Friday, August 17, 2012

Review: A Long, Long Sleep, by Anna Sheehan

I don’t know what I was expected when I picked up this book, but it certainly wasn’t what I got! The plot: girl wakes up after a few decades in a cryogenic chamber, finds she is heir to her parents' multi-billion dollar corporation and not long after finds that someone wants to kill her! Oh no! I think I was definitely swayed by the cover when it came to buying this one, because I don’t know about you but that plot leaves me a bit cold. It’s the part where someone wants to kill her that does it. Why do books always have to shove stuff like that in? The fact that she’s woken up in a strange future with everyone she’s ever known dead should be drama enough, why add more?

Thankfully, it seemed the author agreed with me. The attempted murder of Rosalinda is definitely not the focus of this book, and if you go in wanting an action packed ride you’ll be sorely disappointed. A Long Long Sleep is far more subtle then that, and it’s really more of a slow burning character study than anything else. And I loved it!

I loved how when we first meet her it’s so easy to dismiss Rosalinda as weak; the spoiled, soft product of loving but overbearing parents. But then, slowly, we start to see that not everything is as it seems, and I can’t think of a way to discuss this further without risking spoilers, so you’ll need to just take my word that the way the sinister undertones to Rosalinda’s past slowly build is just masterful.

I also loved the setting. The world has moved on without Rosalinda and watching her struggle to cope with the new technology and vernacular of the world was believable and interesting. The time Rosalinda is from is already far advanced compared to “our” time, yet Sheehan still manages to make her feel old fashioned compared to everyone around her. The whole book has a really lovely old fashioned feel to it, like an old photograph of a spring day. 

I loved that Rosalinda is woken by a kiss by an impossible handsome and charming young man who, having read a few books in my time, I immediately pegged as her eventual love interest. Actually, no, I didn’t love that. What I loved is that things turned out to be far more complicated. Again, spoilers! 

I loved the book actually pulled off a twist that I did not see coming until the very last moment. A twist that, despite taking me by surprise, was completely obvious in hindsight. (Which is how all twists should be).

I mean, it’s not perfect (although my gushing might be suggesting otherwise). There is that whole attempted murder side plot, which to be honest feels a little tacked on, like maybe the publishers didn’t quote know how to market a YA book that didn’t feature murder or forbidden romance or soul mates.

But that’s a small complaint, and this is easily one of the best YA books I have read in a long time. It stands completely alone, but despite that I can’t help but hope for a sequel, and anything else by this author really. Definitely one to watch!

I bought this book

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