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A Reader of Fictions: As You Sleep - Something Corporate

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Friday, August 5, 2011

As You Sleep - Something Corporate

A Long, Long Sleep

Author: Anna Sheehan
Pages: 342
ARC Acquired from: Candlewick Press via NetGalley

Brief Summary:
Rosalinda Fitzroy met her first love when she was 7 and he was an infant. At first, he was like her little brother, but over the years they became best friends and, eventually, when he was 16 and she was 15, they fell in romantic love. Anyone wondering about my math? Well, Rosalinda's parents put her in stasis whenever she got 'overexcited' or whenever they went on vacation. While in stasis, people do not age, so Rosalinda ages impossibly slowly. When woken up from stasis, Rosalinda feels like no time has passed, but it always has. This time, woken up by an unfamiliar boy, Bren, Rosalinda discovers that 62 years have passed and that, while everyone she knew before has died in dystopialike circumstances, she is still 16 and her body is seriously weak from all that time in stasis. To make matters even worse, there is a robotic human out to capture and terminate her.

Review:
At its core, A Long, Long Sleep is a reimagined version of Sleeping Beauty. This is most apparent in the opening scenes and then occasionally referenced. The fairy tale elements are what drew me to the story, but this is way different than most revised fairy tales, which generally keep to the story but flesh out characters and plots. Sheehan has taken an old, familiar story and created an amazing science fiction world and made the heroine someone new and different than just a girl trapped in a castle.

Rosalinda made a really great main character. Usually, I would dislike a heroine like her, at least in the first parts of the book, because she is, essentially, helpless and is physically weak. She is also filled with self-loathing and serious feelings of inadequacy. She is painfully shy and awkward, unable to make friends. Still, there are reasons for this and they are so clearly put forward that I did not expect her to be any other way; instead, I just rooted for her to overcome her problems. To some extent, she does, but at the end of the novel, she still has a ways to go, which is awesome too because that's how real life works. Those kinds of deep-rooted insecurities are really hard to get over, just like her weakness from so long spent in stasis will take a couple of years to go away completely. What I love about Rosalinda is that she is so real and that, when push comes to shove, she will do whatever she can to save herself and those around her, even though she doesn't think she's smart or worthy.

The worldbuilding here was so awesome. I really hope Sheehan writes some more books set here, like one written during the Dark Times maybe? As my dear readers may know, I am obsessed with dystopias and that book would totally be a dystopia. That makes me wonder if this one could be to; certainly, the community they live in, all owned by one corporation, could qualify as a completely terrifying future, not to mention the creation of people like Otto and the horrible treatment his kind received. Also, I have to say how much I love Otto.

I just ate this book up. I loved it right from the start. It was one of those books where I just did not want to stop reading. Last night, I almost stayed up until I could finish it, but then thought better of it, knowing that I'm an adult who has to get up and go to work. (Lame!) Now, having finished it, I just want more. Anna Sheehan needs to write more books for me to enjoy. This is an excellent example of YA fiction.

Today's song is dedicated to poor Rosalinda. The chorus, shown below, is from her parents.

"But as you sleep, and no one is listening
I will lift you off your feet, I'll keep you from sinking
Don't you wake up yet, cause soon I'll be leaving you
Soon I'll be leaving you, but you won't be leaving me"

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