A Long, Long Sleep
by Anna Sheehan Published by Candlewick Press
on August 9th 2011 Pages:
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 sub-basement, 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 dead, 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 existance, Rose must face the ghosts of her past with open eyes -- or be left without any future at all.
Dystopian and fairy tale elements? Yes, please. I was instantly drawn to A Long, Long Sleep for the promise of something (hopefully) different in the crowded dystopian genre.
A Long, Long Sleep on the outside looks like it is a dystopian version of Sleeping Beauty. And yes, there are those fairy tale-esque moments, but that is not all there is to it. And I, for one, could not have been happier.
Unlike most dystopians, A Long, Long Sleep does not focus much on the technology… the society. Everything centers more on Rose and her experience. A young girl that had everything in her life taken away from her while in statis. Her family. Her place in the world. All of it… gone. Yet, replaced by a world that is oddly similar. If only Rose can figure out how her puzzle piece fits into the new picture.
Initally, I was drawn to A Long, Long Sleep for the fairy tale element. With all the dystopians available now, I am always on the look out for something different, as I am sure most readers are. A Long, Long Sleep seemed to promise that. But it upheld its promise in a different way. A Long, Long Sleep was a very emotional book for me. Rose was not exactly a character that I connected with, yet I found myself loving her anyway. I found that I wanted her to be happy. To find her place in this new world.
Parts predictable, parts completely surprising, A Long, Long Sleep is a dystopian read that has earned a special place in my heart. Sheehan does not put a happy little bow on the ending, and for that I thank her. It is hard exactly to put into words how touching this book was. But regardless, A Long, Long Sleep is a book that you will have a hard time forgetting.