Book Reviews

[review] A Long Long Sleep – Anna Sheehan


Release Date: August 9, 2011
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

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.

Discovery: Retellings of fairy tales always make their way onto my TBR pile, but I was especially intrigued by this post-apocalyptic twist on “Sleeping Beauty.”

+     Voice. Rose is very much an innocent and while that naivete can sometimes become tedious for the reader, it’s very clear why she thinks and speaks the way she does. It’s obvious to the reader just how awful her “fairy-tale life” really is, but she doesn’t seem to lose any sense of optimism. Rose has a quiet strength, only emerging when she needs it, because she doesn’t actually ask for much. I enjoyed her curiousity the most–she wants to learn but is afraid of what the knowledge would mean. I liked seeing her cast that fear aside when she realizes it can only do her more harm than good. She’s also quite funny and insightful; I appreciated Otto all the more because of her interaction with him.

+     Sci-fi and fairy tales. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: my standards for dystopian novels are high. Thankfully, Anna Sheehan delivers a world that is complex and beautifully rendered. I had a great time imagining the limoskiffs and comms and other gadgets that Rose’s futuristic world used. Stass is also a noteworthy piece of tech and the ethics of its use gave the novel a perfect backbone. The juxtaposition of such a technologically-centered future with a fairy tale makes for some complicated questions–like “Was waking Rose the right thing to do?”–but Sheehan handles them all with deft precision and care for the characters she’d created. The revelations in this novel are expertly paced and

–     Length. I do feel that some sort of a companion novel is necessary, if only because Sheehan included characters that readers will want to know more about even after Rose’s story has ended. I LOVED that the romance wasn’t the focus of the book. It’s easy to imagine where a second novel might go: Otto is a particular favourite of mine and I’d love to know more about his life.

Recommendations: A Long Long Sleep is a truly unique and complex novel, which will keep readers up all night trying to solve the mystery of Rose Fitzroy. They won’t be disappointed.

Rating: Excellent.

Go visit Anna Sheehan at her website and friend her on Facebook.

You can check out A Long Long Sleep on Goodreads and order it over at Amazon and Book Depository.

Next review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Michelle Hodkin (I know I’ve said this twice now, but I keep forgetting my notes at home!)

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