Fairy Tale Retelling: Sleeping Beauty #1 of 1

A Long, Long Sleep (UniCorp #1)

Anna Sheehan

Rate: 3

For most of the story, I was a little confused about the point of the story and where it was going, but by the end I realized that was the point of the book. The book follows Rose’s readjustment to society after being “asleep” for sixty-two (62) years. We’re supposed to feel confused and sad and overwhelmed because that’s how Rose is feeling. As Rose adjusts to everything around and comes to term with how her life is now, the story begins to take on a more calm feeling. I think Sheehan does a good job of having the reader follow Rose’s life and feel her emotions without making the book boring. But I still deducted stars because that epiphany didn’t hit me until the end of the book.

Romance: Throughout the book, Rose has a crush on, or at least thinks she has a crush on, Bren. But she’s never felt this way before so she’s all awkward turtle about it. There’s just something about him that reminds her of her pre-stass love Xavier. A connection I correctly predicted. Nonetheless, aside from her “crush” and reflecting on her past love, this book isn’t romance heavy, which was something I was worried about. I was afraid that like the actual Sleeping Beauty, Bren would wake her, she’d fall in love at first sight, and the rest of the book would be them making out and confessing their undying love for each other. I’m glad that didn’t happen. However, while I didn’t want the book to be filled with romance, I did ship Rose and Otto and while nothing romantic happened between them in this book, there is at least one more book for them to get together. I will not be happy if this series ends and they aren’t together.

Comparison to Sleeping Beauty: Similar to my previous Fairy Tale Retelling post, I am using the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty as my point of reference. A Long, Long Sleep only shared two similarities to the original Sleeping Beauty: Rose was awaken after a long sleep and she was awaken by a “kiss” – there’s some confusion as to whether Brendan kissed Rose or if he was performing CPR. Since there is only one definitive connection to Sleeping Beauty, I’m going to label this retelling a bust. As Sheehan points out in her acknowledgement, she wanted to show what changes would’ve occurred while Sleeping Beauty was asleep and how she would have had to adjust once she awoke. Therefore, this story is more of a futuristic sci-fi alternate ending than a retelling. There’s no magic, no fairies, no finger prick, and no love at first sight that turns into a happily ever after ending. I don’t mind the story not having the last characteristic, but it did more referencing of the Sleeping Beauty story than retelling it.

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