Review From User :
You know what sucks
When you get 53 (YES, FIFTY THREE) pages into a book and realize that you've read it before. That blows.
You know what doesn't suck
You really like said book. I mean, it's been a good 8 months, and I was still hazy about the plot throughout the whole book, but it's SUCH a good story that I didn't mind kinda knowing the plot.
Liz is 15 and is a hit and run victim. She wakes up on the S.S. Nile (cute, huh) and it takes her a bit but she finds out she's died and then ends up in Elsewhere. I think Elsewhere could be whatever your spiritual affiliation wants it to be. Limbo, Heaven, squatting at St. Pete's doorstep, a Quentin Tarantino filmfest....whatever...
Here's the kicker.. in Elsewhere you age backwards until you're a baby again and then you're returned to Earth. The ultimate in recycling, huh
Now, don't you think that that is a total rip off I mean, okay... you're just starting to feel out who you are and then you die and everything goes in reverse. So, you hardly have time to define yourself and by the time you're 21, you're really nine... WTF
Gabrielle Zevin does a wonderful job with this plot, the characters you meet are well developed and the story made me start crying on public transportation. The last three chapters... racking sobs, I tell you... Even the second time around.
My one peeve is the clumsy use of present tense structure. It may be just me, let me rephrase that... it probably isn't clumsy, but it distracted me from the narrative and once I noticed that distraction it was hard to avoid.
Okay, I have to share this... this is when the eyes started to tear and the lips started to tremble:
"There will be other lives. There will be other lives for nervous boys with sweaty palms,for bittersweet fumblings in the backseats of cars, for caps and gowns in royal blue and crimson, for mothers clasping pretty pearl necklaces around daughters' unlined necks, for your full name read aloud in an auditorium, for brand-new suitcases transporting you to strange new people in strange new lands. And there will be other lives for unpaid debts, for one-night stands, for Prague and for Paris, for painful shoes with pointy toes, for indecisions and revisions."
And none of that stuff made me weepy or sentimental when it happened to me, but you bet I'll be thinking like this when my daughter hits that age.
So, if I forget that I read this, please don't remind me... I wouldn't mind another go around.
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.