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Literature / A Long, Long Sleep

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A Long, Long Sleep is a 2011 Young Adult Science Fiction novel by Anna Sheehan.

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 existance, Rose must face the ghosts of her past with open eyes — or be left without any future at all.
The back cover summary


  • Abusive Parents: Rose's parents made a habit of putting her into stasis whenever she annoyed them, under the guise of "protecting her" from her own "high-strung" nature. They kept her ignorant by transferring her between schools, belittled her at every turn, ordered her to break up with her boyfriend and give up a hard-earned art scholarship, and programmed a freaking zombie robot to collect her and, failing that, kill her, in the event of her leaving home.
  • After the End: While Rose was in stasis, humanity suffered a massive plague and economic depression known as the Dark Times.
  • The Atoner: Rose, for breaking Xavier's heart at her parents' orders shortly before her long sleep.
  • Boarding School of Horrors: Averted. Uni Prep may look like a haunted Gothic mansion from the outside, but it's a pretty decent place.
  • Book Dumb: Rose sees herself this way and is dismayed by the workload at Uni Prep, although the constant switching of schools is mostly to blame.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: The "kiss" that wakes Rose from stasis is Brendan's attempt at CPR. Justified since he'd accidentally pushed a button and she was waking up anyway.
  • Ethnic Menial Labor: Not the dark-skinned sort, though. The Fitzroys had a Swedish housekeeper named Asa.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Everything sounds scarier in German, which is why the Plastine has a German accent. Justified in-universe since the factory that makes them is in Germany.
  • Evil Corporation: Uni Corp, Rose's parents' company, which runs practically the entire solar system, owns sentient life forms as property (Otto and his family), creates artificial islands with no regard to environmental damage, and more.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Rose is sixty years out of date.
  • Flashback: Rose-the-narrator's way of informing readers about her past. An interesting variation, since she has several repressed memories that take a long time to come to light.
  • Future Slang: "Holy coit!"
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Otto and his siblings are the results of an experimental combination of human DNA with alien microbes from the moon Europa.
  • Kill It with Fire: Rose destroys the Plastine by throwing the highly volatile battery of her stasis tube.
  • Maybe Ever After: The book ends with Rose undecided between Bren and Otto.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: An odd variation. Rose and Xavier met when she was seven and he was a baby, but due to her many periods in stasis, he slowly caught up with her in age and they became lovers. When he turns out to be Bren's grandfather in the presen, Rose is initially horrified, but with a bit of readjustment, their friendship continues.
  • Meaningful Name: "Rose" refers to "Sleeping Beauty"; "Fitzroy" means "son of the king".
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Subverted with Otto's touch telepathy. Most minds are only boring and/or unpleasant, it's only Rose's mind that terrifies him.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: A Plastine, a plasticised zombie robot assassin, is out to kill Rose.
  • Parental Abandonment: When the Dark Times ended, the Fitzroys neglected to take Rose out of stasis, then died in a helicopter crash. If Bren hadn't found her by accident, she might never have woken up.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Rose admits to herself that Bren reminds her of Xavier, and that sometimes she can't even tell which one she wants.
  • Social Services Does Not Exist: A combination of the Fitzroys' massive power, secrecy, the approaching Dark Times and sheer bad luck prevented Rose from being helped in any substantial way.
  • The Speechless: Otto can make sounds, but not actually speak. Touch telepathy and writing are his only forms of communication.
  • There Are No Therapists: Subverted. Dr. Bija does her level best, but Rose doesn't give her much to work with. It's actually Otto's telepathy that helps her the most.
  • You Are Number 6: The hybrids originally went by their birth numbers, until 42 died and Otto (86) could not stand the idea of any more of them dying nameless.