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Beauty Sleep

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Who am I? What am I? When am I?

Laura can't remember who she is. But the rest of the world knows. Because Laura is famous - a dying girl who was frozen until she could be cured.
A real-life Sleeping Beauty.

But what happens when you wake up one day and the world has moved on forty years?
Could you build a new life - while solving the mystery of what happened to the old one?

A darkly twisted thriller plunging a pre-tech girl into a futuristic world.

437 pages, Paperback

First published April 4, 2019

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About the author

Kathryn Evans

3 books109 followers
Following a degree in drama and a short career in theatre, Kathryn Evans quickly realised she was likely to starve unless she got a proper job. She didn't get a proper job, she married a farmer and set up a strawberry farm. And now she's writing books, will she never learn?

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5 stars
327 (30%)
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428 (39%)
3 stars
264 (24%)
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50 (4%)
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12 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 172 reviews
Profile Image for Diana.
1,701 reviews214 followers
August 18, 2019

Vid review available on August, 19th, 2019 here https://youtu.be/u9YGz5xzL1o

It would have been a solid 4 or 5 stars if the ending didn't have some things that left you thinking it was impossible no one saw what was going on, and for me it needed a little bit more developing/scientific take on things that were a bit off.

But I loved how I couldn't put the book down and the relationship between Shem and his dog, as it felt VERY real to me and made me think more than once about how I would react the same were I and my dog involved on many of the things they go thru. It seemed more realistic that other portrayals of owner/dog relationships I have seen on other books were the animal is more like an accesory than a real being.

That said, the book made for an entertaining read even if there were some previsible things (related to Shem and one of the friends Laura makes on the school), but it kept me hooked.
Profile Image for chloe yeung ♡.
392 reviews265 followers
August 23, 2020
got this at the covent garden waterstones when i was in london last summer and finally had the chance to pick it up today! :D

update: wow this was SO DARK and totally not what i was expecting. not in a bad way though.
June 3, 2019

This book made me laugh and cry in all the right places and when I wasn't reading about it, I would think of its story.

It was wonderful to read, [and re-read, and re-re-read!] it's a true thriller and I wish it would be a movie.
It will keep you up at night, turning its rich pages with a sense of faint horror and glee.

But it's not all horror, it has sadness and joy mixed with pain and wonder, hunger and a thirst for the truth. [and a dash of mystery]
Profile Image for Barbara Band.
652 reviews15 followers
March 27, 2019
Another gripping science fi from Kathryn Evan's. Laura and her brother are suffering from a rare cancer with no cure so her mums decide to put both of them into cryogenic sleep until a cure can be found.
Forty years later Laura is revived to discover both her mums and her brother are dead. The only person linked to her past is Stacey, her best friend, but there's an injunction preventing Stacey from getting near Laura.
Laura needs to find out what really happened but who can she believe?
Love the depiction of the future in this book, extremely believable. It's a fast-paced, tense thriller that will keep you guessing.
Profile Image for Sean Randall.
1,876 reviews40 followers
April 18, 2019
Wow. I was hooked on this, and as the character's converge the excitement keeps building. A clever, well-paced novel with more of a satisfying ending than kathryn's debut. I even completely missed the big reveal at the end, which in retrospect you'd have to be even blinder than I am to do. Fantastic book, though. Very much enjoyed.
Profile Image for Karen Barber.
2,427 reviews57 followers
May 19, 2019
Laura and her brother are suffering with a particularly rare form of cancer, and they are given the opportunity to trial an experimental treatment. Her last memory is of sticking a picture of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson into a scrapbook. When she next wakes, having been successfully ‘frozen’ until her cancer can be treated, it’s forty years in the future.
The initial focus on Laura waking up was done really well. Her confusion about interacting with the world around her was fascinating to read. As she learns about how the world has moved on since the 1980s it highlights just what rapid changes there have been, taking them to a quite logical future position that - if I’m being honest - is quite scary.
We spend a lot of time with Laura in the clinic where she was treated. The clinic’s founder, Miss Lily, has built her wealth on the back of a society obsessed with appearance, and there are hints that there may be more to this from early on.
Laura becomes something of a phenomenon - this real-life Sleeping Beauty - but the focus is on her settling into life at school as she begins to make contact with her best friend (now middle aged) and try to determine who is telling her the truth about the events that led to her being in this position.
As Laura pushed for answers I couldn’t help but feel some of her behaviours became unlikely. I found it hard to believe that people in possession of the kind of technology they had would not have realised sooner what was going on. And the actual revelation of what had been happening and the role Laura played in it didn’t quite feel as seamless as it might have.
A bold story which raises some very interesting questions about our contemporary attitudes to so many things. I can’t wait to see what some of those of the age intended for readership make of it.

