Release Date: August 9, 2011
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Anna Sheehan – Website
Anna Sheehan – Facebook
A Long, Long Sleep – Candlewick Page
Rating: 4 Stars
I was really surprised by A Long, Long Sleep. I don’t know what I was expecting from this book when I started reading it, but I was very happy with what this book turned out to be. A Long, Long Sleep was a lot more than just a new retelling of Sleeping Beauty, it felt like it’s own new story.
Initially, this book started out a bit slow. I had to set it down and come back to it, but once I picked up again, the story really began to come into it’s own. Around a hundred pages in, I became engrossed by the book. I really wanted to know more about Rose’s past. Rose wakes up 62 years after she was put into stasis by her parents. Everyone she knows has passed away, the world she new has changed. One thing that kept me constantly engaged in reading was the mystery of why she was constantly stass as a child. That was a mystery that I really wanted to learn more about. And I was shocked and sadden when I found the answer.
I felt really bad for Rose, the life she knew has disappeared while she was in stasis. The world has changed, with half the world’s population getting wiped out by disease in the Dark Times and then being rebuilt. Rose awoke to a world were she was an outsider, and a famous outsider at that has inherited basically everything. Initially, I was really annoyed by Rose because she was weak, and self-deprecating. But then I began to see why she was that way and sympathized with her. Over the course of the book, Rose really comes into her own too. Her world has changed, and she too has to change. With the help of Brendan, the boy who awoke her with a kiss, and Otto, a very sweet alien friend, Rose starts to gain self-confidence and self-respect and strength.
When I started this book, I was worried it was going to be a heavy sci-fiction book. However, the sci-fi element was just a platform for the rest of the story. Sure, the book does take place in the future and there are stasis tubes and such, but the sci-fi element of the story isn’t overbearing and provides the basis for a story that is very driven by characters.
The story and the characters really grew on me as I continued reading. I wanted to learn about Rose’s past, about her parents and what happened between her and her boyfriend Xavier. When Rose’s past is finally revealed I was deeply sadden and shocked. I really wanted to give a Rose a hug because her life SUCKED. And if you thought your parents are bad, wait until you learn about Rose’s parents.
I loved how the different plot lines were woven together to reveal the bigger story arc. I loved how the thing that was chasing Rose tied into Rose’s mysterious past and helped reveal answers to bigger questions. And I must say, this book did have a twist that left me shocked and deeply saddened for poor Rose. It was a bittersweet twist I would say.
A Long, Long Sleep is an emotional, unique, new read. The book and the characters grow on you as you continue reading. I really liked the ending, not everything was wrapped up in a neat bow, but enough was wrapped up to leave you satisfied. I really enjoyed this fresh take on a classic fairy tale.