Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future
Author: A.S. King
Max Black. Oven. Jupiterians. Why People Take Pictures. The train. Photography. Zones.
Glory O’Brien just graduated high school. She still struggles with her mother’s suicide. Her best friend is in a hippie cult. And she can see the future. A civil war will break out in fifty years and women will have all of their right revoked. But there’s more and Glory can barely handle it.
Glory’s not sure if what she sees is real or if she’s just going bat-shit crazy. But in any case, she writes it all down because what if it is real? While she’s unsure that she can do anything about the war and death she sees whenever she looks at a person, she’s hoping that the history of the future she’s writing will help someone.
“I am no one special. You are no one special. Can you handle that? Most people can’t handle it.” (Darla, p.99)
This book shook me to the core and surprised me with how deep and twisted it was. Glory is a character that I think we all secretly look up to. She is witty and intelligent. She explores the world around her with incredible thought and feeling. She uses photography to waver between life and death. She tries to find meaning in life with the photos she takes while also trying to find a connection with her dead mother who’d also been a photographer.
Your inner activist has a chance of getting revved up which really adds to the uniqueness of this book. I’ve never read anything that’s affected that part of me like this. It made it more realistic for me because I can relate to it.
I found the build-up of the story-line to be slow, but the plot is magnificently multi-layered. This story isn’t about one singular event, but about the world and discovering how people fit in it according to Glory and more importantly, how she fits in it. She gives great thought to this.
All of the unnatural flip-flopping from one subject to another would usually be looked at as annoying, but I found it to be just the opposite. This is the front seat of Glory’s mind and she doesn’t leave out a lick. You get to understand human ability of weighing pros and cons as well as the reasoning behind giving second chances even though it’s not worth it. The in-depth understanding of her feelings or even the lack thereof made me think about how I view myself.
The style and tone were fantastic as well. The vocabulary of the characters really separated them from other fictional book characters and made them more real and independent.
I found my anticipation growing to read her excerpts on the future, allowing me to see what she saw. Each chapter stood alone and solid with no serious transition from one to the next. It just kept moving forward, allowing for a fast pace. When I made it to the last page I was in a stupor and didn’t want it to be over.
I know one thing. Well, maybe two. One, this is a phenomenal book and I didn’t think it would be at first. Two, this book NEEDS to be picked for a TV show. Hello, Netflix?
“We could see the future. We could see the past. We could see everything.” (Glory, p. 1)
“Humans are weird, right? We’re walking contradictions. We are zone 10 and zone 0 at the same time.” (Glory, 23)
“Your mom killed God, dude.” (Glory to Ellie, p. 48)
“Free yourself. Have the courage.” (Ellie, p. 55)
“You are not your virginity. You are a human being. The state of your hymen has nothing to do with your worth…” (Glory, p. 79)
“Fact: Past, present and future have one thing in common. Me.” (Glory, p. 197)
“You were like a lighthouse in a storm. That’s all. I didn’t want to freak you out. I was just happy to find you.” (Peter, p. 202)
More to come soon…
P.S. Song today? Radioactive by Imagine Dragons.