Friday, 22 June 2012

A Long Long Sleep By Anna Sheehan


A Long Long Sleep
Release Date: 11th August 2011
Publisher: Gollancz
Format: Hardback
Pages: 352
Source: Received from publisher.

Synopsis: It should have been a short suspended-animation sleep. But this time Rose wakes up to find her past is long gone-- and her future full of peril.

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 subbasement, 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 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.

Review: I'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked up this book, I don't think I was expecting much at all but this book blew me away. A Long Long Sleep is a haunting novel of change and moving on, all the while the mystery of the past is running at your heels. I loved this book, it gripped me so emotionally, that on many occasions I was on the brink of tears. No book has made me cry but I was so darn close here. The emotions that Rose has to deal with are really horrifying, every person she knew have long been dead. She's alone in a modern world with no idea of how things changed so drastically in the years she was asleep. Even more so the question as to why she'd been in the stass tube for that long haunts her too. Her life will never be the same, she's been asleep for sixty two years but she is still only 16, in her mind and body. Just think how draining that would be on your mind and body, so many questions fluttering around your mind as to what happened and why. All the people who had the answers are long gone, Rose has to try to sort through her past to get the answers. It's a past she cannot forget no matter how much she wishes too. Sheehan conveys Rose's emotions so perfectly that they grip the reader and pull them into the story. The haunting truths were harsh even to the reader, they make me wince even now. I won't say anything of the truths because I don't want to ruin this book. A Long Long sleep is as perfect as a novel can be, allowing the reader to journey with Rose through this horrible time, sitting there with her through the laughter and tears. I think Rose will forever hold a place in my heart and A Long Long Sleep will remain on my bookshelf for a long time to come.

A Long Long Sleep follows Rose as she is woken up from her stass tube by a boy called Bren. Rose is terrified to find a stranger in her home but when it hits her that she's been in the tube for a lot longer than she thought she crumbles. Sixty two years have gone by, all of her family and friends are dead, she remains a 16 year old, the heir to a whole empire. The discovery of her body sends a jolt through the world, she'd long been lost but here she is before them all. Rose is placed under some guardians and sent to school, its only then the reality finally hits home that things have changed drastically. She wants to know the truth but she's afraid of the past, and of the love she left behind. A Long Long Sleep is a novel about finding the answer to your questions, no matter how hard that can be, and facing the truths and more than anything accepting them and moving on.

I've read in some other reviews that A Long Long Sleep has been compared to a Sci-Fi Sleeping Beauty. I disagree with this alas it has the same concept but there is so much more depth, it goes beyond the fairytale to the dark reality that can be the world and how people can treat others badly so they can do what they want. The only thing similar to the fairy tale is that Rose awakes in a stass tube, awakened by a boy who is trying to save her, as he thinks she is dying.

Rose's character is someone whose used to doing what she's told. She's always been that way and still is, she's like it out of fear. She never complains, she just endures the hell she's put through. To me that speaks volumes, someone who isn't selfish and doesn't complain shows me that they are a strong character. Rose is a strong character but not in a physical sense.  Her mind has been put through so much, she should be breaking down, although she does cry a lot she still manages to get up. At one time I thought she would give up but someone came and knocked some sense into her. By the end of the book she had really grown, she knew she didn't have to fear anyone, she would do what she liked. She comes out must stronger in  the end. I loved watching Rose's character grow, it was like watching a good friend grow up beside you.

Bren, is the boy who woke her, he's the one who tries and gets her to fit into the modern world. He's clever, intelligent and more so he's a kind person and a friend to Rose when she needed one. Otto was a strange person with alien DNA, he was incredibly unique and also left an impression on me. He saw Rose for the tormented soul she was, he wasn't jealous that she was the heir of the company. He knew what it was like to feel out of place and he became an important friend to Rose. I loved his character and if there is a sequel I hope he ends up with Rose. When Rose flashed back to the past she told us of Xavier her love, they had great chemistry together, they were best friends. Their closeness was hard to ignore they were perfect for each other until Rose slept for 62 years. Now she knows he's dead and she misses him greatly.

This has been a long review but I cannot tell you how much I loved the books. It was such a strong novel containing many life long lessons and loveable characters that you couldn't help but hurt for. This book held my attention from start till finish, I did not want to put it down. I'm even missing it now, like I have withdrawal symptoms from this book, is that even possible? I'm sure I will revisit this book in the future, it's too hard to ignore. The character's were so real, especially Rose all the heartbreak she goes through will bring tears to you eyes. The harsh truths she learns will break your heart, it will leave you emotionally exhausted. Not many books have such an emotional pull but this book in itself is unique. If you only pick up one book this year, I would like you to choose this. It is a jewel of a book and one that will leave a mark. I won't ever forget it.


 

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