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Monday, January 25, 2016

My Thoughts: Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A.S. King

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.

So- let's talk about Glory O'Brien's History of the Future and my feelings on it. What a STRANGE little book. I started reading this when I spent a cold winter day at the cabin. I thought, I'll spend the 2+ hours driving there reading, read while at the cabin and finish it on my home- no. This book took me ages to sink into. I think it's  because this book was so weird, and I needed time to figure out where the author was going. I never did, I just gave up and went with it.

Essentially, Glory O'Brien's History of the Future, tells the story of Glory O'Brien and her buddy-Ellie- drinking the remains of a dried bat (ya see- strange). Which, totally does something to them, and they start to see things. In Glory's case, she's getting snippets of the future- and to be honest- it's pretty bleak looking. Full of civil war and human trafficking and all kinds of ugliness. Naturally, this causes Glory to panic a little... and go a little cuckoo.

What bothered me about this book was Glory- she was major Debbie Downer. I like to think of myself as a fairly optimistic individual, I don't tend to think the worst of people or situations, and I usually like people. This wasn't the case for Glory, and I really struggled with that. She was kind of a jerk. Some would say she has good reason to be so miserable- she's still confused about her mother's death and angry at the world because of it, add now that she's now seeing the end of the world- I guess that would weigh on a person. But I couldn't connect with her. I found that she used her situation and her mother's death to keep people at arm's length. When people got to close she would antagonize and insult them, which I just found mean. However, she wasn't all bad (sigh)...What really saved Glory for me was how she cared for her dad- she wanted him to be happy and to live a happy life. She didn't want him to be stuck loving her long dead mother and never living again. This was really important to her and it really revealed her heart. You would get at these little nuggets of a kind and loving Glory through out the novel and truly, that's what kept me going. She does evolve and comes into herself- like I said, she's not all bad. But, I didn't really like her.

What I did like was the secondary characters, I liked Ellie a lot. She was this little hippie girl, who was torn between loyalty to her family and the life she was raised in, and wanting to break free and live her own life. She was self-involved, but she tried. I think she was my favourite. I liked Glory's dad and how strange he was.

The story was interesting. The concept of a second American Civil War and what it stems from was super intriguing. I often found myself thinking, 'this could never happen... could it?' Kudos to A.S. King for that. I don't want to spoil to much here. But I looked forward to these parts of the book, where we would get snap shots of the future.

Overall, I am torn. I couldn't love this novel because I really didn't like Glory and her attitude. But at the same time, the concept and the way it was told was really cool. So, I don't know, I really don't know. Try it for yourself.

~Happy Reading Everyone,

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  1. Seems like weirdness-that-works is something that A.S. King is known for in her books, though I have never read anything of hers. I can definitely appreciate unique styles of writing, so I think I would appreciate it here as well even if the portage isn't particularly likeable.

    1. Actually, turns out that's a lie. I've read Reality Boy by A.S. King! I enjoyed that one. Kind of weird, but it worked!

  2. I've never read a book by A.S. King but I only hear good things about this book! I don't know if it's the kind of weirdness that I can appreciate though.

  3. I really struggle with attitude issues. It just mares the whole book!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings


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