Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Glory O'Brien's History of the Future
Info: Brown Books for Young Readers, copyright 2014, 308 pages
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.
Ugh. This book. I had such high hopes after reading Ask The Passengers, and the title is kind of awesome. But, ugh, this book. Maybe it was the audiobook reader, even though I don't think it was that. Ugh.
Glory is a troubled youth. Her mother committed suicide when she was young, and the lingering effects of her loss still haunt her. She has no ambition, no drive. All she likes to do is complain and blame. One night she finds a petrified bat with her "best" friend Lily (who she really isn't all that nice to), and long story short, they end up mixing the remains of the night creature with a beer and drinking it. Which is disgusting and is high on the weird scale with Andrew Smith's Grasshopper Jungle. The girls both begin to have hallucinations. Lily keeps seeing everyone naked, and Glory sees futures and pasts. Apparently there is going to be another Civil War, and for the briefest of moments, Glory think she can stop it if she just writes down what she sees.
But that isn't really the point of the story. I don't really know what the point is, to be honest. For a brief second I thought it was going to be a feminist manifesto. Glory and her father spout feminist ideals, but then on the next page, Glory is calling girls sluts and inwardly shaming them for their decisions.
I kept listening, but I'm not sure why. I didn't really care for this book. It's not that it wasn't well written. I still like A.S. King's style, but I didn't like any of the characters, especially Glory. Glory should have made my list of characters I didn't just connect with. I'm not going to give up on King just yet. Darn it, I gave Levithan and Ness a couple of tries before I came to the conclusion that their stories are just not for me. So far she's 1 for 3 (of what I've read) but I'm thinking I'll give her upcoming title, I Crawl Through It, a read.