This retelling of Sleeping Beauty takes place in the future, when a girl has been in 'stasis', a sort of sleep that suspends her in time, for about sixty years wakes up to a world she doesn't recognize. The boy who woke her up with his kiss plays a major part in her rehabilitation in this new world she finds herself in, but he is not just any boy. Another boy is an alien who can't speak, but communicates with her via texting. Add to that a mysterious guardian, a pair of indifferent foster parents, and a lethal robot programmed to 'terminate' the heroine if he can't do with her what his instructions tell him to, and you have the most amazing book ever!
What I loved about this story was that it is a 'fairytale' taking place in a dystopian society in the future. There is a lot of room for thought there, and the author handles it beautifully. There is a great deal of angst, and understandably so, as the sixteen-year-old girl, Rose, tries desperately to untangle the timeline of events that occured during her 'sleep' and to reconcile the world she grew up with the one she has woken up in.
There is an element of romance too, the sweet, caring kind that may not take away your breath with swooning kisses, but warms your heart and makes you cheer the characters on.
There were a few other issues that this book dares to deal with, that end up lifting it from a very good book to a really amazing one.
Firstly, there is the matter of using sleep as a coping mechanism. There are people who do that, including myself, and I was truly amazed by how the author handled that. You sleep to avoid life, to avoid pain, you end up having life pass you by and missing on the most important things.
Now, that's something you didn't expect to learn from a Sleeping Beauty tale, is it? You do, however find this out in this story, and many more.
Then, this book is about parental abuse. I almost popped a vein I was so angry at the things I was reading about some of the parents mentioned in the story. It was cleverly done, though. Subtly, so that you can see why the child doesn't even understand that he or she is being abused, because he or she is fed lines such as 'we know best what you need' and 'why are you mean to us when all we want to do is keep you happy?'
All the while, of course, they are slowly killing their child, just because he or she happened to interrupt their 'perfect' lives by growing up.
I so hope there is a second book after this one, and it seems likely, because at the end there are some lose ends, although I completely adored the way it ended, particularly the last sentence.
I read this book in the NetGalley, and I will order it as soon as it is out.
This is the poem featured on the first pages of the book, and where the title comes from, apparently.
This book will be out on 8/9/2011
P.S. I know it is rather early to be reviewing this book, in view of its publication date, but I was just too excited to wait. If you think it wasn't right of me, please say so on the comments and I will delete my post and save it for later. If however you caught my enthusiasm, add it to your wishlist.