Profile Image for Rachael Haley.
237 reviews4 followers
March 12, 2021
4.5 stars

This is my book club read for March. We read YA fiction and then afterwards either donate the books to friends with teens or a charity which supports teenagers.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from the start even though is has a sci-fi vibe which isn't normally my thing.

Laura, a 17 year old girl, wakes and doesn't know where she is or who she is.

She discovers that she was cryogenically frozen over 40 years ago in the hope that when she was revived that her childhood cancer could be cured.

Laura soon begins to remember things from her past and tries to piece things together bit by bit.

Alongside Laura's story, you also follow Shem, a young 'homeless' man living in a shed and being pursued by some mystery individuals.

I couldn't put the book down and even thought I had guessed the ending - it was still wonderful.

If you enjoy YA fiction then definitely give this a try!
Profile Image for Miss L.
51 reviews
April 10, 2021
I really struggled with this book at the beginning! It reminded me of Remember me? By Sophie Kinsella and didn’t pick up until at least halfway through but I did enjoy it after that. I felt it was more of a teen fiction.
Profile Image for FU€K 0FF.
125 reviews1 follower
March 25, 2022
I honestly don't know what to say about this? I went on a week long reading slump during it and overall the book was forgettable besides the cover (which I do love).

Don't recommend it but I guess I don't regret reading it.
Profile Image for Matthew Telles.
Author 1 book5 followers
January 31, 2022
I'm glad that this book got right into the premise. It didn't dawdle, didn't linger and made sure that you knew exactly what was going on straight away. Not only does this make it a better read, and more enticing straight away, but it also doesn't allow Laura's thoughts to loiter too much so that her thoughts, confusion, anger, sadness doesn't have to be overly expressed.

I also like how the other point of view was introduced, quick and without much introduction. It gave us a clear idea of the character and his personality, but it also gave us quite a few hints as to who he was if you pay close attention.

A couple of times I noticed how some descriptions were done, in ways that didn't feel like they fit with the book too well, although it didn't take away as much as I thought it would. "Eyebrows like slugs." It takes a little away from the book in my opinion, based on what I specifically like, but from a writers point of view, I can see how well this encapsulates the feature, even with the small exaggeration. However, on the flip side, I liked how this gave characterisation to each person. Everyone has different thoughts, and using language like this allows that distinguishment to be made much easier and earlier.

This book really encapsulated how any of us would react to being put into a new technological era. It is very hard to imagine what could potentially come in the future that we haven't already theorised or thought about before and because of that, if something new, something that we hadn't seen previously suddenly appeared as we woke up, far in the future, I think that the reaction is genuine and mirrors life.

The feeling that this book brings up when you are reading it is a massive credit to the author. She does a great job leaving small gaps, things that could mean something and some that might mean nothing. You never know which and are always on your toes looking for these things, wondering if they mean anything, or if you're just being paranoid. The reason I really like this is that it is something that Laura would be experiencing herself, having been thrown into a whole new world, new everything, and not having everyone from her past able to hold her through it. Rather than showing the reader how she feels mainly, she provides the feeling through her writing, the words she uses and how she puts them together.

