Monday, November 3, 2014

A Review of 'A Long, Long Sleep' by Anna Sheehan (Audio Book)

"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."

This story was incredibly interesting.  The beginning was similar to the beginning of 'Across the Universe' in that the main character is woken up after having been asleep for a really long time, but beyond that, this story is about an intergalactic-scale business and a family name as well as a girl, Rose, caught up in dangers and complicated knots of problems that she scarcely understands.

I liked that Rose was just as alien to the world Anna Sheehan depicts in this story.  It's so different than what a lot of readers are probably used to, technology aside, that it's really helpful for Rose to explore and learn about the things that we're curious about and don't understand as outsiders to the situation.  I like that Bren is there to explain what things are, how things are, and what exactly happened at any given time.  Again, it's as helpful to Rose as it is to the reader.

The parallels between the story of Sleeping Beauty and this story are intriguing.  I like that it's not a complete rewrite of the Sleeping Beauty story, but you can tell that it's related because of some of the phrases and images the characters use (Otto calls Rose "Briar") and because of the beginning when Bren wakes Rose with a kiss (what he thought was mouth-to-mouth resuscitation).

It took me a really long time to like Rose even a little bit.  I've got some real problems as a feminist with her.  It bothers me that her only friends are boys and she's only interested in boys.  I really bothers me that she's so down on herself about her own abilities.  She thinks that she can't do anything and that she's not good enough the way other people are.  I don't like it when characters, especially lady characters, just write themselves off from the beginning.  Have some confidence and find yourself not just in the men of the book, but in the women as well.  There's more to Rose than a boyfriend or a crush.  I hate that she spends so much time thinking about Xavier and wondering whether or not Bren like-likes her or not.  Honey, you've got bigger things to worry about.  You're being groomed to run this huge corrupt company.  You'd better start thinking about what you're going to do, whether that's taking over the company or not.  Rose does what she's told.  That can get a little boring sometimes.

The fact that stas (spelling?) is used as a sort of drug and is a form of assault was also quite interesting.  When Bren found out more about what happened to Rose when her parents were still alive, it became clearer to me why stassing someone, especially a minor, was considered assault.  In the flashbbacks of the book, you lose track of Rose's age really fast.  I didn't noticed that she wasn't changing or aging except when she'd been out of stas for a while.  Rose had been deprived of her childhood because every time her parents would leave (sometimes for a few weeks, other times years) they would put Rose into stas until they returned.  So if Rose was fourteen when she went into stas and her parents returned seven years later, she'd be 21 years old (if she'd never been stassed before) but she'd still have the body and mind of a fourteen-year-old.  That's terrifying.  I hated that Rose's parents stassed her when they left, but I hated even more when they put her into stas just because they didn't want to be defied or they didn't want to deal with her.  Completely barbaric.

One last thing: did anyone else feel really conflicted about Rose's relationships with Xavier and Bren towards the end of the book?  I still don't know how I feel about this whole situation...

All in all, the story was interesting but I'm still not a huge fan of Rose.  If this is the first book in a series, I'll probably read it, but I'm hoping that Rose improves as a character.  I'd like for her to have a little more spine going forward as she recovers from trauma and from waking up after so long.

I give 'A Long, Long Sleep':
Thanks for Reading!


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