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Glory O'Brien's History of the Future

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  9,211 ratings  ·  1,550 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 308 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  9,211 ratings  ·  1,550 reviews

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Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
It's this thing, folks, where I just feel like A.S. King has a special link to my mind. It may sound ridiculous, but that's how it feels. Her characters all think how I think and all feel like I feel. Her books are really personal to me, they really hit home.

I've realized a trend in her stories and that I think was really embraced in this book: that although a lot happens to her characters, they really only feel like a glimmer. They are a mere moment in the life of the protagonist, but an import
Emily May
Mar 03, 2013 added it
Shelves: arc, young-adult, 2014
DNF - 35%

I am just not enjoying this at all and find myself unable to read more than a chapter (which are really short) at a time. I find the narrator uninteresting and don't particularly care where the story is going at this moment. I've heard that it gets better further on so if a lot of positive reviews roll in, I might try again.

Also, I'm all for a bit of feminism. Or a lot of feminism. But passages of this read like one long preachy rant.
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: signed, arc, own
So these girls drink the remains of a bat and start seeing the future. Yep, this will be a weird one! You have been warned!

Ok so, only having read 2 books by A.S. King so far, both of them being fairly normal, I wasn't expecting this level of weird, but somehow it ended up working really well for me. The magical realism aspect of it turned it into a sort of contemporary-slash-dystopian hybrid which was, surprisingly, quite interesting. Though I foresee some people not being fans of this one; it'
Roberta R. (Offbeat YA)

As of February 24th 2017, this review of mine has collected 27 likes. Just because, even before I read the darn book, I foolishly wrote the sentence and linked to the picture you see below:

Oops...I think I saw the girl on the cover...somewhere else...

Seriously, what's wrong with people? This is Goodreads, not Twitter or Instagram. You're supposed to like a REVIEW, not a darn picture with a caption. This thing pisses me off to no end. I even tried to take t
Aug 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: feminism, ya
Rampant slut-shaming, hated the main character, future dystopia where women in the US don't have the right to work and the leader is called Nedrick the Sanctimonious and that name is not a joke, but it's all just telling, not showing. Glory's best friend Ellie is the only sympathetic character but Glory spends the whole book thinking about what a consumerist shallow slut Ellie is for having sex and showing cleavage.

Choice quotes:
"I took a picture of the bottles of shampoo. I called it Empty Pr
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
SUPER disapointed with this book, started off very intriguing and King is SUCH a talented writer, but the plot and the characters just plain suck. First of all, so many flaws with the dystopia portion (I loved King's Vera Dietz, but maybe that shows she should stick to contemporary?) you have to build on the future, not depict it as a random act of chaos if that makes sense.

It's almost like the US consitution doesn't exist in the world of this book because YOU CAN'T JUST MAKE IT ILLEGAL FOR AN
Kristina Horner
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was strange and sad and I didn't totally buy the crazy dystopian future she was seeing, but ultimately the book was so smartly written I still mostly enjoyed it. Super bizarre but poignant. ...more
This book is possibly being lauded as admirably feminist, but I'm so not here for the brand of feminism that is okay with calling other women 'sluts' for ANY reason, let alone that they dared to have! sex! with people! they're ATTRACTED! TO!!!

I am baffled, BAFFLED, by the notion that even if you have decided 'slut' is really a thing outside the sexist, misogynistic paradigm, it can be assigned to women who a) catch STDs b) have sex with crap men c) were previously virgins before they caught an
Not my favorite of King's books, but still a solid YA read.

The feminism and the glimpses into the future were a little on-the-nose for me, and at times because of that, they got boring and tedious to read. But what King excelled at here -- and what I'd have loved to see more of -- is how she explored the relationship between Glory and her neighbor/best friend Ellie. Ellie's home life is scary and more, her mother is even more terrifying in how she manipulates and converts people into her own per
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
This book is weird. If you don't like weird, then move along, because any book that contains the premise of seeing both the past and future upon the consumption of petrified bat remains will probably not be for you.

