Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King

Title: Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future

Author: A.S King

Published: October 14th, 2014

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Goodreads 

In this masterpiece about freedom, feminism, and destiny, Printz Honor author A.S. King tells the epic story of a girl coping with devastating loss at long last–a girl who has no idea that the future needs her, and that the present needs her even more.

Graduating from high school is a time of limitless possibilities–but not for Glory, who has no plan for what’s next. Her mother committed suicide when Glory was only four years old, and she’s never stopped wondering if she will eventually go the same way…until a transformative night when she begins to experience an astonishing new power to see a person’s infinite past and future. From ancient ancestors to many generations forward, Glory is bombarded with visions–and what she sees ahead of her is terrifying: A tyrannical new leader raises an army. Women’s rights disappear. A violent second civil war breaks out. And young girls vanish daily, sold off or interned in camps. Glory makes it her mission to record everything she sees, hoping her notes will somehow make a difference. She may not see a future for herself, but she’ll do anything to make sure this one doesn’t come to pass.

Review 

A satisfyingly weird novel, Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future starts off with the title character and her friend drinking the remains of a bat. For one reason or another this grants them the ability to see the pasts and futures of anyone they look at too closely.

Before this happens Glory already has her share of issues, having lost her mother at a young age she has become quite aggressive. She fears that she will end up like her mother and has a complex relationship with her close friend, who lives on a nearby commune. She’s judging and brutally honest and at some times crude. I don’t think most people will like her, at least not at first. I wasn’t quite sure of her myself, but she was interesting and very real, which is part of what drew me into the world.

Glory’s friend Ellie is also highly important to the story, but not just because she is Glory’s friend. She exists in an odd situation, namely a hippie commune, and was the one who actually found the bat. But her presence is also meaningful because of her own unique experiences after drinking the bat that largely differ from her friends. She’s more reckless than Glory and is different enough that she and Glory, although referred to as best friends, don’t get along as well as most BFFs.

So if you don’t mind a little bit of a lot of weird and relationships that aren’t all what they seem, this may be the book for you. Or maybe not, after all it’s definitely not for everyone.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

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