Genre: YA - Science Fiction
Publication: 08.09.2011 by Candlewick
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.
Thoughts: It has taken me a long (long?) time to write this review. Not because I didn't like it, or because I loved it so much that I have no words to describe it. I think it's just been difficult to figure out exactly what it is I enjoyed so much about this. I'm not sure if this is a bad thing? A Long, Long Sleep caught me by surprise. I'd never heard of it and picked it up on a whim after reading the synopsis really quickly at the library one day. I really wasn't sure what to expect, but I can say that I really did like it.
A Long, Long Sleep begins with Rosalinda being woken up by Bren with a "kiss." She's then thrown into a future where her family and boyfriend are dead, she is the heiress to her parents empire, and she has to learn to adapt to the strangeness of everything, all while recouporating from being in stasis for so long, which has left her weak and unhealthy. Luckily, she is an heiress and has plenty of people looking out for her and her well-being. So she is tossed to some foster parents and sent to a school and pretty much left up to her own devices.
At first, I wasn't too impressed. While this book claims to be science fiction, there aren't too many elements that would be considered sci-fi. I am not an expert in this genre so after a while I wasn't really bothered by this because the future was still advanced, just not ridiculously so. There are hovering "cars," fancy new gadgets, and genetically engineered specimen, and really, that was enough for me. The beginning also dragged on a bit but I was still interested in the story to keep going.
I have to admit that at the beginning, I didn't like Rosalinda. She could be so annoying at times and I just wanted to smack her. I didn't find her particularly interesting until she becomes friends with Otto, a blue genetically engineered teenager who actually brings out more of her personality and adds an interesting part to the book with his background story. We also get to see a few more glimpses into her past, and these were what grabbed my interest the most. I wanted to learn more about her and Xavier (her boyfriend) and how their relationship developed, which I know will be weird for some of you, but I thought was kind of sweet. With each flashback though we learn more about her troubling past, her parents, life growing up, and why she was who she was, and this really changed my mind about her, especially because of the way she was treated.
The story really picks up the pace when Rosalinda is attacked by a plastine, which is this really creepy human-robot that is sent to kill her. Once the story picks up, it gets a lot more interesting, and I was rushing through it to get to the ending. I think the best part of this book is towards the end, when Rosalinda finds out the truth about what happened to her, when we glimpse at her past one last time, and a few other mysteries are revealed. While the last few paragraphs just wrapped the story nicely, I was pretty satisfied with how things turned out.
Overall: Even though it's considered a science fiction book, it is really a story about love, loss, and believing in oneself, so you don't have to be a science fiction fan to enjoy it. It provides a unique take on betrayal, some forms of abuse, and is an interesting re-telling of the familiar fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty. I enjoyed it a lot and definitely recommend it to young adult fans.