Glory O'Brien's History of the Future

Glory O'Brien's History of the Future

A Novel

Book - 2014
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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.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2014.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780316222723
0316222720
Characteristics: 306 pages

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a
abigail_b_13
Aug 25, 2017

This was a very interesting book. It is about a Girl galled Glory. She does a lot of thinking, and takes photos. This book is also about a dystopian future, often flashing forward into her future and how she will change the world. She has the ability to see into people's past and futures, which affects her greatly. A big part of this book is about how in the future in this book, males and females are separated. Females are stronger. She meets someone and reads their future, seeing a girl and him, changing the world, not aware that it is her.

e
ella_3
Nov 27, 2016

Glory O'Brien is a girl who drinks a bat with her friend, and can now see into the future and the past. When she looks at someone, she gets a transmission about their past and future. What she thinks will happen in the future is crazy. There is a big civil war, and many other world wars. She has to deal with this, along with her mother's suicide.
Glory is very misunderstood. She only has 1 friend , Ellie, but she has some issues. People at school think of her as the mysterious girl with the camera. Glory loves taking photos, and spends time in her mother's photo lab. She finds some weird things there, and finds out more about her own family's history.
This books was really interesting, and it makes you think more about the world. I highly recommend this book!

samcmar Jul 21, 2016

Glory O'Brien is this generation's Daria, and for that I am grateful. Very seldom in YA do we encounter a true misanthrope, one who makes the decisions to disengage from people. Glory is methodical, moody, and someone who is completely misunderstood. Often regarded as hateful or selfish, Glory is an unforgettable character who's voice is difficult to mesh with on purpose. Personally, I like a challenge and I feel like Glory was a character whom I share some similarity with, but not so much when I was a teen -- but as the adult I am today.

Giving yourself to people is hard, especially in this day in age where its so easy to manipulate and hurt others within this vastly socially connected world. It's so much easier to be judgemental as it is to be open-minded. After Glory and her friend, Ellie ingest bat ashes they are given transmissions of people's lives and a supposed "history of the future." Interestingly, you have one girl who believes truth in these transmissions and another who gets the sense that she's merely tripping on bat ashes and that every vision they see is completely bogus.

King once again crafts so amazing and well thought out characters. Although Glory's mother had commit suicide when she was four, Darla O'Brien is very much a character in this narrative, and one that haunts throughout. Furthermore we have Ellie who is a terrible, self-absorbed friend and who brings out the worst in others around her and yet she is a completely sympathetic character because she's surprisingly genuine despite her flaws. I actually loved all the characters in this book, and Glory is going to be a character I feel who is going to be quite hit-or-miss with a lot of readers because of her personality, which is quite extreme. I loved the use of feminism in this book as well, as it wasn't afraid to explore a variety of issues not often magnified under the lens. Some of the "histories" that Glory recorded were frightening, though sometimes even extreme or ridiculous and yet I always found myself wanting to know more.

I don't want to spoil much else about this book, but it's quite fantastic and those who love King's work will likely enjoy this book. However, I don't recommend this be someone's first A.S King book considering her style and I think for some readers Glory might be off=putting. If you're looking for where to start with A.S King's books, I always recommend Everybody Sees the Ants as a good introduction. If you like her books and tough issues, then definitely then read this one.

PimaLib_MiraD Dec 16, 2015

A strange story about a girl and her friend who drink a bat and gain the power to see the past and the future. How do you drink a bat? I'm not going to tell you. As for the history of the future, it's horrifying and compelling, but I can't tell you more than that. It's a story about friendship and choices, despair and hope, truth and lies, art and life, and the connections between people, both past and future. Trust me, you just have to read it.

litriocht Nov 20, 2015

In Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future, the title character has glimpses of her militant, fesminist role in a dystopian future.

KateHillier Sep 21, 2015

An ambitious entry from A.S. King. Glory is 17, recently graduated high school, and is sort of stuck in limbo. Her best friend isn't really someone she cares a lot about (or who cares overmuch about her), her mother is 13 years dead by suicide, and her father though loving tends to hide in the house a lot. One night, Glory and her friend drink some beer mixed with the remains of a petrified bat and start seeing weird things. Both of them get visions of the future of the people they look at, as well as their ancestral past, and in Glory's case what she sees is horrifying as she watches women's rights slowly get stripped away and war come to the US.

It's very inventive as much as it is very ambitious, perhaps a bit too ambitious, but it is a fast and compelling read just like everything else King has written. It also begs the question of what would you do knowing the future and potentially knowing you don't really have one.