One thing that I made a connection to, was how certain parts of the story seemed to mirror some prison systems across the world and how they aren't for rehabilitation, but for profit. There were also other problems, more explicit problems that were clearly stated. Such as homelessness, and how we end up treating a lot of them as criminals and excluding them from our society because of how everything is slowly moving towards only online. Another thing, that was obvious was how big pharma gets away with a lot of things, mainly doing experiments on animals to further research, and how there most definitely are places that involuntarily take people and experiment on them in ways that they didn't consent to.

While the story, at points, felt a little stagnant, I was happy to carry on reading, wanting to finish the book and find out everything that happened in the end. I also really liked the irregular length of each chapter. It keeps you on your toes, you never know what is going to happen next, who is going to be speaking of the two, and how long their thoughts and dialogue are going to last. It is right in line with the rest of the book, being unpredictable and intriguing. As the book moved towards the end things became faster-paced. More information started making sense as we learned more.

The ending was also satisfying. It felt real, like something that could happen in real life. Not everything was resolved, and there were still some things that were left unanswered even once the book ended but I think that fits in with the rest of the story. Not everything needs to be solved to have a satisfying conclusion, in fact, making things unresolved, certain things adds to the realism in the story. A few parts in the ending did feel like they were too perfect as if they were written to make the book wrap up nicely, which doesn't take too much away from the overall feeling and messages in the book.

The twists and turns that I experienced through this book only made it better, and the realism only further drew me in. I would recommend this book as something that can be enjoyed a lot, especially if you have read the blurb and like the sound of it. It definitely lives up to expectations.
Profile Image for Gina.
280 reviews41 followers
January 13, 2022

“I knew what they'd have written. They didn't have to put it on paper. The lessons they'd taught me were tattooed across my heart.”

Okay so full transparancy, I probably shouldn't be allowed to write a review on this because it took me literal MONTHS to finish this book.
Not because it was bad but because my reading slump caused me to not be able to read more than 2 pages per attempt of picking up the book.
Therefor I have no clear remembrance of fresh vision of my actual opinion on this book.
What could be improved in the first part of the book? I have no idea because it's been a thousand eons. I only know the overall big lines, and those..I enjoyed!
However- I wanna give my 2 cents anyways. (literally 2 cents bc it's not gonna be worth more than 2 cents, these words)

What a gripping, interesting story-line! I'm sure that if I had read it faster, I would have been much more excited over this. But as it took me so long, the magic of it faded- of course.
Although the genre is Sci-Fi, if there were to be a headline tomorrow saying something like this had been happening here, I wouldn't be surprised.
It's not THAT out of this world (to me at least).

I have to say I wasn't too bothered with the chapters of Shem, so I kinda skimmed them all.
But I swear I enjoyed the book! Again, it was such an interesting storyline!
Imagine going to sleep in 1985 and waking up in 2025, goodbye- what a trip!
Do you think we could try this the other way round?
Going to sleep in 2022 and wake up in 1982??? Kinda wanna try it out.
Profile Image for Amy.
966 reviews64 followers
December 18, 2019
This was completely an impulse buy because of the cover. How could you resist that cover and when I read the plot I was even more intrigued. Sadly, this wasn't as good a read as I hoped it would be.

The plot seems very surface level to me; we've got a young girl who goes to sleep and wakes up 40 years in the future and yet we get very minimal trauma from this and very little time actually watching her adjust to this changing world. There's a lot of focus on the technological advances the world has made but not much else. I think the tag-line really overhypes this book and it isn't as good as it hopes it would be. All of the plot twists were obvious; and so at no point did I find this book thrilling. It's almost glaringly obvious what is going to happen so it takes a lot of the mystery out of the story.

I couldn't connect with any of the characters; we rarely get to know them beyond their character tropes and they don't really have big personalities. Nothing was ever fully explored and as I said above, it was all very surface-level. I know this is a YA but it definitely could have done with a more in-depth consideration of the characters and the world.

ALSO the amount of comments about this poor girl's teeth!!

