Title: A Long, Long Sleep
Author: Anna Sheehan
Release Date: August 9, 2011
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Rose has been asleep for a long time, almost sixty-two years, before being woken by a kiss. Locked away in a stasis tube in a forgotten basement, Rose slept straight through the Dark Times, a period of time where millions died and the world changed far beyond her recognition. Now, her parents are gone, her boyfriend is gone, and Rose is now the heir to an interplanetary empire. Desperate to put the past behind her, she's inexplicably drawn to the boy who kissed her awake, but when a deadly danger puts her new future in danger, Rose has to face the ghosts of her past. Or be left without any future at all.
Such an intriguing bland of science fiction and a fairy tale retelling, but it makes so much sense. Asleep for hundreds of years, the world is new and strange. Where has this book been? And it's so sad and troubled and emotional. Rose is so lost, so so lost. I wanted to reach into the screen (I read the e-book version) and hug her for years and years, to tell her everything would be better.
Of course, it didn't help that someone was trying to kill her.
And how could she not be drawn to Bren, the boy who found her and kissed her awake when he thought she was dead?
The future Rose wakes to, like the future in Beth Revis' Across the Universe and Katie Kacvinsky's Awaken, scares me. Reading about them in books is fine, but the realism, the fear and confusion in the character's mind, the differences, they all have a way of making me appreciate the time and place I live in. The stark cleanliness of proposed futures, the lack of face to face communication, the record-keeping and tracking. It makes me appreciate the warm and soft world I currently live in, a world full of colour. I imagine Rose's future to be filled with white walls and no dirt.
Anna Sheehan's debut novel is sure to satisfy readers searching for more YA science fiction novels. In this book they will find a sympathetic narrator coming to terms with both a strange and alien future as well as the ghosts of her past, the truth she couldn't admit was the truth, a truth with cruel implications. At the end of the book, my heart still went out to Rose, hoping she would find a place of her own, hoping she would finally be happy again.
(I borrowed an e-book copy of this book from the library.)