Saturday, May 30, 2015

Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A.S. King (book review)

Glory O'Brien's History of the FutureGlory O'Brien's History of the Future by A.S. King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My main pet peeve about many of the young adult novels I've read is that they don't have strong adult characters. And I get that. Teenagers often don't think of their parents and teachers and other adults around them as interesting, complex individuals. Why would a teenage protagonist bother to flesh out the adult characters in their story? A.S. King's Glory O'Brien's History of the Future is different. Probably because the main character, Glory O'Brien, is different. Actually, she's completely normal, but she feels different. Glory's mother, Darla, committed suicide when Glory was four-years-old. Now Glory is graduating high school, motherless, wondering about her own future, worrying that she'll end up with her head in the oven like her mother. Her dad, a widower these thirteen years, was once a painter but now he slouches on the couch balancing a laptop on his knees while eating microwaved frozen dinners from a plastic tray. It is just as much his story I enjoyed seeing unfurl before my eyes as Glory finds her own way.

Then there's the whole drinking a bat and gaining super psychic powers and writing the history of the future bit. It was surprisingly not difficult to suspend disbelief with this part of the novel. I'd recommend this book to teens and adults who tend to lean toward more realistic fiction, but who want to explore a relatable dystopian fiction book. I'd also recommend it to teens and women dealing with eating disorders or body dysmorphia, and anyone interested in a strong feminist character's point of view.

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