- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Candlewick Press (2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0763663468
- ISBN-13: 978-0763663469
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 150 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,387,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Long, Long Sleep Paperback – January 22, 2013
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With well-developed characters, a touch of romance, and a believable future that, for once, is not entirely dystopian, Sheehan's tale should please many readers.
This is a fun, fast read...It is a fairy tale without a classic happy ending. The book addresses serious issues including what makes a "person," in addition to classic YA subjects such as first love, making it a wonderful title for a book talk, a reading list, or a class discussion.
This debut novel doesn’t shy away from exploring the dangers of powerful conglomerates and the ways technology can be abused, but, ultimately, it’s a bittersweet story of lost love, dreams, and of finding one’s place in the world.
—School Library Journal
Whether comparing Rose's story to other Briar Rose and Sleeping Beauty variants, wondering about her complicated situation or simply enjoying the thrilling suspense, readers will hope that Rose can find some happiness ever after in a complex world.
About the Author
Anna Sheehan says of A LONG, LONG, SLEEP, her first novel, “I always thought the interesting thing about Sleeping Beauty wasn't why she was put to sleep, but what she had to come to terms with afterward. Everything would have changed radically— technology and politics as well as social structure. She would have seemed like a foreigner in her own country.” Anna Sheehan lives in rural Oregon.
Top customer reviews
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I invested in Rose as a character and she didn’t disappoint. I don’t like heroines who display characteristics of low-self esteem but have no reason for it. The chicas who don’t know they’re beautiful but are beating off men with a stick. The chicas who display no interest in the lives of others but have a cadre of BFFS & people who can’t get enough of them. The chicas who have no hobbies, talents or interests outside of some guy but everyone thinks is the most interesting special snowflake of all time. All the while, in the midst of this, the heroine puts herself down & eschews any idea why everyone thinks she’s so great. But they never find out because they are suffering from a bad case of Mary Sue.
As a reader, I can’t take much more of those so I was a guard when I started getting to know Rose. Her self-esteem is in negative nil territory. She says she’s not beautiful & then describes what 62 years in stasis has left her with when she’s awoken. It’s not pretty. She’s emaciated, her eyes are hollow, her skin is sallow at best, her hair is a mess and she has to have nano implant surgery to stimulate and regulate her heart and muscles because they’ve atrophied over time. Oh, and her digestive system isn’t very cooperative either after 62 years of non-use. Objectively, she definitely has a case for not feeling or looking her best. And no one around is telling her how beautiful she is either. Rose has more pressing concerns anyway. She’s going to inherit her parent’s interplanetary company UniCorp when she’s of age, an assassin, called a Plastine is hunting her, she’s not any better at school now than she was before she was put into stass for the last time and she has something of a crush on a boy who basically tells her it’s absolutely not on when she tells him so. Oh, and she’s mourning the death of her parents and her long lost love which likely took place during the Dark Times (viral outbreak decimates population, financial collapse, food contaminant reduces reproduction capabilities so further population decimation and finally Reconstruction occurs leaving a still widely stratified society which spans planets now). She has all of two friends. One being the crush I mentioned before and the other a humanoid boy who is the result of gene splicing of human DNA & that of an organism found on Europa who is actually property of UniCorp. Also, she is an accomplished artist and throughout the story she harkens back to that talent and puts it to use when she needs it. She knows she’s good and she doesn’t display false modesty about it.
I won’t spoil what happens because it’s done too well in the reveals and while I suspected some of the outcomes and turns, I wasn’t dissatisfied at all when I was proven correct. I found much of the second half of the book terribly sad as revelations came to light but I found myself rooting for Rose and feeling proud for her when she accomplished some things. I couldn’t put the story down without it tugging at my thoughts. In the end, Rose actually saves herself and finds her own voice, faces the truth of her life before she was stassed and is ready to embark on exercising her own agency and that was what made the book for me. For this and other reasons I won’t spoil, I am looking forward to the sequel. I picked this up after reading something about it in an Amazon Scifi newsletter and I’m glad that I did. I would recommend this to anyone who likes futuristic settings or reimagined fairytales.
A Long Long Sleep has all the makings of a great book and, for the most part, it delivers. First though, let me talk about the few issues I had with this book. The first, and biggest issue, was that the beginning tended to drag on a bit. There were times in the first half of the book where I felt that several pages could have been compressed into a couple of paragraphs. Second, again in the first half, the language was sometimes confusing. Rose is trying to fit into a new world and the reader sometimes has to struggle along with her as she learns the new slang. While this drives home the empathy factor, it did tend to make me me feel like an 80 year old trying to make sense out of high school lunch table conversation. Finally, I really wish we could have seen more of the romance between Rose and Xavier. I didn't feel very emotionally connected to him until about midway through the book and I feel like, since this is the main love story in the book, it could have been explored a little more.
Now, with that out of the way, let me tell you what I loved (and I did love this book). I loved Rose! She was strong, sweet, and just vulnerable enough. Her struggle as she fell for another guy while still holding on to her first love felt very real to me. And there's another thing, even though this book is taking place a couple hundred years in the future it was all very relateable. Usually I don't go for sci fi stuff because I can't really relate to it, but this story felt very plausible and even the super futuristic elements felt realistic. I think one reason the story seemed so realistic was the character development. I knew all of the characters, even the background characters, and their motivations. The relationship that I loved the most was the friendship between Rose and Otto (a half alien/ half human hybrid). You could feel how much they cared about each other and Otto's dry humor was the perfect companion to Rose's panicked thoughts. The thing that really sealed the deal for me though was the end of the book. I really did not see the last couple of chapters coming. Some of the revelations made my head spin. More than that though, the ending was incredibly emotional. I rarely cry when I read and this book made me weep both with joy and with sadness.
I truly hope that Sheehan plans on a sequel because I would love to explore the relationships in the book more and really see Rose come into her own. Certainly this book will stay with me for a very long time. I highly recommend picking up A Long Long Sleep, it makes a great bedtime story.
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