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Book Review: A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

The journey taken in A Long, Long Sleep is simply breathtaking.

Book Review: A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

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a long long sleep by anna sheehan

Title & Author: A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

Genre: YA – Science Fiction

Release Date: August 9, 2011

Series: Stand-alone

Publisher: Candlewick Press

How I Got the Book: Bought


“It should have been a short suspended-animation sleep. But this time Rose wakes up to find her past is long gone— and her future full of peril.

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.”

Worth the Wait

A Long, Long Sleep is a Sleeping Beauty retelling of sorts set in a futuristic world where there are galactic empires and a cross-bread of new races. When Rose wakes up 62 years after being stassed (sort of a temporary cryogenics situation), she’s a human anachronism – adrift from her time and everyone she knows with huge gaps in her memory.

The first few chapters read like journal entries. Rose wakes up and is thrown into a maelstrom of public appearances because she’s the new heir to her father’s multi-planetary corporation, Unicorp. After the initial novelty wears off, Rose simply attends high school and expresses herself through her art. Everyday. Over and over.

But, reading about her mundane day-to-day activities is worth it. A Long, Long Sleep offers more than meets the eye. It’s filled with depth and so much feeling. As Rose slowly recovers and copes with waking up 62 years in the future, she uncovers a hidden plot against her and begins to pick up the pieces of her life – including making friends with handsome Xavier and lovable Otto.

More Grimm Bros. than Disney

If A Long, Long Sleep had to choose between being a Grimm fairytale or a Disney movie, it would definitely be a Grimm tale.There are no easy answers in this book and the ending especially reflects that. Readers who demand solidified endings with concrete answers will be disappointed.

I would normally classify myself in the above category, but this book surprised me. The ending fits with the theme and tone of the book – life is growth and progress and we discover ourselves along the way. Also, I learned that bittersweet endings are still sweet.

A note about the characters: I loved Rose! She is weak and frail at times, but I loved her because she was a product of her circumstances and was so vulnerable. She finds her strength along the way and discovers so many heart-wrenching things about herself and her life that it’s hard not to feel empathetic towards her. Also, I loved Otto especially. He’s such an interesting character who emotes so much despite being unable to speak.


This story is complicated and deals with so many issues: abuse, power, acceptance of oneself and, of course, love. It’s beautifully written and I definitely found myself crying more than once. A Long, Long Sleep is full of raw emotion and has set the bar of modern retellings.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • I agree with you on everything! This one definitely sets the bar extremely high. The writing and characterization are fantastic – the book is so readable that it takes you awhile to notice how much depth and emotion there really is to the story.

    I can’t wait to see what else Anna Sheehan comes up with 🙂

  • Thom

    Great review!
    Your recommendations have never steered me wrong, Lisa.
    I am adding this to my [ever growing] list of books to read.