What happens when you die? What happens to the people you love?

Elsewhere by Gabrielle ZevinThe Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

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Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

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The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

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We’re all going to die! It probably won’t happen immediately but it is a universal truth.

In the books Elsewhere and The Lovely Bones, the authors explore death through the eyes of two young teens tragically ripped from the realm of the living. Both girls have the opportunity to look back at the lives they unwillingly left behind from their own separate versions of the afterlife.

In Elsewhere, Liz dies in a bicycle accident. The next moment she wakes on a cruise ship with other recently deceased folk bound for Elsewhere. She arrives in a strange new world where everyone ages backwards until they are thrown back into a river that leads them to start new lives back on earth.

In The Lovely Bones, Susie Salmon is murdered by a very evil man. Susie watches from her personal heaven as her family is ripped to shreds by her disappearance. She watches her friends grow up in a world without her. Susie watches the lives that are built in her absence, and slowly comes to terms with her brutal and untimely demise.

Which book is the better read? Elsewhere is a lighter read, it isn’t strictly fluff, but it is a gentler death. The Lovely Bones is often classified as an adult fiction novel because Susie’s death is grim and the descriptions are haunting. Both books have content and concepts that stick long after the book is returned to the shelf. They are both really good stories.

If you like the books, check out the film The Lovely Bones while the book is definitely better, there are a few magic moments in the movie.

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