Friday, June 3, 2011

A Long Long Sleep - Anna Sheehan

I love new takes on fairy tales. I absolutely adore them. The moment I saw the trailer for Beastly, I knew I wanted to see it. Disney was my childhood fodder. I devour twisted fairy tales, books like Enchantment by Orson Scott Card or Sister's Red by Jackson Pearce. Needless to say, when I saw the cover of A Long Long Sleep, I absolutely couldn't resist getting my hands on a copy of the ARC.

As the cover suggests, A Long Long Sleep is a Sleeping Beauty retelling, this time in a futuristic society where hover cars are prevalent, stasis tubes are used to keep the diseased alive until a cure can be found, and your entire life is kept on a computer tablet.

After over 60 years in a stasis tube, Rosalinda Fitzroy is kissed awake by a boy who was rummaging in the basement of the massive company that seems to monopolize almost everything in his world. Rose just happens to be the daughter of the man who started the company so long ago, and now that she is awake, she is the heir to the company as soon as she turns of age. Her parents, her life, and her love are all dead. Rose is all that's left.

A Long Long Sleep is, in my opinion, a pretty good book. The story is played out in two simultaneous parts, telling Rose's stories of before and after the 60 years she spends in stasis, something that worked very well. The reader gets the information she needs, often before she realizes she needs it. I loved how, the farther you get in the story, the better the two stories came together, trivial pieces of information suddenly becoming massively important as the reader is shocked into remembering them.

I thought the plot is pretty epic, even ignoring my own love of fairytale stories. It's full of twists that I wasn't expecting, has a good blend of action and drama, and has some damn good character development, in my opinion. Rose goes from the sweet little child she was for her parents into a strong willed woman, progressively changing the further the story developed. Another interesting thing I found about the story was the lack of overwhelming cliches that modern fiction seems to swim in. There is no instantaneous romance, Rose doesn't wake up, fall in love, and fall into bed with a guy who just happens to adorelovelust after her from the first time he sees her. Her former lover doesn't pop out of thin air, suddenly alive and gorgeous and ready for their happy ending. It's a nice, refreshing change from the twilight-esque romance drivel that seems to populate the YA section more and more recently.

I'd recommend A Long Long Sleep to anyone who, like me, is a fan of retold fairy tales. I'd also recommend it to anybody who wants to read a YA book that doesn't seem like the author took Twilight as a measuring stick for their story.

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