(August 9, 2011)
From the Cover:
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.
Rose was been asleep for a very long time, much longer than her mother promised, much longer than anyone thought possible. Sixty-two years is a long time to be asleep. She missed so much, and from what she understands, no all of it was good. When she went to sleep, her father's company was working on genetic altered foods, and when she woke up, everything has changed. The Dark Times brought death, infertility, instability. Her parents and first love, Xavier, are all gone. Her parents died after putting her in stasis, never telling others of her existence. She was left to languish in the stasis tube found in the sub-basement of their apartment building all those long years. And if it hadn't been for the accidental discovery of her tube by her mysterious savior, Bren, she would have remain, asleep within her dreams, eternally.
When she wakes, it's to a new world, new vernacular, nothing is the same. And someone, something, has been programmed to seek her out, and retrieve her... and ultimately killer her.
A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan tells the story of a young girl, who has been sheltered and shielded all of her life, to the point of obsession and abuse. Her parents seldom let her explore her world, even before stasis. They were world famous scientist and corporate engineers, holding the rights to an interplanetary empire. Every time they opened a new station, launched new product, wanted to take a vacation, they put Rose into stasis.... every time. Rose doesn't know any better, she's never been treated any differently. Her controlling father demanded obedience, her dependent mother easily and willingly bent to his will. If she questions their decisions or requests, she's put into stasis, until she "calms down....becomes reasonable". It happens many times throughout her life. Rose first meets Xavier when he is only a toddler, and while he continues to grow, to mature and grow older, Rose exists in that place without reality. She's always been older than Xavier, until one day, when she's released from her stasis tube, she's not. Xavier, though chronologically younger, has gained more birthdays than Rose. He's always been fascinated by the girl who goes away, but always comes back the same. Eventually, love grows and when Rose's parents place her in stasis, Xavier finds a way to help her escape. He becomes Rose's hero and savior... until her parents found out, and she's placed in stasis and forgotten. Sixty-two years later, Bren discovers an old tube, dusty and worn by time, used for home stasis, until it was outlawed. As he brushes away the dirt and grime, he discovers the sleeping beauty tucked away inside. Then, Rose's world changes, and nothing will ever be the same. Everything has been lost or changed. And not only that, something is hunting for her, something wants to find her, and wants her dead.
A Long, Long Sleep is one of the best YA distant reality novels I've read. It's not set in the far future, just one that hasn't happened yet, but could. It's the story of a young girl's abuse. She's not beaten or physically damaged in any way that anyone else can see. She's not mentally broken... that anyone would notice. She has accepted her fate, to be the girl in the stasis tube, never questioning, never resisting, compliant. She doesn't know any different, won't accept that her parents are doing is something wrong. When she does question why, when she wants to be her own person, to learn to live and have a life, she forced in stasis one last time and forgotten. It isn't until she's discovered in the sub-basement of her parent's old apartment building that she comes to life, real life. Her old life comes to her in the memories of her mother and father, and of Xavier... and they're all gone, long dead. She's never been allowed to attend school long or socialize with others her age. Now, she has to start over, if she can figure out how and learn to handle all the new strangeness. She latches onto Bren, her savior, but Bren is overwhelmed. But, Otto, the hybrid-alien engineered boy is fascinated by her, and he seems to be the only one who wants to be her friend. But, then again, they are both owned by the corporation, one and the same.
A Long, Long Sleep is a sleeping beauty retelling with a macabre twist. Rose's parents leave her in a stasis tube, repeatedly. Any time they need a break from being parents, a break from the reality of their lives, she's hidden away. No one questions, no one knows. Rose is almost the secret child, and there might be others. But, even from the grave her parents reach out and touch her one last time. If you like retellings of classic fairy tales, you'll enjoy A Long, Long Story with it's dark twists and turns. If you like young love, twice over, give this one a try. You won't believe the ending. Five out of five fairy kisses.
I absolutely LOVE the UK cover! Isn't it amazing!!
I received my ebook copy for review from NetGalley and Candlewick Press. All opinions are my own.