Laura was dying. There was no cure for her illness. So her family decided to grasp a desperate last hope – Laura was frozen until she could be cured.
But what happens when you wake up one day and the world has moved on forty years? Your best friend is middle-aged, your parents presumed dead. Could you find a new place to belong? Could you build a new life – while solving the mystery of what happened to the old one?
Dark secrets lurk in the future of the girl from the past…
Beauty Sleep is my introduction to Kathryn Evans; but it was an introduction that definitely made an impact on me.
The book is told in two different POVs – Laura + Shem and works seamlessly between both the POVs for an amazing reading experience
It’s the 1980s – Laura and her younger brother suffer from a rare type of cancer, that is apparently incurable. So, when their parents, a same sex couple are offered the chance to cryogenically freeze both Laura and her younger brother on the off chance that when they do wake up in the future, there would be a cure waiting for them.
Its 40 years later, Laura has woken up from the cryogenic sleep, only to the realisation that she has lost everyone she has ever loved and a reality that somehow is skewed against even her wildest if imaginations. She feels like a baby learning to navigate in a hole new world, which is exactly what she is; because the technological advancements alone make for a mind boggling adjustments alone.
The second POV is that of a homeless boy; Shem – and it shows the stark contrast between a life of privilege that Laura seems to be leading after waking up. Shem has no idea about his past, his family or even his own self. All he knows is that he has to stay safe from the ‘officials’ and that he has no one in this world except his dog.
But there are secrets and betrayals hovering beneath the shiny new world that Laura is now in; and it takes her on a journey that she never imagined to find exactly what she has lost and gained in the 40 years of Beauty Sleep.
Because now, Laura has to assimilate her old life with the new life she has been given; all the while trying to understand what’s real and what’s a fabrication.
Katharyn Evans does a brilliant job of capturing the anxiety and confusion that Laura goes through trying to assimilate in a fully integrated technological world. The plotline that the author has woven is nothing short of wonderous; even though there was a time that it did feel like the plot was a getting a teeny – tiny bit stretched, but the author got it back on track almost immediately.
Beauty Sleep is a book that even middle grade readers could also understand, even the underlying moral and ethical implications could prompt a discussion and it’s book that is definitely one that gives quite the twists and turns for a intense reading experience.