Synopsis from Goodreads
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 ten dollars 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 falling into debt, and can’t begin to imagine the pain of having her eyes shocked for speaking words that she’s 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 mouth and vows never to speak again. Speth’s unexpected defiance of tradition sparks a media frenzy, inspiring others to follow in her footsteps, and threatens to destroy her, her family and the entire city around them.
First of all, I would like to add that if I lived in this world I would probably be up for Collection a day or two after my Last Day. I love talking way too much, which will make me spend way more than I could afford. Secondly, I would like to apologise to my future descendants. If the world ever becomes like this in the future (and ain’t so hard to believe that it might) you would probably end up in servitude due to my infringements nowadays. Apologies!
Now to the important bit, I absolutely devoured this book. I got so engrossed in it that I swear I could hear my own cuff buzzing every time I reacted to the book. Even the boyfriend thought something was wrong because I was so quiet. Well, quieter than usual. I can never be THAT quiet. Took me a moment to get back to reality, back to being a very happy chatter-box.
I was first drawn to reading All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis because its concept reminded me of the premise used in the Black Mirror TV anthology. Love that show! What makes both so scary is the actual possibility that this future can be a reality. It also makes you think about how your own actions today can affect people in the future.
What I loved about the book is that the main character Speth is the kind of person who does something remarkable by accident and due to being in shock, but then she sticks to it. Initially, probably due to stubbornness and grief, but later because she realises that her silence can actually change the world. Even when her own family little world starts to fall apart, she sticks to it. Even when she wanted to scream it out, she sticks to it.
However, Speth recklessness and poor choices makes her not as lovable as other characters. At times I wanted to just scream ‘What the heck are you doing?’ but that will probably cost me too much. It’s a very clever concept with an amazing world-building that will draw you completely into the book.
I’m not gonna lie, if it was me I would be making sure if I could get Nando’s and Starbucks to be my Brand. This girl can’t be silent unless she is eating! Not only will I have free food, but I will not be spending any money by talking.
If you are a fan of dystopian books and love Black Mirror this is definitely the book for you. However, if you like talking as much as I do, this book is an Horror story!
All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis will be out in paperback on the 12th of July and is available for pre-order on Amazon(affiliated link).
Thanks HQ Stories for sending me a paperback copy of All Rights Reserved in exchange for my honest review.