Saturday, July 23, 2011
A Long Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan
I really enjoyed this. It was kind of a dystopia novel but not really. The world Rose wakes up in really isn't all that bad. Things are strange and different, and things are far from perfect, but not evil. Although there is some evil in the world, of course. I mean, it's a world with people. It's a science fiction book that will appeal to the kids who love to read dystopia novels because it reads and feels like one, even though I don't think it really is.
Rose is of course very confused when she first wakes up. The world has changed so dramatically and she doesn't know anyone. She has to learn to use new technology. She doesn't talk like the kids her age. She's horrified to learn about the Dark Times and what happened, knowing that the people she knew went through that. She misses Xavier terribly, and draws his face over and over again. Most of the kids at school think she's a freak and won't come near her. Rose is very passive. She doesn't know how to speak up for herself. She can't say what she wants or needs. If something bad happens, she keeps it quiet. As the book goes on, it becomes clearer why she's like this.
There was a bit of mystery to it. The big question was "How did Rose get left in stasis for 62 years?" Why didn't anyone notice? Why didn't anyone look for her? Why didn't Xavier look for her? Those questions kept me eager to read and try to piece together what the world was like. At first it seemed like stasis was used regularly in this world, like a recreational activity. Rose got put in stasis all the time. Rose was around 8 when Xavier was born, but over time he caught up with her. Then it became clear that, no, stasis wasn't what everyone in this world did, just her. So why did Rose's parents keep putting her to sleep? How did she get forgotten, even if the Dark Times did come shortly after?
The answer turned out to be a bit dark and troubling. Rose was kind of brainwashed. Whenever she did something her parent's didn't like, or if they got into an argument, or if her parent's were going on vacation, they put her in stasis. Even before Rose got left for such a long time, she was a 16 year-old who should really be 27. She was kept a child forever. It was...really messed up.
Even more messed up was the killer robot that was trying to track Rose down. Rose and her friends are trying to figure out who could have sent it after her, and they assume it's the heads of the company trying to get her out of the way. No. It turns out it was set up long ago by her father, so that if she should ever run away, the machine would find her, kill whoever tried to get in its way, and return her to her parents. And if it couldn't, it was suppose to kill her. Whoa. Talk about helicopter parents.
I wonder if this will become a series. It doesn't look like it's one now, but the ending certainly left things open enough that I could see it happening.
A Long Long Sleep will be available August 9.