Thursday, June 4, 2015

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

Glory O'Brien, age 17, has not been having a glorious life so far. Her mother killed herself years ago; her dad has eaten his grief and went from an original 120 pounds to 240. He won't get rid of the oven that his wife used to kill herself with, either. He won't go into his wife's photography darkroom or even discuss her. Glory doesn't have many friends, and she often actively dislikes her "best" friend, Ellie. Glory is happy to be graduating from high school in a few days: she wants to get away from all that is trivial and tedious. Why bother having anyone sign her yearbook? There's no point.

The only thing Glory likes is taking photographs; that was about all her mom liked, too, it seems. So when Ellie - often the holder of illogical and harebrained ideas - suggests that the two girls drink the remains of a dead bat, Glory decides to comply. What's the harm? Ellie had joked that the dead bat was God. Ellie is just plain weird.

Here's the good news: neither girl gets sick from drinking dead bat remains. But there's bad news, and it's literally "the future": the future that you and I will inhabit, if we live long enough. Both girls start seeing visions of it, and it's no place that women would want to live in.

Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A.S. King. 307 p. 2014. Little, Brown. Booktalk to upper high school: contains mature themes.

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