All Rights Reserved / Gregory Scott Katsoulis / Harlequin Teen / 2017 / ISBN 9780373212446 / 395 Pages / Young Adult
ARC Book Blurb –
In a world where every word and gesture is copyrighted, patented or trademarked, one girl elects to remain silent rather than pay to speak, and her defiant and unexpected silence threatens to unravel the very fabric of society.
Speth Jime is anxious to deliver her Last Day speech and celebrate her transition into adulthood. The moment she turns fifteen, Speth must pay for every word she speaks (“Sorry” is a flat $10 and a legal admission of guilt, for every nod ($0.99/sec), for every scream ($0.99/sec) and even every gesture of affection. She’s been raised to know the consequences of failing into debt, and can’t begin to imagine the pain of having her eyes shocked for speaking words that she unable to afford.
But when Speth’s friend Beecher commits suicide rather than work off his family’s crippling debt, she can’t express her shock and dismay without breaking her Last Day contract and sending her family into Collection. Backed into a corner, Speth finds a loophole: rather than read her speech- rather than say anything at all – she closes her moth and vows never to speak again. Speth’s unexpected defiance of tradition sparks a media frenzy, inspiring others to follow in her footsteps and threatening to destroy her, her family and the entire city around them.
My Thoughts –
My sister got a copy of this book at the Teen Con even we went to during the 2017 Sydney Writer’s Festival All Day Ya events. It is an ARC, so it’s a rough, unformatted copy of the book. In saying that I think it needed another round of edits, as I picked up a few spelling mistakes. All in all, I really don’t know how I feel about this book.
The story follows Speth Jime, in a world (that we aren’t told what period it is set or even where in the world) that talking isn’t free. Hell, nothing is for free in the book and it only gets worse as the book progresses. So Speth is about to come of age and to do so you have to give a speech in front of a lot of people, and from then on out, you have to pay for every word, hand shake, head nod, movement and noise you make. After a shocking death, right in front of her, Speth has no choice but to keep quiet. In doing so, to protect herself and friend, she starts a revolutionary movement. With crazy enemies, new friends and job prospects, lots of poverty and bad eating habits, All Rights Reserved is one hell of a dystopian young adult novel.
“Then, suddenly, another option blossomed in my mind. I seized it, because it was a choice – my choice – and one I’d never heard anyone suggest. I put my shaking thumb and finger to the corner of my mouth, and drew my hand slowly across. I made the sign of zippered lips, and I silently vowed I would never speak again” page 31.
This book, think ‘Hunger Games’ kind of world building, except your life isn’t on the line, unless you talk too much and are in too much debt. But this is an adventure book, that starts off well with its world building, then it gets a bit too much (a lot happens in the book), and then kind of ends on a cliff hanger (it is the beginning of a series I think though).
The writing in the book is great, capturing and imaginative. There must have been a lot of research undertaken about human right, copyright laws and all the like, because all the rules and regulations feel and sound so real when you read about them. The characters in the book are authentic and emotionally so vulnerable throughout the whole story.
There are only two things in the book that kind of didn’t sit with me well: one, the names, I get that the poorer you are, the less affluent a name you have, but most of the characters don’t have proper names, so it gets confusing when you are reading a noun or verb as a name and there are a few too many to keep up with. And the second is, that there is a lot of writing in the book. A lot has to be explained in the book, all the costs and issues and terms and conditions, but I think that should have been the bases of the book with a bit of all the drama that happens, and then it should have carried on to the other books.
I haven’t read anything by Gregory Scott Katsoulis, so I don’t know what his writing is like, but I think, if I had read this book at a different time, I would have settled with it a lot better, I just felt restless as I was reading this book.
If you like lots of world building, girls kicking arse and corrupt governments, then this is the book for you.
I give this book 3.0 out of 5 Booky Stars!
You can grab a copy of this book from links on the right-hand side of this blog or from the link directly under the picture.