she has never met before. And it isn’t 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 inreverse is no different from a life lived forward?A book that transcends genre and category, Elsewhere is a modern YA classic.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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"Elsewhere, gifted to me and annotated by one of my best friends, Aa, was a beautiful book, which made me feel incredibly deeply and left a bittersweet melancholy singing through my soul. It made me feel immeasurably comforted, as if wrapped in a fuzzy blanket hug, that there could be an elsewhere, a something more and something magical in the afterlife. It made me consider the inner workings of the universe and “the why” behind it all. It made me consider life’s fragile transience and take a deep breath to honor the now. Everything becomes gentler and more ethereal through the lens of the fictive Elsewhere, where life moves backwards, rather than forwards, people getting younger year by year then being reborn. Liz dies at 15-years-young in a freak accident and desperately claws for her old life on Earth, which now seems faraway, otherworldly, and distant. However, little by little she learns to lean in and embrace her new world with a rush of tenderness and warmly kept appreciation. Her surroundings and the people in her new world gradually feel less foreign and over time she begins to acclimate. She soul-searches and discovers herself at each new turn. I loved how carefully, lovingly crafted this story was as it went unexpectedly profound places that filled me with hurt, grief, love, and hope. It was bittersweet through and through as I went through a rollercoaster of emotions that left me reeling. I let myself go and be immersed in another place apart from any I know and it was a thing of such beauty and calamity that I will never forget the ways in which it moved me. Something special and such a treasure. "
"The concept was intriguing, but I didn’t find it executed very well. The main character doesn’t develop during the story at all. She leaves a world of interesting possibilities and experiences unexplored, and about a third of the book is spent with the main character learning to parallel park. I found myself constantly frustrated with the main character and her refusal to better herself. I’m happy for those this book has helped with their grief or simply enjoyed it, but it’s Not for me."
"This book is amazing it’s one of the best books I have read don’t read if you don’t wanna get absolutely addicted "
"I really think this story is a wonderful way to deal with the concept of death and what an afterlife could be. This is clearly a YA story, and I experienced this story first when I was a teenager so it has resonated with me for quite some time. I think that I keep going back to it as an adult is really telling of a good story. There are adult characters in this story that have to deal with death, change, and the afterlife and each do it in a unique way that doesn't talk down to the reader."