Beth Sells Books

Beth O'Donovan, Independent Usborne Organiser


Book of the Month - Beauty Sleep

1st April 2019

What happens when you wake up one day and the world has moved on forty years?

Laura can't remember who she is. But the rest of the world knows. Because Laura is famous - a dying girl who was frozen until she could be cured. A real-life Sleeping Beauty.

Laura's new present looks very different to her old one. And it isn't just the change in time and place. Her childhood best friend is middle-aged, and her parents presumed dead. As her memory starts to return, can Laura find a place to belong? Can she start to build a new life, while solving the mystery of what happened to the old one?

To Laura, the year 2028 sounds so far in the future that it's virtually science fiction. However the technological advancements that are so alien to Laura - smart-phones, self-driving cars and facial recognition, to name but a few - are already familiar to the modern reader. These commodities impress and baffle Laura in equal measure - but are they as brilliant as they first seem?

Whilst the story focuses around Laura, the more obviously sinister side of this modern world is brought to us by Shem, a 17-year-old boy who's trying to live under the radar in a world where it is illegal to be homeless. As he tries to evade the mysterious, suited men who are tracking his every move, his path crosses with Laura's when she starts at an exclusive boarding school in Brighton.

Laura's new school friends are full of questions for this pre-tech new student, and these are reciprocated by Laura, who feels as though she has a whole new language to learn as she navigates TouchTime, Instagram and other important facets of teenage life.

But Laura is haunted by bigger, unresolved questions. What exactly happened to her parents? Why can no one tell her where her little brother is buried? Why did Stacey, her backcombed, eyeliner-wearing best friend, turn on her family, and what is the truth behind her criminal activities? And why does Laura's skin now heal strangely quickly when she hurts herself? Laura needs answers, and it becomes clear that these lie with Miss Lilly; the immaculate CEO of the world's most famous skincare company, and the owner of the clinic Laura lay frozen in for forty years...

With a twisting plot and thought-provoking ethical debates at its core, we are prompted to question just how far people will go to achieve perfection in a world that's obsessed with beauty at any cost. Inspired by real cryogenic technology and current news stories, Beauty Sleep is the perfect modern thriller that's sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

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