Friday, August 12, 2011

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

Book:  A Long, Long Sleep
Author:  Anna Sheehan
Publisher:  Candlewick
Date:  August 9, 2011
My grade:  A+

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 existence, Rose must face the ghosts of her past with open eyes -- or be left without any future at all.
My Review

Who would have thought that a futuristic retelling of Sleeping Beauty would make me cry?  Or think this deeply?  Or be so beautifully bittersweet?

Certainly not me.  When I started this book, I have to say that I was thinking slightly humorous thoughts.  Random snatches of “Sleeping Beauty in Spa-spa-space”  with the hollow echo in the background and that sort of thing.  Or a scrolling text that starts out with “Once Upon a Time, in a galaxy far, far away….”

But the more I read this book, the less I thought about those things and the more engaged and intrigued I became with this story, until I found myself finally finishing the book and writing this review at 2:23 in the morning.

This book is unlike anything that I’ve ever read.  Now, I love a good re-telling of a fairy tale, which is what attracted me to this book, but wow!  I did not see the plot of this novel coming and it hit me like a ton of bricks, in the best possible way, of course!

This book really attacks some issues within the context of this future Sleeping Beauty idea.  Things like child abuse and neglect, corporate greed and control, science and ethics, human rights and other heavy ideas are all addressed in this story.  Not your Disney princess re-telling, is it?

I am so impressed with this book.  The twists and turns of the story itself were amazing.  The characters were incredible.  I really felt like I knew the characters by the end of the novel.  Somehow, the author managed to create a complex plot line and at the same time create a diverse diorama of characters that the reader could know in very in-depth ways.  I’m very impressed with her ability to create characters with such depth while still maintaining this intricate story.

This is a book that could easily be used in a classroom to explore many issues, most especially the idea of advancements in science and technology and how to balance those morally and ethically.  If you are looking for a light, frolicking fairy tale novel, this is NOT that novel!  But, if you like novels that make you think while still maintaining a fabulous plot and cast of characters, then this is a novel you should DEFINITELY read!

My grade for this book is A+.  The story was incredible!  It made me laugh, cry, get angry and stop and think about the greater questions of the universe.  It was like reading “Hamlet”, only I didn’t have to look at all the footnotes in my Riverside Shakespeare.  If you want to think while you read, go pick up this book right away!

Thanks to Candlewick Press and netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book.

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