Summary and book reviews of Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A. King

Glory O'Brien's History of the Future

by A. S. King

Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A. S. King X
Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A. S. King
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2014, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2015, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Ellis Smith
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About this Book

Book Summary

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.

PROLOGUE

The clan of the petrified bat

So we drank it—the two of us. Ellie drank it first and acted like it tasted good. I followed. And it wasn't half bad.

When we woke up the next morning, everything was different. We could see the future. We could see the past. We could see everything.

You might say, "Why did you drink a bat?" Or, "How did you drink a bat?" Or, "Who would do something like that?"

But we weren't thinking about it at the time. It's like being on a fast train that crashes and someone asking you why you didn't jump before it crashed.

You wouldn't jump because you couldn't jump. It was going too fast. And you didn't know the crash was coming, so why would you?

BOOK ONE

The origin of everything

School is the same as anything else. You do it because you're told to do it when you're little enough to listen. You continue because someone told you it was important. It's like you're a train ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

King gives her readers this challenge too. Free yourself. Have the courage. The world is full of societal pressures and rules, and legacies and history. Who are we, despite all that, and can we reveal our true selves to the world? It is a challenge worth taking on. This novel is especially written for teens ages 14 and up, but adults will get a lot out of it too. Particularly women.   (Reviewed by Tamara Ellis Smith).

Full Review (927 words).

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Media Reviews

Teen Vogue
You won't be able to put down this futuristic story about a girl who starts having visions of both the past and the future-in which she sees an end to women's rights and a civil war between sexes.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review...a novel full of provocative ideas and sharply observed thoughts about the pressures society places on teenagers, especially girls. Ages 15–up.

Booklist
Starred Review. Imbuing Glory's narrative with a graceful, sometimes dissonant combination of anger, ambivalence, and hopefulness that resists tidy resolution, award-winning King presents another powerful, moving, and compellingly complex coming-of-age story.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review...a novel full of provocative ideas and sharply observed thoughts about the pressures society places on teenagers, especially girls. Ages 15–up.

School Library Journal
Starred Review. This beautifully strange, entirely memorable book will stay with readers.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

Teens and Feminism

In an interview at Book Riot, A. S. King (Glory O'Brien's History of the Future, 2014) says:

I am still a believer in the original feminism. You know the one - the one that simply wanted equal social, political, and economic rights for women. I love men. I love other women. I love people. I don't think feminism means we have to hate anyone and I have yet to meet a feminist who thinks this. But the word got muddied along the way. People started taking sides. Here's a story: I once worked with a woman who claimed that a co-worker wasn't a "real" feminist because that co-worker wore lipstick. At the time, I didn't shave my legs, but this finger-pointing woman did, so in trying to make my point that feminists don't ...

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