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

17453303Title:  Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future

Author: A.S King

Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: 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.

Huge thank you to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

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.

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