Book Review: A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

Posted December 4, 2013 by Debby in Book Reviews

Book Review: A Long, Long Sleep by Anna SheehanA Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan
Series: UniCorp #1
Published by Candlewick Press on August 9th, 2011
Genres: Fairy Tale Retelling, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 342
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

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.

3.5 Stars

A Long, Long Sleep, I don’t know how to feel about you. I feel like we maybe got off on the wrong foot, because I was expecting to be blown away by your awesomeness. With the promise of a sci-fi fairytale retelling, my mind screamed, “CINDER! MORE OF THAT OMG YES PLEASE!” But you’re not like that at all. You’re much more subtle and laid back.

Rose, our Sleeping Beauty, wasn’t the easiest character to connect to. We didn’t get off to a good start. She was rather bland and sheltered, and I just wished that she would get up and be awesome and kick ass. Well… that’s not who she is. I set my standards a bit high for female characters nowadays, so that was a bit disappointing. Rose has massively low self-esteem, puts herself down constantly, and frequently runs away when things get too hard or complicated. At this point, I thought, “Why in the world did everyone like this so much? Ugh.” But then, later on in the book, there was a rather big reveal and plot twist about her back story and… oh god guys. Though I didn’t feel anything for her before that, I couldn’t help but sympathize. But though I sympathized with her, I still didn’t feel a big connection to her. While I understood why she was the way she was, I still wished for a bit… more. Maybe I needed to see more character growth from her.

While I definitely liked the sci-fi elements and how the world had developed while Rose was in stasis, I felt like the world building barely scratched the surface. It just wasn’t fleshed out well enough for me to truly love it. There was so much potential there, and I really wanted to know more about devices, technologies, the government, everything… and it was briefly touched on, but not enough for me.

Also, with the label of fairytale retelling, I kind of expected more from the romance. With the flashbacks and dreams, I did love the story that formed around Rose and Xavier. However, that relationship already ended so… yeah. Bren was weird to me, but I kind of like the growth that Rose goes through in confronting her feelings for him. Otto was absolutely adorable. I need more Otto in my life. But I just expected a way different romance – in that I actually expected there to be a romance. But there wasn’t… not really. This book has thrown me for a loop, and I just don’t know what to feel about it.

Summing Up:

While I definitely liked this book and it was a great reading adventure, I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed, if only because my expectations were sky high. It’s not bad, I mean, 3.5 oranges – that’s a good rating, come on, but it didn’t wow me. That being said, I do feel like if I hadn’t expected it to blow my mind and be like the Lunar Chronicles series, I would have liked it better. I entered this book with so many misconceptions and incorrect expectations, and my reading experience definitely suffered from it. So I may reread it sometime. I definitely think it’s worth another shot. And for what it’s worth, Anna Sheehan’s writing is definitely great.

GIF it to me straight!

Recommended To:

Fans of sci-fi and fairytale retellings.

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8 responses to “Book Review: A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

  1. I felt the same way you did to a certain extent, but the reveal just blew me away and makes me still think about the book and I read this one awhile ago. So disturbing and heartbreaking. When thinking back about it, I actually like the fact that Rose was a different character (not a kickass heroine) and it totally makes sense given her background. It was just so sad, especially with Xavier. And then how awkward was that solution? I’m definitely looking forward to reading the sequel. Glad you enjoyed it even though it was a bit disappointing.

  2. I checked this book out from the library, but I ended up DNF-ing it. The 75 pages I read weren’t bad, but they just weren’t holding my interest and from what I heard, most of the book was the same way. I think if I had finished it probably would have been an average to good read for me, but I wasn’t in the mood. I wonder if it had been my high expectations too, or perhaps the fact I read it during a time I was reading a lot of science fiction books and needed a quick break from the genre.

    • Yeah, I get that kind of reaction. It’s not exactly a book that grabs your interest from the start, and it’s not as kick-ass in-your-face science fiction as other books, so it easily can pale in comparison.

  3. I loved how I went from annoyed to OH MY GOD THAT IS SO SAD. It had a big impact on me at that time, but I’m not sure I’ll still feel about it that way now. I recently won my own copy, so I might do a re-read and see about that 🙂 But still, 3.5 is a good rating!

    • Exactly! Some people are like, “Oh, I’m sorry you didn’t like this,” but I did! It was good. But just unexpected in an anticlimactic way. I dunno, I guess pity for me is not a good emotion to get me to connect with a book/character. But I will reread this sometime and I think I will like it better then.

  4. This is exactly why I like reading reviews – I *hate* reading a book expecting one thing and given something completely different. I bought this one for my Kindle, so I’m hoping to get to it soon. I actually kind of like that it’s a retelling that’s not really about the romance. And now that I know that Rose isn’t supposed to be a kickass heroine, I think I can grow to be okay with her characterization (at least how it sounds here). Sorry it didn’t work out for you completely, but it sounds as though you still got some enjoyment out of it!

    • It was definitely a good read, and I think that if I reread it in a year or so I would like it more, if only because those pesky misconceptions would be cleared up. I hope you enjoy it!