9 Rated Books Book Reviews

Book Review: A Long Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

Title: A Long Long Sleep

Author: Anna Sheehan

Genre: Speculative Fiction/Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fairy Tale Retelling, Young Adult

Publisher: Candlewick (US)/Gollancz (UK)
Publication date: August 2011 (US & UK)
Hardcover: 352 pages

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 sub-basement, 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 dead, 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.

Stand alone or series: Can be read as a stand alone novel, but I’ve heard rumors that a sequel is planned (I hope!!!)

How did I get this book: e-ARC via NetGalley

Why did I read this book: A dystopian YA novel, loosely based on/inspired by Sleeping Beauty? Questionable covers aside, this book has Thea written all over it.


Rosalinda Fitzroy is the daughter of the most powerful parents in the world. Her mother, a beauty and high society darling, and her father, the CEO of international conglomerate UniCorp, both adore and dote on their obedient, darling little princess. So, when Rose finds herself being awakened by a boy (via mouth to mouth resuscitation, hardly a real Prince Charming kiss), not her usual motherly wakeup with a champagne luncheon, she is terrified and disoriented. Rose learns that she has been in stasis for sixty-four years, and during her long sleep the world has ended and been reborn again. Everyone that Rose has ever known is dead, including her parents and her boyfriend, Xavier. Thrust into a world in which she is an utter outcast, though she is an heiress to an immense fortune (much to the frustration of UniCorp executives and stakeholders), Rose is a stranger in a strange land. Her peers at school avoid her and treat her like a ghost – all except Bren, the boy who found Rose to begin with, and Otto, an alien-human Unicorp genetic experiment who is even more of an outsider than Rose. As Rose struggles to assimilate to her new surroundings, memories and long-dormant, half-forgotten truths begin to surface. Someone is out to hurt her, and she must be able to come to terms with her dark, troubled past in order to survive.

At first glance, A Long Long Sleep seems, and sounds, vaguely familiar. Certainly there are similarities to a slew of soft, so-called SF titles on the young adult market – Beth Revis’s underwhelming Across the Universe immediately comes to mind. BUT A Long Long Sleep has what these other novels do not; namely, characters, patience, and heart. To put it simply: A Long Long Sleep broke my heart. I am not an emotional person, dear readers, so it is a huge thing when I feel truly moved by a book on an emotional level. I loved this book with its myriad complications, messy human emotions, and fragile relationships cast asunder by the ravages of time. Ms. Sheehan’s debut is haunting, fraught with sadness and loss. This book is so very powerful. I will say it again, because sometimes the simplest statement sums up everything:

I loved this book.

For all that it is billed as a Dystopian, post-Apocalyptic novel with a scifi bend, A Long Long Sleep is a character-centric novel. It’s a study of a girl that has been abandoned and left to sleep while the world has been ravaged by war and death, and then reshaped without her. It’s the story of a girl who is one hundred but has the body and mind of a sixteen year old, who seems passive and bland and immature but in reality has layers upon layers of hidden depth. It’s the story of a deceptively simple, naive-seeming character, whose complexity is revealed over the course of her narrative, resonating with the power of raw grief, anger and passion, bottled up over the course of decades in prolonged, chemical slumber.

You see, there’s something wrong with Rose; there’s something about her past that we don’t know right off the bat but suspect from the outset of the novel. This something develops slowly, menacingly over the course of the book, and when we finally learn the truth it’s all the more devastating. It’s devastating because for all that this is a novel set in the future, it’s also a book about relationships and love, about power and abuse and the dark far-ranging damage it can wreak on a child’s psyche. Rose may start the book as a passive, frightened girl, but she grows so much over the course of the novel as she awakens from her protective cocoon of disengagement and becomes the strong young woman she truly is. Rose’s character arc is so very cathartic, and I loved every bit of this thorny, artistic heroine with a troubled past.

What’s even more impressive about this novel, however, is that this depth and nuance of character applies not just to Rose, but to others. The boy that awakens Rose, Bren, has his own depth and realism as a teenage boy and is likeable enough, but the characters that stole my heart were Otto and Xavier. Xavier, Rose’s lost love from her life before being stassed for over sixty-years, and the memories/flashbacks of the strange but loving relationship are haunting and beautiful in equal measure, as their history is immensely revelatory and so very heartbreaking. Not a day goes by that Rose does not think of Xavier and not a day goes by that she does not draw his face in her art. And then, in the present, there’s Otto – the alien-human boy, created by the same corporation that Rose has become heiress to, who cannot speak but can read minds through touch. I loved the relationship that unfolds between Otto and Rose, as outcasts that find comfort in each other. There were so many unexpected turns to this and other relationships, from Rose’s past to her future, with her family and with who she loves.

At its core, this is what A Long Long Sleep is really about: love. Not just romantic love, but all different kinds of love. The love between a parent and child; the kind of selfish love that can be twisted into something ugly and abusive; the rosy glow of first love; the kind of love born of complete understanding and friendship; and, most importantly of all, the love of oneself.

