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Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

15-year-old Liz Hall is biking to the Cambridge Side Galleria to help her best friend Zooey buy a dress for the prom. She is distracted by the thought of her watch-it needs fixing and perhaps she should have brought it with her. Liz forgets to look both ways as she crosses the street and she is struck by a taxi and dies.

This is where her story begins.

Liz wakes up in a small cabin on the S.S. Nile, a cruise ship bound for Elsewhere. At first she is confused, or more accurately, she is in denial. Although Liz watches her own funeral take place, and although she has a roommate who has been shot in the head, she clings to the idea that she is still alive or, if she is not, that she can find a way to resume her life before the fatal accident.

Liz's anger and sadness continue to flare even after landing in Elsewhere and despite the help and support that she is offered by the many people she meets, such as her grandmother, Betty, who died before Liz was born, and Curtis Jest, a famous rock star who died of a drug overdose. But Liz must find a way to move beyond her grief or else she will miss out on the beauty of her “life” in Elsewhere.

I think we've all wondered what happens to us when we die, and if you haven't you probably should. In her book, Elsewhere, Gabrielle Zevin proposes a charming answer to that question. But in the end, this isn't the central question of the book. The central question is; what do you do when your life as you know it takes an unexpected turn? This second question is far more important than the first because ultimately, we simply don't know what happens when we die and in any case, it doesn't really matter-we'll find out when we get there. But we all face life-changing events. Perhaps it's the death of a loved one, or a serious illness, or even something as simple as a job we didn't get. In times like those, the life we had imagined for ourselves slips away and we are left with a new future. Do we, like Liz, cling so resolutely to the future we could've had that we prevent ourselves from claiming the life that we do have?

Find out what happens to Liz and discover a model for living the life you have. Read Elsewhere, by Gabrielle Zevin.

My Rating: Obsessed With It





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dhuynh said...
Jan. 19, 2010 at 12:40 pm
That is a really good review, but I think the person that helps Liz the most with her anger and sadness was Owen.
 
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