JCLBeckyC Jun 02, 2015

Glory's mother, Darla, committed suicide when Glory was four-years-old. Now Glory is graduating high school, motherless, wondering about her own future, worrying that she'll end up with her head in the oven like her mother. Glory and her friend drink a bat potion which gives them powers to see people's past and future. Recommended for teens and adults who tend to lean toward more realistic fiction, but who want to explore a dystopian fiction book. Also recommend for teens and women dealing with eating disorders or body dysmorphia, and anyone interested in a strong feminist character's point of view.

JCLChrisK Feb 25, 2015

While I haven't read everything she's written, I've read enough that I can't help but head into any new (to me) A.S. King book with high expectations. This was no exception. I was especially interested in seeing what she did with the idea of "the history of the future," as that was a most intriguing concept. I have a feeling I might come to more fully appreciate this book by dwelling in it a bit more deeply with a second reading, but on my first experience I found some aspects of the book fully met and even exceeded my expectations while others fell a bit short.

In some ways, the particulars of Glory O'Brien's situation were so particular to her that I had a harder time than ideally universalizing her feelings into something relatable. I certainly understood what she was going through, I just couldn't always identify with her why. It's not just anyone who has to figure out life after a parent's suicide while living next to a hippie weirdo commune, after all.

That said and out of the way, though, I think everyone knows the struggle to figure out "who I want to be when I grow up" and of not knowing how to proceed into the future, and King depicted Glory's crisis beautifully. The book's structure and pacing were excellent.

And "the history of the future" was absolutely brilliant, the way it reflected both Glory's self-concept and growth and our current world. That was particular and universal to perfection. I'm astounded by King's insight in imagining that possible future for our world, afraid by the truths it revealed, and inspired to do what I can to keep it from becoming so.

This is an original, insightful, and moving book that I would happily recommend to any teen willing to give it a chance.

-----

"As I walked back to the porch, I was thankful. I'd been so preoccupied with whether or not I would turn into Darla--so busy being the walking picture of emptiness--that I'd overlooked society's expectations of me.

"I smiled at this.

"Did all outcasts come to this realization at a certain point in life? That being outcast from a bogus and pornographic society was a good thing? I hoped so. I hoped there was an army of us out there, smiling about it that very moment."

Cynthia_N Jan 14, 2015

Just the neatest book! Glory and her friend share a drink with petrified bat dust in it and strange things begin to happen. When Glory looks at a person she can see generations into their past and future. Glory is a photographer and I absolutely loved the captions she gave her photographs.

multcolib_susannel Dec 29, 2014

Glory is frozen in time- the time 13 years ago when her mother put her head in an oven and committed suicide. But now she is beginning to thaw out and doesn't recognize the person she sees.

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JCLChrisK Feb 25, 2015

I wished I could take her to the library and hand her over to the librarians. "Please teach her about everything," I'd say.

JCLChrisK Feb 25, 2015

As I walked back to the porch, I was thankful. I'd been so preoccupied with whether or not I would turn into Darla--so busy being the walking picture of emptiness--that I'd overlooked society's expectations of me.

I smiled at this.

Did all outcasts come to this realization at a certain point in life? That being outcast from a bogus and pornographic society was a good thing? I hoped so. I hoped there was an army of us out there, smiling about it that very moment.

quagga Dec 30, 2014

"Amy always had a way of going over the top because I told her I was a feminist when I was twelve, and she told Dad he'd brainwashed me into being some sort of half-boy.
Which was bullshit. I was not a half-boy. I was still totally myself. I just wanted Aunt Amy to get paid as much as a man if ever she got off her lazy ass and got a job.
Why did everyone mix up that word so much?"

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gotta_blast
Dec 30, 2014

gotta_blast thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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LibraryK8 Sep 23, 2014

A few facts about Glory O’Brien:
-Her mother, Darla O’Brien, killed herself by sticking her head in an oven.
-It was on the letter “N” day at school
-Glory is the one who found her
-Darla was a photographer, Glory has followed in her mother’s footsteps
-Glory’s best friend is Ellie, she lives on a hippie commune across the street
-Ellie has crabs from her boyfriend Rick
-Glory isn’t so sure she wants to be best friends with Ellie any more
-Glory and Ellie celebrate graduation by drinking a petrified bat Glory has named Max Black
-Max Black gifts them with the ability to see the past and future of everyone they meet
Looking into the future through the people she meets, Glory sees a world torn apart by civil war over women’s rights. As Glory tries to write down her history of the future she grapples with her mother’s suicide, her growing distance from her best friend and her own lack of future after graduation.

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