I know my plain words aren’t enough to do this beautiful book justice, but what I can say is this: I implore each and every person to read this emotionally wrenching, bittersweet journey of a novel. A Long Long Sleep is easily one of the best books I have read in 2011, and I look forward to much more from this promising new author.

Notable Quotes/Parts: From Chapter 1:

I’d try to hold on to my stass dreams as long as I could. It’s a game I would play, struggling to keep track of those misty images that were always so easily lost. I’d try to keep myself in stasis, keep my heart beating too slow to feel, refuse to wake up my lungs. Once or twice I managed to hold on so long that Mom panicked and turned on the resuscitator.

So when the electric-blue seascape I was trying to hold on to was interrupted, not by a hand but by the feeling of lips on mine, I was startled. I sucked in a breath through my nose and sat bolt upright, knocking my head against my would-be rescuer.

I couldn’t see. Everything was dim and painful, as if I had just opened my eyes into a bright light after days in the dark. An unfamiliar voice shouted unfamiliar words: “Holy coit, you are alive!”

You can read more online HERE.

Rating: 9 – Damn Near Perfection, and in my Top 5 reads of 2011


Buy the Book:

Ebook available for kindle US, kindle UK, nook, & sony

You Might Also Like


  • The Book Memoirs (Elle)
    August 11, 2011 at 1:45 am


    Wow. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    Well, okay, then. *adds to Amazon basket for payday*

    – Elle

  • Meghan
    August 11, 2011 at 5:19 am

    Wow. This book sounds amazing! You’ve made a must buy pretty much instantly.

  • Emy Shin
    August 11, 2011 at 6:57 am

    I’ve been curious about this book — and after this review, will definitely have to pick up a copy now!

  • SaraO @ TheLibrarianReads
    August 11, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Seriously, I agree with Elle…I guess I’m getting this one too! Love seeing a book that was enjoyed so much! Top 5. Good enough for me ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Karen Mahoney
    August 11, 2011 at 7:14 am

    I just added this to my wishlist the other day… Glad I did, now! Looks like I have to get it sooner rather than later. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Nymeth
    August 11, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Wow. Must.have!

  • Su
    August 11, 2011 at 9:41 am

    I’m a sucker for fairytale retellings, and I’m a sucker for scifi and character-driven stories. This seems like it would be right up my alley. Thank you for the review!

  • Shweta
    August 11, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Agree with you , everybit ! It was such an awesome read and I cried at the end which I pretty much don’t.. Hope there is a sequel ..

  • KarenS
    August 11, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I’m going to pull this off my shelf and add it to my to-read pile asap. I was going to pass on this at BEA, but your review is the reason I pick up tons of books I think I don’t want – just in case there’s a winner that isn’t on my radar. Thank you!

  • April
    August 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Wow, what an awesome review! I think I might have to buy this one, it sounds exactly like the sort of YA book I’d want to read. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Allison
    August 11, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    You’ve definitely got me convinced. This is a book I’d previously decided to pass on. What was I thinking?

  • capillya
    August 12, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    WOO HOO. Oh, you humans and your messy emotions! And a character-centric novel! Everything you’ve written about this novel makes me want to read it yesterday. So glad to hear you loved it!

  • Jess (The Cozy Reader)
    August 14, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Me too! I loved this book so much! I even tracked down the author to have her do <a href="http://thecozyreader.com/2011/08/author-guest-post-and-giveaway-anna-sheehan/"a guest post on my blog! ๐Ÿ™‚ Go read it if you haven’t!

  • Lisa@Read.Breathe.Relax
    August 19, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I JUST put this book on my TBR! I’m so glad you loved it! ๐Ÿ™‚ It sounds fantastic and a mix of everything I love about sci fi, dystopians, and romance but in a really fresh, well-written way!

    Great review!!

  • Book Babble: In My Mailbox the Rosy Edition! | The Book Memoirs
    August 28, 2011 at 12:34 am

    […] by Anna Sheenan | Goodreads | Rosy’s review @ The Review Diaries | Thea’s review @ The Book Smugglers The Woman in Black by Susan Hill | Goodreads My Last Duchess by Daisy Goodwin | Goodreads One Day […]

  • Anna Sheehan
    September 12, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Wow. Allow me to thank you personally for such a stunning review! I’m completely floored.

  • Joyce
    September 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Thanks so much for the great review, I read it and I loved it ๐Ÿ™‚ youยดve become my number one source for finding interesting books, if you say they rock they most always do ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Thea
    September 16, 2011 at 6:09 am

    Anna – Wow, thanks so much for stopping by and reading my review! I absolutely loved your book and cannot wait for your next novel!

