“Not living your life is just like killing yourself, only it takes longer.”
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.
I’ve been hearing a lot of positive things about A.S. King as a writer and been meaning to read her works since early last year so when I saw a copy of one of her novel, Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future few months ago in our local book store I added the book in my cart without a second thought. When I got home that night I started reading the book but after few chapters I stop because the pacing is quite slow for me. Since then I’ve been picking and putting the book down that I lost count how many times I tried to finished it. After more or less four months I finally reached the last page.
As much as like reading books with a touch of magic-realism the idea of seeing the past and the future after drinking the ashes of a mummified bat just didn’t work for me. And even after disregarding that part which basically is the start of the novel, I still encounter a lot of incredulous idea from Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future. So much, that I have to stop once in a while and almost give up.
Glory is not an easy to like character. As much as I want to connect to her, I just can’t and the sad part, it seems that A.S. King created Glory to be like that – unlikeable and unralateble. She’s easily to judge other people especially her best friend Ellie. Though I understand her concerns, I still feel like that she is not fully honest with Ellie. Glory lost her mom from suicide and I know I should empathize for her but it didn’t happened. From start to end I didn’t care much what will happen to Glory.
“Suicide isn’t something people do to hurt other people. It’s something people do to release themselves from pain.”
A .S. King touch a lots of topics in this novel, such as suicide, the meaning of existence, friendship, family, woman rights and other things. And with those things that A.S. King is trying to cover, I feel like she’s juggling a lot of things without perfecting the routine yet. She is throwing a lot of things in the air hoping that her readers will catch them for her. That’s where it failed for me. I’m not ready to help catching things, I’m only an spectator from the sideline wanting to see a wonderful or at least clean performance.
Glory O Brien’s History of the Future has been called rare and yes I would agree to it but not in a positive way like beautiful rare but more on weird rare. It’s not exactly one of a kind but the potential is there. If done well it could be one of the most interesting read but unfortunately it didn’t make it. Not for me.