Review: A Long, Long Sleep

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: A Long, Long SleepA Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan
Series: , Long Sleep #1
Published by Candlewick on August 9, 2011
Genres: Dystopian, Fairy Tales, Retelling, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 342
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

It should have been a short suspended-animation sleep. But this time Rose wakes up to find her past is long gone-- and her future full of peril.

Rosalinda Fitzroy has been asleep for sixty-two years when she is woken by a kiss. Locked away in the chemically induced slumber of a stasis tube in a forgotten subbasement, sixteen-year-old Rose slept straight through the Dark Times that killed millions and utterly changed the world she knew. Now, her parents and her first love are long gone, and Rose-- hailed upon her awakening as the long-lost heir to an interplanetary empire-- is thrust alone into a future in which she is viewed as either a freak or a threat. Desperate to put the past behind her and adapt to her new world, Rose finds herself drawn to the boy who kissed her awake, hoping that he can help her to start fresh. But when a deadly danger jeopardizes her fragile new existence, Rose must face the ghosts of her past with open eyes-- or be left without any future at all.

At its core, A Long, Long Sleep is a reimagined version of Sleeping Beauty. This is most apparent in the opening scenes and then occasionally referenced. The fairy tale elements are what drew me to the story, but this is way different than most revised fairy tales, which generally keep to the story but flesh out characters and plots. Sheehan has taken an old, familiar story and created an amazing science fiction world and made the heroine someone new and different than just a girl trapped in a castle.

Rosalinda made a really great main character. Usually, I would dislike a heroine like her, at least in the first parts of the book, because she is, essentially, helpless and is physically weak. She is also filled with self-loathing and serious feelings of inadequacy. She is painfully shy and awkward, unable to make friends. Still, there are reasons for this and they are so clearly put forward that I did not expect her to be any other way; instead, I just rooted for her to overcome her problems. To some extent, she does, but at the end of the novel, she still has a ways to go, which is awesome too because that’s how real life works. Those kinds of deep-rooted insecurities are really hard to get over, just like her weakness from so long spent in stasis will take a couple of years to go away completely. What I love about Rosalinda is that she is so real and that, when push comes to shove, she will do whatever she can to save herself and those around her, even though she doesn’t think she’s smart or worthy.

The worldbuilding here was so awesome. I really hope Sheehan writes some more books set here, like one written during the Dark Times maybe? As my dear readers may know, I am obsessed with dystopias and that book would totally be a dystopia. That makes me wonder if this one could be to; certainly, the community they live in, all owned by one corporation, could qualify as a completely terrifying future, not to mention the creation of people like Otto and the horrible treatment his kind received. Also, I have to say how much I love Otto.

I just ate this book up. I loved it right from the start. It was one of those books where I just did not want to stop reading. Last night, I almost stayed up until I could finish it, but then thought better of it, knowing that I’m an adult who has to get up and go to work. (Lame!) Now, having finished it, I just want more. Anna Sheehan needs to write more books for me to enjoy. This is an excellent example of YA fiction.

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