Yes, it was a weird book with a strange cast of characters, but it worked. Of course, when I had first heard about the whole "ingesting bat leads to superpowers" thing, I was certain there was no way anyone, even the most talented of author, could make it work. But I have terrible ini
First Second Books
I thought that this book was fascinating because Glory O’Brien’s vision of the future (actual visions, in this case) was centered around feminism and women’s rights.

So often we have future stories that are like, ‘well, what’s really important is this bomb or this battle or this EVENT.’ But what’s important here, to this teen girl main character, is the effect the events have on the treatment and rights of future women.

I think that’s really great – and a paradigm shift from our typical futuristi
Lala BooksandLala
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a new genre for me, kind of contemporary magical realism dystopian. It was phenomenally written. Different. Important. Poignant.
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
This made me go insane. There's no way to describe it other than that. At several parts throughout the book, I would have to close the book, sit there staring into nothingness, cry, and think about how messed up society and just life in general is.

At this point, you may be wondering, "WTF? Then why'd she give it four stars if it was that disturbing to read?" The things is, I are books based on the level of impact they've had on me, and this one had a huge impact. It made me sit on my
Glory O'Brien's History of the Future is dark, surreal and poignant. Written in a fluid and compelling style, it's really quite a literary masterpiece that further solidifies my love and admiration for A.S. King's prose. To me, this book is perfect.

Glory O'Brien is quite a mess. She's about to graduate from high school and she has literally no idea what to do with her life ("I had a week until I graduated. I had zero plans, zero options, zero friends.") Her mother checked out on her family whe
Beth Cato
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
What a strange book. I read it because it's on the Andre Norton shortlist as part of the 2014 Nebula ballot. I found it compelling enough to read the whole thing, but at the same time there were a lot of things that were bothersome about it. Glory is very... teenage-angst-filled and unlikeable. Her best friend is utterly toxic. The two girls chug down the remains of a dead bat with their beer (yes, really) and gain the abilities to see the familial pasts and futures of people they see. Glory qui ...more
Sara Williams
A.S. King is becoming my favourite person.
Everything about her novels are fascinating.
Please do give this a go.
Quick review for a quick read. "Glory O' Brien's History of the Future" is a novel that tugged at my heartstrings in very key moments, but ultimately, I thought the novel had mixed execution for the aim it went for. I ended up reading this after "Still Life With Tornado" which had a similar thematic that played with timelines and magical realism.

This book deals with Glory's experiences in dealing with her fractured family and relationships following her high school graduation. When Glory and he
Dec 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
A.S. King has frequently dabbled in magical realism, and GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE brings that aspect of her style to the fore. When Glory and her 'best friend' Ellie drink a petrified bat (long story), they start seeing visions when they look at people. Ellie mostly sees domestic histories, but Glory sees a war coming in fifty years - a war over women's right to work, among some other women's rights.

Her work with character is as on point as ever. Glory has just graduated high school
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen
I have to start by reiterating how talented I think A.S. King is as a writer. Seriously loved Ask the Passengers, but this book just falls flat for me. All through the story I kept thinking how much it reminded me of Andrew Smith's Grasshopper Jungle and then at the end King thanks him for being her mentor and it all came together. Unfortunately, King cannot pull off the bizarre storyline in the same fashion that Smith can. In this story Glory and her friend/not-friend drink a petrified bat (who ...more
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Read twice. Twice brilliant.
The description for this YA book turned out to be misleading (or at least over-hyped and exaggerated). But I liked the story I got. In fact, I liked it a lot.

But please fire whoever wrote the description that touts it as an EPIC sci-fi type of tale. It's almost the exact opposite of that:   a slow-paced, slice-of-life, magical realism/fantasy (sort of, but not overwhelming), with little "action."

I didn't find it that weird, other than the whole seeing-the-future premise* (and a laugh at how thi
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
‘Glory O'Brien's History of the Future’ is the new contemporary YA novel from A.S. King.