An okay read but nothing to shout about.
414 reviews9 followers
July 13, 2020
Interesting concept, a little boring and drawn out, easily skimmable. Figured out everything from the beginning, and I didn’t like the dual POV but it was decent.
Profile Image for Lexi.
9 reviews
January 16, 2021
The storyline is amazing and it is beautifully written. It swaps between two people narrating it and the ending is so well thought out. My favourite book.
Profile Image for Sarah Bennion.
25 reviews3 followers
January 20, 2022
I absolutely loved this book! It’s absolutely brilliant and I was gripped!
Profile Image for Nabila S..
172 reviews33 followers
November 16, 2019
"You don't choose your family, you choose your friends - you tie those bonds, you make them matter." "The least we should do is let people who have nothing at all lie on a bit of pavement at night."

I had been looking forward to reading this book for a while. Completed it recently and happy to say it did not disappoint at all.
Beauty Sleep is a dark sci-fi contemporary novel that follows a girl named Laura Henley who is put to sleep cryogenically in 1998 as she has cancer. She wakes up 40 years later but doesn't remember anything from her past. She's famous though as the world knows her as sleeping beauty.
The book is basically her trying to figure out her past and also struggling to adjust with how much the world has changed.

The book is described as sleeping beauty meets black mirror and that is so spot on because it really gave off that vibe. It is so creepy and I loved the tone of the book. There are so many small details that gave me actual chills. It's a page-turner and so realistic.

One of the main aspects of the story is the negative side of the internet and technology. There's absolutely no privacy which is true even today. In one scene, Laura checks her Instagram and gets really happy that so many "STRANGERS" are liking her picture even though she was opposed to posting it in the first place and gets immediately sad afterwards when someone says something negative and that resonated with me.

Wanted to say this as it links with this story: Glad that Instagram is hiding likes. When I joined Bookstagram, it was because I wanted to discuss books and now I realize how happy/sad it tends to make me depending on how my posts are doing which I don't like. Don't get me wrong, ofcourse exposure is validation and it's logical to feel happy when people like your content because you put in effort and otherwise it feels like you're talking into a void.
But I joined the community because I wanted to affect other people. Even making one person read or having an effect on their reading choices which might change their life for the better like it has me was the goal.

This book also portrayed how people had changed for the better in the future and how accepting they had become of minority communities.
It posed a question in the end: If a good thing comes out of horrible things done in the past, does that mean the horrible things done weren't in vain? Does it mean you should let the good thing go as well.
I felt like the ends here did not justify the means at all.

The only reason I'm not giving it 5 stars is because it was a little predictable to me. Maybe because I've read too many thrillers and a little because it's theme was kind of similiar to this short horror movie I saw on YouTube. Let it be said that it did not at all take anything away from the experience. I absolutely enjoyed this book and HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.
I'm already getting her other book next month which sounds just as interesting if not more.
Profile Image for Staceywh_17.
1,776 reviews19 followers
June 26, 2021
Have you even wondered what it would be like to be cryogenically frozen then be reborn into the future?

"𝙇𝙖𝙪𝙧𝙖, 𝙮𝙤𝙪'𝙧𝙚 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝙤𝙬𝙣 𝙨𝙡𝙚𝙚𝙥𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙗𝙚𝙖𝙪𝙩𝙮"

Cleverly written, well paced & told in dual person format. I loved all the flashbacks to the 1980's.

"𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩'𝙨 𝙞𝙩 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝙡𝙞𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙣 𝙖 𝙛𝙖𝙞𝙧𝙮𝙩𝙖𝙡𝙚?"

Laura & her younger brother are both suffering from a rare cancer from which there is no cure, so her mothers had them both put into a cryogenic sleep until one is found.

When she is woken up forty years into the future Laura has no idea who she is or where she is. When she discovers her mums & brother are dead, the only other person she knows that's linked to her past is her friend Stacey, but an injunction is in place to stop her from coming anywhere near. Laura needs to find out the truth as to what really happened, but who can she trust?