    Joyce – I am so thrilled that you loved A Long Long Sleep too! And thanks for the kind words, Ana and I will do our best to keep the recs coming ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • katluvr
    September 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    I have this book and after I read it i fell in love instanly, the second after I read this book it became my favorite book of all time. It really is a wonderful book, I love how rose changes so much in the book from being so quiet in the beginging to saying she is here to stay and she’s proud of it. I also feel bad for her to find out that her love is an old man that got married and now has a grandkid, I think she would have liked it better if he died (but thats just my opinion). So I really think that Anna should make a sequel to this book because then everyone would be very happy, and I would read it over and over again like I do with A Long Long Sleep. Please make another one Anna. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! โ— โ— โ— โ— โ— โ— โ— โ—

  • Smugglivus 2011 Guest Author: Anna Sheehan | The Book Smugglers
    December 17, 2011 at 11:02 am

    […] Work: A Long Long Sleep, a powerful YA science fiction re-imagining of the Briar Rose fable, and one of Thea’s Top 10 […]

  • A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan Book Review - The Allure of Books
    January 6, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    […] I saw the rave review at The Book Smugglers of A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan, I knew I had to pick it up. Those girls are just never […]

  • Kirsten
    March 27, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Beautiful, beautiful review. Almost as breathtaking as this gorgeous novel. Thank you.

  • Rachel
    May 19, 2012 at 1:42 am

    I picked up this book in the library because I vaguely remembered reading this review. It was amazing! One of the best new authors i’ve found in a long time.

  • Ella
    August 25, 2012 at 11:31 am

    The book is super! I really loved it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Book Review: A Long Long Sleep | A Librarian's Library
    April 7, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    […] I Picked It Up?:ย  Honestly, because it came highly recommended by The Book Smugglers.ย  And it sounded really interesting.ย  So when I had the opportunity to grab it off the shelf, I […]

  • Isabelle
    April 8, 2013 at 12:16 am

    I read this book, and i absolutly loved it.

  • Air Jordan 4
    May 31, 2013 at 10:45 am

    which she maintains has given hope to the average “nerd” that they too might date a pretty girl-next-door.

  • Book Review: A Long Long Sleep | A Librarian's Library
    June 15, 2015 at 3:03 am

    […] I Picked It Up?:ย  Honestly, because it came highly recommended by The Book Smugglers.ย  And it sounded really interesting.ย  So when I had the opportunity to grab it off the shelf, I […]

  • Book Review: A Long Long Sleep - A Librarian's Library
    December 3, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    […] I Picked It Up?:ย  Honestly, because it came highly recommended by The Book Smugglers.ย  And it sounded really interesting.ย  So when I had the opportunity to grab it off the shelf, I […]

  • cvbv92
    February 24, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    I don’t remember we’ve met. publicit?โ€œ?ยฉs cialis
    http://tadalafil-walmart.com/ cialis over the counter at walmart
    cialis side effects lawsuit
    cialis over the counter

  • caybwy
    February 28, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Iโ€™ve enjoyed seeing you. democrats viagra for sex offenders
    http://www.viagrawithoutdoctor.org/ online doctor prescription for viagra
    natural foods work like viagra

  • BransonLig
    June 9, 2017 at 8:14 am

    viagra 20mg dosage private message
    http://viagra-withoutdoctor.com – viagra without a doctor prescription viagra for daily use jump to
    viagra without a doctor prescription – viagra no prescription
    viagra 5mg dosage administrators

  • Daznyalors
    June 9, 2017 at 10:47 am

    discounted viagra tablets
    http://viagra-withoutadoctors.com – viagra without a doctor prescription
    daily viagra, information
    viagra without a doctor prescription
    – generic viagra usa without prescription
    viagra for 70 year olds

  • Szottned
    June 18, 2017 at 7:23 am

    viagra in weston-super-mare
    http://viagra-withoutdoctor.com – viagra without a doctor prescription viagra.co.uk
    viagra without a doctor prescription – viagra tablet
    viagra viagra or livtera best

  • Zriangug
    June 22, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    viagra vs viagra forum minibbs.cgi
    http://viagra-withoutdoctor.net – viagra without a doctor prescription buy generic .5mg viagra daily
    viagra without a doctor prescription – buy viagra online username
    viagra and alcohol consumption memberlist

  • Erneztflosy
    June 23, 2017 at 9:03 am

    levitra side effects levitra vs viagra gaestebuch.php
    http://viagra-withoutdoctors.com – viagra without a doctor prescription
    viagra daily dose amount
    viagra without a doctor prescription
    – viagra bigger erection
    viagra genu…8093

  • Erneztflosy
    June 23, 2017 at 9:57 am

    viagra pills
    http://viagra-withoutdoctors.com – viagra without a doctor prescription
    non prescription generic viagra
    viagra without a doctor prescription usa
    – best price for viagra canada
    viagra erection pictures

  • BranzonNut
    June 23, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    buy buy viagra
    http://viagra-withoutadoctors.com – viagra without a doctor prescription levitra vs viagra
    viagra without a doctor prescription – buy viagra british dragon
    viagra ik

  • Zilliamzer
    June 25, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    viagra online cheap started by
    http://viagra-withoutadoctor.net – viagra without a doctor prescription lowest price viagra
    viagra without a doctor prescription – viagra 10mg reviews moderators
    canadian pharmacy viagra 20mg the team

  • ZavidBrump
    August 30, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    viagra 10 mg effectiveness you cannot post new topics in this forum
    http://viagra-withoutdoctors.com – viagra without a doctor prescription side effect of viagra
    viagra without a doctor prescription – trial of viagra women
    free trial sample viagra viagra levitra

Leave a Reply