I’ve been sitting on this review for a while. I was actually gifted an advance copy of this book from my friend Persnickety Snark, who attended Book Expo America earlier in the year – she nabbed me a copy, and had a chat with the King herself, who she said was absolutely lovely!

So I read the book way back before its October release. I’ve since re-read it a couple of times … and tried writing a review a half
Andrew Hicks
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
As recently as the day I started Glory O'Brien's History of the Future , I would've told you that A.S. King was my favorite YA author. I'd read four of her novels - Everybody Sees the Ants, Reality Boy, Ask the Passengers and Please Ignore Vera Dietz - over a six-month period, and I loved every one of them.

Then I read Glory O'Brien , King's sixth novel published in six years. I went into it knowing nothing about the plot, just kind of that there was a general feminist theme. This
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My most favorite book of A.S. King.

It simply revolved around Glory and her coping with her mother's suicide. This is done in different zones in the Zone System - from the painful, lonely, depressing zone 0 to marvelous, hopeful, alive zone 10.

This book presented a lot of things. How a person can be devastated by someone who committed suicide, how a person shouldn't blame this devastation to the one who committed suicide, how a person can be an outcast by having ideas that question the way societ
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Damn, you, A.S. King. Every time. Every damned time. You make me all weepy. It's good weepy--healing weepy, but it's still weepy. Which is why I can't read your books in public. Ever. That birthday card from Glory's aunt? Yeah, that's what started the waterworks. And that final shot of Ellie? Broke my heart. So, yeah, I guess this isn't so much a review as a synopsis of my emotional reaction. Okay, here's my review: Book good. Cry-making. Read now. ...more
Tricia Friedman
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
A Catcher in the Rye for today's generation. The female perspective is Margaret Atwood-ian for teens--in a powerful way. I enjoyed the exploration of the ways teens understand more than they ever give away, and how every family has a unique coping mechanism meant to be overthrown, laughed at, and dissected. ...more
Cori Reed
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably more like a 3.75 star read, but I'll round up.

This book was weird. Basically, Glory and her best friend Ellie mix the ashes of a petrified bat with beer, drink it, then are granted the ability to see visions into the history and future of people they make eye contact with. Yeah. Weird.

I didn't particularly love any of the characters, including Glory, but they were still all quite fascinating. Ellie and her almost cult upbringing, Glory's dad suffering from the grief of a wife who commi
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
Reading this was such a struggle. I'm a big fan of A.S. King's writing, but this book was just... Well, the premise, and I guess the whole theme of the book, was ambitious, and it didn't quite pull off the effect it wanted.

I don't wanna make an extra long rant so I'll just try to sum up a few of the things that I thought were misses:

The petrified bat thing was just plain weird. Not even the good kind of weird. Just weird. I thought the whole transmissions thing would be interesting, but it was m
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'd definitely read another A.S. King--I really liked her style. But I don't feel wholeheartedly enthusiastic about this book. There was a lot of weird slut-shaming--like the obvious stuff with Glory's best friend, where Glory spends a lot of time thinking, "What a slut! I'm not supposed to think that. But what a slut!" And of course there's her best friend's mother, who gets her slutty comeuppance in a really unsubtle, unpleasant way. But also just in general, like she watches a (blonde) girl f ...more
Aarushi Sachdeva
This book has definitely made it to my favorites! It is unbelievably amazing, all those questions, all those answer just made me think more about the book and what the underlying meaning was and I think I can confidently say there are many. The symbolism of comparing your feelings and objects with the different colour zones in developed photo is something I liked the idea of, it's a different way of reflecting on yourself. Something else I really liked about the book was the way Glory's mind wor ...more
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A.S. King is the author of the highly-acclaimed I CRAWL THROUGH IT, Walden Award winner GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE, REALITY BOY, 2013 LA Times Book Prize winner ASK THE PASSENGERS, 2012 ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, and 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ and THE DUST OF 100 DOGS as well as a collection of award-winning short stories f ...more

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