𝗜 𝗴𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗮 5 ⭐ 𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴
Profile Image for Hannah.
197 reviews2 followers
September 19, 2019
What would you do when you wake up 40 years in the future? Someone tells you your family died, you are famous for reasons you don't fully understand... That's what had happened to Laura, a real live Sleeping Beauty.
This was a nice and entertaining read. Might not been the 'SciFi thriller' I had hoped for, some things were pretty obvious to me, but I guess it was targeted to a younger audience. Still very enjoyable.
Profile Image for Amburlea.
7 reviews
August 22, 2022
Slow going and a little boring but obvious something big is gunna happen. Ending was great and made it a good read.
Profile Image for Ex Libris BD.
10 reviews
May 12, 2020
Beauty Sleep is one of those stories where you get sucked into it good and proper, and you must keep going until you reach the end! In it, we meet Laura, the sufferer of a "rare cancer" that saw her put into cryogenic stasis, then woken up 40 years later after being cured. The world around her has changed and moved on, and Laura sticks out like a sore thumb. Her fame combined with today's fast-paced world of social media, the internet, and smart devices, Laura is struggling to find the privacy that she needs to find her feet, and to also uncover the truth about what really happened to her.

This dystopian novel is a great taster for anyone new to the genre. Here's some reasons why I recommend it to anyone wanting to dip their toes in the dystopian pool:
> It's set in today's world. Typically, dystopian stories are set so far in the future that a whole new world has to be imagined. Either that, or some completely devastating event has happened that has made the world unrecognisable. This can be daunting for anyone who lacks that stretch in imagination, or doesn’t like going down that doomy-gloomy rabbit hole. But this story takes place in the 'now' and the world is as we know it, with references to technology, media, events, and everyday life happenings that we can identify with.
> It has short chapters. I found that the short chapters made it easier to read, especially when you just want to read a chapter or two before bed, and actually get to bed within a reasonable timeframe! Sometimes the thought of reading a long chapter really puts me off, so having short and sweet chapters that got straight to the point were very satisfying. Also, a great option for those who don’t particularly enjoy reading (i.e. high schoolers who need to pick a book for wider reading).
> It has great messages about to power of social media, the internet and smart technology. Being constantly connected to everyone and everything around us is featured very widely in this story. From the time Laura wakes up in hospital, to moving in with Miss Lily, to going to school, she is constantly monitored and connected through her smart device and social media. This carries an important message about how private our private lives really are and how easy it is to be portrayed in a certain way online. These points in the book generated great topics of discussion.
> It also sheds light onto some of the many challenges and aspects of homelessness. The story is told from two perspectives: Laura’s, and also a teenage boy called Shem. Shem is homeless, disabled and such a fantastic character. Living in a shed with his dog, he provides great insight into some of the simple things that are unbelievably problematic for someone living rough. Reading his chapters made me grateful that I don’t have to worry about where my next meal is coming from, or where I’m going to sleep that night, or even if my pets are fed and safe. Again, for younger readers, these are really important messages and perspectives that they may never have considered before.
> Great characters! There were so many great characters in this story! Laura held on to what she believed in so strongly, which was also the driving force behind the story. There’s some diversity with characters that have a disability, and those that are in a same-sex relationship. And also, my favourite: a character that you love to hate because you know they’re bad, but they’re not that bad just yet, and then it’s soooo satisfying when they actually turn out to be bad!

