* CONTAINS SPOILERS
Glory O’Brien is graduating from high school and while her peers are excited for the future, she feels less than enthusiastic. She has no plans and no urge to leave the home she shares with her reclusive father. Although it has been years since her mother committed suicide, now more than ever Glory feels the pain of losing her and the questions still remain unanswered: Who was her mother? Why did she do it? Was she crazy? One night, Glory gets drunk with her best friend, Ellie, and they decide to drink a strange concoction, the contents of which I won’t disclose. As a result, Glory and Ellie gain the ability to “see” things when they look into people’s eyes. For Ellie, she can see snapshots of the present. For Glory, she can see their past and future, including the complete collapse of society as we know it. In the future, women are persecuted, cast out of society and forced to survive in the wild or enslaved to breed.
What starts out as an average story about a teenage girl dealing with change, loss and transition, rises to a whole other level with Glory’s extraordinary visions of the future and the signs that it will all come true. In as rational a manner as possible, Glory tries to make sense of what it all means and questions whether there is a point to today if there is no tomorrow. I was completely enraptured and frightened by Glory’s vision of the future for women. I put myself in her shoes and wondered what I would do in her situation.
I haven’t said this for awhile, but I was sad when the book ended. I don’t know if A.S. King is planning a sequel or trilogy, but I would love to see how Glory’s dystopian vision plays out. I want to know this world of civil war, extreme gender divide and the underground movement Glory leads against the new world order.
Although I have focused on the dystopian elements of the story, Glory O’Brien also explores themes of self-identity as it relates to physical beauty, genetics and relationships. Not unfamiliar territory for a teenager, but I appreciated Glory’s maturity and droll observations on the subjects. Overall, Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future is sharp and intelligent, sad but hopeful. I laughed because so many reviewers said, “This book is weird!” The book was very unique and unlike anything else I have read this year; so exactly my kind of weird.
I think I want to read more YA in the future. What do you suggest I read?