A Long, Long Sleep, I don't know how to feel about you. I feel like we maybe got off on the wrong foot, because I was expecting to be blown away by your awesomeness. With the promise of a sci-fi fairytale retelling, my mind screamed, "CINDER! MORE OF THAT OMG YES PLEASE!" But you're not like that at all. You're much more subtle and laid back.
Rose, our Sleeping Beauty, wasn't the easiest character to connect to. We didn't get off to a good start. She was rather bland and sheltered, and I just wished that she would get up and be awesome and kick ass. Well... that's not who she is. I set my standards a bit high for female characters nowadays, so that was a bit disappointing. Rose has massively low self-esteem, puts herself down constantly, and frequently runs away when things get too hard or complicated. At this point, I thought, "Why in the world did everyone like this so much? Ugh." But then, later on in the book, there was a rather big reveal and plot twist about her back story and... oh god guys. Though I didn't feel anything for her before that, I couldn't help but sympathize. But though I sympathized with her, I still didn't feel a big connection to her. While I understood why she was the way she was, I still wished for a bit... more. Maybe I needed to see more character growth from her.
While I definitely liked the sci-fi elements and how the world had developed while Rose was in stasis, I felt like the world building barely scratched the surface. It just wasn't fleshed out well enough for me to truly love it. There was so much potential there, and I really wanted to know more about devices, technologies, the government, everything... and it was briefly touched on, but not enough for me.
Also, with the label of fairytale retelling, I kind of expected more from the romance. With the flashbacks and dreams, I did love the story that formed around Rose and Xavier. However, that relationship already ended so... yeah. Bren was weird to me, but I kind of like the growth that Rose goes through in confronting her feelings for him. Otto was absolutely adorable. I need more Otto in my life. But I just expected a way different romance - in that I actually expected there to be a romance. But there wasn't... not really. This book has thrown me for a loop, and I just don't know what to feel about it.
While I definitely liked this book and it was a great reading adventure, I can't help but feel a bit disappointed, if only because my expectations were sky high. It's not bad, I mean, 3.5 oranges - that's a good rating, come on, but it didn't wow me. That being said, I do feel like if I hadn't expected it to blow my mind and be like the Lunar Chronicles series, I would have liked it better. I entered this book with so many misconceptions and incorrect expectations, and my reading experience definitely suffered from it. So I may reread it sometime. I definitely think it's worth another shot. And for what it's worth, Anna Sheehan's writing is definitely great.
Fans of sci-fi and fairytale retellings.