Vinaya's Reviews > A Long, Long Sleep

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan
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Brava, Ms. Sheehan!

Remember how I keep moaning about the complete lack of quality in young adult literature these days? Remember how I'm scared the Twihards are going to wipe out every sign of feminism from our society? Remember how I'm scared I might one day wake up in hell, with Torment as the soundtrack?

Yeah, you can forget all about that now.

Anna Sheehan has restored my faith in debut YA authors. She has proven that you can write a brilliant, innovative, moving first book without a hint of cutting-and-pasting or subtle plagiarism. She has proven that young adult fiction is not restricted to shiny vampires, effeminate werewolves or homicidal fallen angels. She has proven that if you just have faith, you'll eventually get a galley of a hidden gem.

I get a thrill saying the words YA sci-fi. I've been reading so many YA PNRs, I've forgotten the other genres exist. But A Long, Long Sleep has reminded me that it's time to shut shop on those tired old tropes and boldly go where no (wo)man has gone before!

If you're thinking, oh this is just another variant of Sleeping Beauty with R2-D2 in the background, well, you would be very, very mistaken. But perhaps justifiably so, because that awful blurb gives no hint of the WIN that is this book! This book reminds me of Unearthly a bit: terrible blurbs, a story that turns the conventions on their heads and a cover that is sort of pretty but in no way gripping.

Anna Sheehan tells a beautiful story. A Long Long Sleep opens with Rosalinda Fitzroy awakening from 62 years of stasis, a sixteen year old in mind and body, frozen in time until she is found in a forgotten subbasement by her teenage savior. She is lost, bewildered and alone - everyone she has ever known is now dead and gone, including the boy who was her first love. Xavier. Rose struggles to come to terms with this new world, and with the knowledge of her sudden inheritance of an interplanetary business empire, but even as she struggles to keep her head above the water, there is a more deadly threat stalking her.

Sheehan draws the character of Rose with a subtle and sympathetic hand. I could almost envision Rose in this new world, so very, very alone. Her quietness and her passivity should have annoyed me, but somehow, it didn't. I liked how there was an actual explanation for her inability to stand up for herself, and how she eventually overcomes it.

I LOVED the romance angles in this book. It's what made it really stand out for me. Sheehan writes the scenes between Rose and Xavier with a vivid hand that brings them to life. If there was a certain 'ick' factor to their relationship, well, I could deal with it and move on, and I'm pretty sure it won't be a sticking point for too many people. Same with Bren. I love that he didn't fall at her feet, that he was such a normal, teenage boy instead of a seventeen year-old god, that they forged a friendship despite all the emotional obstacles in their way. I was getting a little antsy about the yoyo-ing between Xavier and Bren, but then, as if she had read my mind, Sheehan even managed to smooth that over! A little ickily, but I totally get it! I love that this book wasn't a boy-meets-girl story at all, but a much more nuanced tale. And I love Rose's relationship with Otto, that sympathetic understanding and connection that flourishes between them from the word go. This book is full of people that I would like to be friends with, and that's the biggest compliment I can give to a work of fiction!

The sci-fi elements of this book were well thought-out, but not unnecessarily complicated. There are a number of social, especially environmental, issues Sheehan inserts into the story, but without sounding like a crusader. Gotta admire that! But at the bottom of it all, this is a story of betrayal and abandonment, of love and loss, and the power of believing in one's self. So you don't have to be a fan of sci-fi to enjoy this book; as long as you like strong, positive, realistic writing, this book is for you!

[NOTE: I received this book from the publishers via Net Galley. However, no considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced this review.]
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Reading Progress

February 9, 2011 – Started Reading
February 9, 2011 – Shelved
February 9, 2011 – Shelved as: arc-galley
February 9, 2011 –
60.0% "This book is surprisingly good! Not flawless, but very readable..."
February 10, 2011 – Shelved as: books-i-loved
February 10, 2011 – Shelved as: ya-sci-fi
February 10, 2011 – Finished Reading
February 12, 2011 – Shelved as: comparative-5-stars
April 13, 2011 – Shelved as: surprised-me
April 13, 2011 – Shelved as: i-ll-stalk-you-til-you-read-it

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)

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Tatiana I was planning to start this one too! But now I will wait for you to finish to see if it's even worth reading. The premise looks good.

Vinaya It's awesome, Tatiana! I actually kind of hate my review because I feel like it doesn't even come close to capturing how refreshingly unusual this book is! A must-read. I recommend. :)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) You did well. Now I have no choice but to read it. :)

Vinaya Yay, a convert! :) I hope you don't forget by the time the book comes out! GR should have some sort of reminder system for this!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I can't forget. I have a reminder system of my own. :)

You were right about the notifications, by the way. It's terribly annoying.

Tatiana That's great Vinaya. Now I am not afraid to give it a try!

message 7: by Lyndsey (new) - added it

Lyndsey Vinaya wrote: "Yay, a convert! :) I hope you don't forget by the time the book comes out! GR should have some sort of reminder system for this!"

Somewhere... A light bulb just went on over a Goodreads programmers head.

Great review! I can't wait to read this one now.

Megan Sept. 15th? Awww....

Vinaya I have two words for you, Megan! Net Galley! :)

Megan I've seen those words before, perhaps it's time to give it a go :)

message 11: by Vinaya (last edited Feb 10, 2011 10:04AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Vinaya Jillian -always aspiring- wrote: "Now I'm so happy I can read NetGalley titles on my iPad! This is the first one that I will transfer, post-haste! :)"

Why Jillian, why? Why would you do that to poor, un-iPad-ed people? Why would you make them want to weep with envy? :P *clutches her little Vaio sadly*

Gabry I have the same feeling as well when reading this! ;D

Scarlett I've seen this like once before but your review has converted me! Thanks for pointing this out!

Penelope I felt the same way after reading A Long, Long Sleep. I can't even fully describe how great of a book it is. I love your review, though! You got most of the points I couldn't say myself. :)

Joanne Your review showed how much I thought of the book and made me think about the young adult literature in general.

message 16: by Megan (new)

Megan McMillen Hmm........
Still sounds like a love triangle to me though, so not THAT much different than Twilight.

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