Overall, Beauty Sleep was a great read and I’ve enjoyed this little trip into the dystopian genre. It’s got me a bit more into the style, and I’m starting to re-think my own prejudices towards it (e.g. set so far in the future, big world-devastating event, overthrowing governments… thanks Hunger Games). I’ve already sought the next dystopian genre I’m going to read and I’m glad that this book lead me down that path. 4/5 stars!
Profile Image for Sally.
180 reviews3 followers
May 24, 2019
Another excellent take from Kathryn Evans! Following her brilliant novel More Of Me, I couldn't wait to get stuck into this.
Laura and her younger brother have a rare and incurable cancer. They are offered a chance to be cryogenically frozen until such a time as they are able to treat and revive them.
40 years have passed by the time Laura is awoken. Her memory returns slowly as she is nursed back to full health, but the modern world is very different to the 1980's she had been growing up in. The technological advances impress and baffle her in equal measures and certain elements stir her thoughts that things might not be quite as fantastic as they appear...
Told in a dual narrative, from Laura's pov and that of Shem - a boy of a similar age who has been trying to live under the radar on the streets of the south coast where it's illegal to be homeless and living with no electronic footprint (using cash instead of card!) is almost impossible in a fully integrated technological society. Shem's struggles end up weaving in with Laura's as their paths cross when she starts at an exclusive school in Brighton.
I was especially impressed with the authors vision of the near futures technological advances: 3d tablet interactions; face time upgrade of touch time and the concerning virus tracker injections that school gives the students before their days out to ensure that they don't leave the designated places they are allowed.
This novel is a brilliant Black Mirror style science fiction with a great ethical debates at it's core. If we are able to make a scientific advancement, does it matter what the cost is?
I really admire that even though the topic is huge, this novel had been written so accessibly that some younger readers would still be able to follow and het lots or of it. I think this will make a great class read for yr8 students but can be read by yr7's through to adults as there is so much in here to engages and entertain.
Profile Image for Rutuja Ramteke.
1,491 reviews54 followers
June 4, 2019
💜Beauty Sleep By Kathryn Evans💜
Laura is dying. Her last desperate hope is to be frozen until she can be cured. But what happens when you wake up one day and the world has moved on forty years? Your best friend is middle-aged, your parents are presumed dead.
📚So basically, this is a story of Laura who is unfortunately diagnosed by incurable cancer. Not only Laura but her brother too is suffering from this incurable disease where their death is certain. But, in Laura's case she has to be frozen to pass this stage of cancer in order to avoid this natural calamity. If, you are looking for a story of real sleeping beauty who actually slept for years then definitely this one is for you. At first, I thought it's just a thriller or a psychological thriller but this book is also on the sci- fi side which means that the author has beautifully combined both the genres and used where needed. Also, frozing Laura was just an experiment which includes hope but not certainty. The book takes twists and turns as we move forward. It is medium paced at few parts but it's extremely fast paced at others. The protagonist wakes after 40 years of sleep when even her own parents started assuming that she is dead.
The book takes to her past, also to takes you to the long period of 40 years when she was fast asleep. After waking up, she realises that alot of things are changed including her family, friends and surrounding but Laura is unfortunately at the same place for 40 long years. The book also focuses on Miss Lily as a caring doctor throughout who helps our protagonist with all her heart and soul. The language is easy, though it's important to be attentive to remember events as this is not less than a big tangled theory of life. The cover is ultimately so so beautiful. I loved the title, it's very apt. The book will definitely blow your mind and I highly recommend it as a must read for all the book lovers.
Rating: 4.25🌟
Profile Image for Moon.
397 reviews46 followers
April 28, 2019
I really liked this take on "Sleeping Beauty", which is NOT a retelling. Tehre was a lot of 1980's memories and also some interesting futuristic ideas. I enjoyed the book, but it was predictable in a lot of things (like Shem's first chapter ). I did like the concept of the new "slate" (phone) and how to introduce someone from the 1980s to a modern future (even mroe than what we already have). It is also an interesting "critique" into what the cost of beauty and looking young can be and the question of if it is worth it.
Profile Image for Annelies.
179 reviews
September 2, 2019
This was, y'know, decent, but not as good as "Sleeping Beauty gets a Black Mirror-style twist" made it sound tbh... Or maybe that's just me? I was talking to my mom the other day about predictability in movies (the subject of this discussion was a not so good movie we saw in the cinema) and how it partially ruined our enjoyment because you could almost tell from the start what was going on. To me, this book falls in the same category, especially if I know it's going to be a Black Mirror-style book, so you already know from the beginning not to trust anyone. And even then, despite the contents of the book, it all felt rather tame??? But maybe that's on me too.
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