|Title: A Long, Long Sleep||
|Author: Anna Sheehan|
|Genre: Fantasy/Sci fi|
|Elements: Retelling, Futuristic|
|Series: Stand alone|
This review contains spoilers, big ones. Warning you now! Proceed at your own risk! Dun dun dun! And all that.
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.
Reading the description and looking at the cover, I thought A LONG, LONG SLEEP was going to be a serious and depressing book. The first half was almost as I thought, as Rose dealt with depression at having everyone she had ever known, now dead, and herself sixty years older in spirit, but still a teenager in body and mind. The Sleeping Beauty elements were so subtly intervowen in the story that I read through completely oblivious until someone mentioned it.
ALLS reminds me of JESSICA'S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE, in that it surprises me halfway throughout the story from just an okay book to one that was truly great. Every event from then left me breathless as the action was amped up, the emotions were heightened and I grew to fear for the character's wellbeing.
Rose as a narrator is not particularly... She's one of the girls I wouldn't notice in real life: nondescript, shy, quiet, always alone in her own world. Her growth of self-acceptance was a very sad journey to go through, and I was proud of her by the end.
Despite her extenuating circumstances, she takes it all in stride, and becomes hearty and resilient with the help of an unlikely friend. If it had been me in her situation, let's not even talk about getting out of the stassis chamber. I'd just be sitting there half submerged, bawling my eyes out. This friend's perhaps the main reason why she grew over the course of the book, and without him I think we'd still be stuck with the Rose at the start of the book. I loved this friendship, because Rose opened up to him and showed us a glimpse of who she could potentially be, which she herself has not shown to us readers in her internal musings. This was frustrating at the start, because she was just so agreeable with whatever happened to her, even when it came to her disadvantage. Only in light of the revelations of the events leading to the start of the book did it all make sense, why she couldn't even trust herself even when she was alone with her own thoughts.
The revelations... it's the first time I've felt all around disgust and revulsion for a YA character's parents. It makes me rage like no other, that a parent can do this to their own child, just willingly not bother with them, literally putting them aside like a discarded toy. That people are capable of such simple cruelty is heartbreaking.
Whether the bravery portrayed during the last few chapters during the climax is a lasting effect, I don't think so. I do believe she has grown out more, trusting in herself more, and actually believing that she has a right to basic decency--a recurring theme here--but it feels like the sort of growth that would be shown more growing internally and then externally. A growth that wouldn't culminate in one showy display, which while satisfying, doesn't feel lasting. I'd love to see how she fares if there's a sequel.