BOOK REVIEW: Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A. S. King

Some persons have the ability to write pain into beautiful turns of phrases. Like Sylvia Plath and A. S. King's influence here, King writes about the harsh realities and pain of living so prettily that you cannot help but be awed by the way the words wound your heart and speak to it simultaneously. How does one decide to remain a part of this world; a decision that seems momentous and heartbreaking and useless in the wake of realities.

Glory O'Brien faces an unknown future and an even scarier prospect when she starts seeing everyone else's future and it's all grim. The past, present, and future become one big blur, yet somehow, A. S. King makes sense of it all. With Glory's narration, she gives us all the secret to why choosing to get living life means so much more than we ever expected.

  • TITLE: Glory O'Brien's History of the Future
  • AUTHOR(S): A. S. King 
  • SERIES: Stand Alone
  • PUB INFO: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on 10/14/2014
  • ACQUIRED HOW? ARC Kindle edition from Amazon
  • BOOK RATING: Cherry Pie

Religiously unavailable, this book does not try to synchronize with a belief system. It doesn't attack any specific denomination either. Following a philosophy that centers on female empowerment, Glory O'Brien stages a coup against the usual arguments and manipulates your heart with a variety of key quotes that hit home in a way that while preachy aren't overbearing... and they're beautifully powerful.

I found myself tearing up throughout this book though, because the visions remind me of the horrors of societal wrongs happening and continuing to happen despite the supposedly evolved humanity inhabiting today's culture. We think ourselves so forward thinking and modern and yet the very permeance of culture's fabric hinges on the obliteration of freedoms due all people. We label and size one another up by appearance and promote bullcrap mantras in hopes of defining gender, race and orientation in a way that makes sense in the boxes of normality we are supposed to inhabit. A habitual sorting of the masses that very well could lead to the dire predictions Glory O'Brien sees for the future because once you erase humanity and all that's left are drones -- very few people, the truly honest types can never really stomach such an existence. 

QUOTE ME: A weird magical realism threads through this book and links everyone who Glory O'Brien comes into contact with. Thing is, Glory never really saw herself living long in this world after graduation but now she's drunk the ashes of a bat she can see everyone's future but hers and she'd really like someone to tell her what it means. With a dad who has shut out the world, a best friend who lives for one day joining the world and a mother who has left this world... Glory isn't prepared for the radio signals she's receiving from family, friends and strangers. Ellie her BFF isn't either. As they piece together their past, present and future though... everything selfish about humanity eats away at them until their visions start coming true. And that's when the truth of living hits them. Life is an oddity of mixed experiences, consequences and people who just don't give a damn. Ultimately you live, you fight, you die but somewhere in there you also live, learn and love.

BONUS: A. S. King spoke to me about how books changed her life at the Less Than Three Conference in St. Louis a couple of years ago. Thought it might be a definite bonus to share it here again, because she's such a well-spoken individual when doing a live interview. Adored meeting her and certainly cannot wait to hang out with her again.


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