Friday, October 31, 2014

Book Review: Glory O'Brien's History of the Future

Glory is about to graduate high school and unlike most of her classmates, her future looks pretty bleak. She's pretty apathetic about school, where her only extracurricular activity is taking yearbook pictures. Her only friend is across the street neighbor Ellie, who was pulled out of school before high school due to the rules of her commune.

Life at home is not much more exciting with her father morbidly obese, working from home and her mother gone since she committed suicide 14 years ago. Unable to move forward, Glory lives wondering about the past, and what her future might look like.

Then there is the bat, Max Black. A petrified bat living in the barns on Ellie's commune that they watch, which Ellie's mother moves one day. One weekend the girls drink the bat (no really they drink the bat!) and things change.

Glory starts to see visions from people's past and future when she looks them in the eyes. However, she never sees her future. She slowly puts together pieces of these visions, capturing a future where women lose many rights and new wars are started. She also has access to her mother's dark room for the first time, and is absorbed in a journal of sorts her mother wrote. The truth of the past, and a vision of a future slowly start to develop in the week leading up to and weeks after graduation. Glory is unsure of her place and slowly starts to face the past so that she can start to move forward.

Much like film, Glory's story slowly starts to develop catching all shades of black, white and grey. Glory O'Brien's History of the Future is a family story, with shades of dystopia and a bit of magical realism. Author A.S. King never disappoints in creating realistic worlds that dip beyond the possible. This is one book that deserves everyone of the starred reviews it earned, and would be a great read for any high school student (or beyond) questioning their future.

I'll see you @ the library!

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