Glory O'Brien's History of the Future, by A.S. King Review

Friday, 14 November 2014

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

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Feminism

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Publication: October 14, 2014, by Little Brown Books

Format: Hardcover Edition (borrowed)

Goodreads Summary: Would you try to change the world if you thought it had no future?

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 everything in her power to make sure this one doesn’t come to pass.

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. 


"Maybe this meant something. Maybe it didn't. You choose. Maybe I was avoiding death at the same time as I was obsessed with it. Humans are weird, right? We're walking contradictions. We are zone 10 and zone 0 at the same time. We aren't really sure. Or, at  least, I wasn't. But that was a secret."

   For the past few summer months, I've been finding myself reading many ARC reviews of this book, and I've gotten jealous, I have to admit. Everyone's been saying that this book "represents feminism and diversity," that it's one of "the best new modern books of the century." And I've been just sitting here, like a bug on the side of the road, missing out. And I've always been looking for unique. Now, I've finally gotten it.

   I've had a bad relationship with A.S. King's books in the past, or should I say, "book." Ask the Passengers was a catastrophe for me in the past, around 2012 when I first saw the cover and became obsessed. I felt like I made a mistake to pick it up. I actually didn't know that this was a book written by King until I already surpassed 100 pages of this book. I looked at the back cover, and "BAM" I saw ATP. 

      But let me give fate here a round of applause for its excellence at the moment. Thankfully, I didn't realize that earlier or there would've been a slight chance that I'd forget about wanting to read this book. Although a 3.5 star shows okay, pretty good, this was such a relaxing, unique book that made me chill out and read some philosophy told by a young adult author who sure has a ton of smarts on her hands and in her mind.

      What was this book about? Fate and history. Glory O'Brien does something with her best and only friend Ellie that really struck me and I felt like I had to re-read a few paragraphs over and over to really realize that this was the truth—they drank out of a bat. Now, you must be thinking:

         But you shouldn't be thinking that because everything's alright here. The coast is clear. That was mainly the weirdest and most strangest part of the book; the rest was fine. They did it because they're young and reckless and wild, and this was Glory's graduating year, so why not? Especially since she's mostly cooped up in her own little shell and world most of the time. Photography is really all she has and needs, but it keeps her sane. 

          "It would seem from this that I was popular, and with my camera, I was. My camera kept me safe. Kept me in good standing with people who wanted a picture of themselves. Kept me behind the camera rather than in front of it."

        From that moment that Glory drinks from the bat, everything suddenly changes. She begins to see people's pasts, and their futures. Who this person will marry. Who their grandson will grow up to be. What their great-grandfather once accomplished. Who was related to who, secretly. At first, it all seems unreal, obviously, but as she begins to believe, she begins to take notes and tries to find out why is this all happening, and especially, to her. 

      Feminism, diversity, a gorgeous storyline, no romance. This was honestly the most unique thing I've read since... I can't even remember. A.S. King stunned me, and it was definitely for the good. I mean, where else can I read a story that balances everything around me, and really gets me to think about the truth behind everything and life itself? Nowhere, I tell you, except in the most wildest and unexpected moments. Okay, now I sound too philosophic myself, hehe.

       Surprising to admit, this book has a little science-fiction in it. I mean, her visions tell it all. A Second US Civil War? This sounds too much like The Hunger Games and Panem, if you ask me. Dystopia is definitely a key, but it stayed far behind the mist, in the shadows, and you only could realize it if you thought about it, that's all.

        What was lacking in this situation was depth. It was unique and fluffy. I wanted sorrowing and feels. The book felt like it was flying on the surface of things. We didn't get barely any questions answered, and we were sitting in the middle of "nowhere" for half of the time. What was the main idea of this novel? I don't really recall to know or understand. 

       Glory O'Brien is honestly a character and protagonist that I know I will remember for ages. Her story did lack depth, but at the same time I was able to understand her situation and why she did what she did. She had a mix of all kinds of different people in her, and that just made her who she was. I was happy that for once we didn't have a character who didn't know who they were or where they belonged.

        As for the romance? There wasn't any except for Ellie's scenes. *cheers* This focused on the beauty of unique YA. Outstanding and breathless.


  1. They drank out of a..okay, you've got the accurate GIF there. Hmm, it is definitely weird but I can see how this is definitely very unique. It's very rare to find a good YA book without romance, so I'm truly intrigued. Wonderful review!

    1. LOL, that's what I imagined that everyone'd be thinking. And I was so mind-blown when I read it myself! I totally agree—we all need to stand up for books THAT ARE UNIQUE! Thank you, Naban! <3

  2. Oh, I wouldn't mind having a book with no romance in them! I always feel like we get a bit too much of it and it's nice to have a change every now and again. And I like the idea of a philosophic book as well. Sometimes it's good to get away from the clichéd YA. I am always looking for more unique styles and themes.

    1. Definitely! I feel like we never get enough of those! Right! This is so philosophic and wonderful! Definitely recommended!


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