Book Summary from Amazon: 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 sendingher 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.
Amazon Link: All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis
RATING *4/5 STARS*
I really enjoyed reading All Rights Reserved. I picked it up because it sounded intriguing and had been on my radar ever since I saw people talking about it. This is the first dystopian book I have read in a while. It was a nice change of pace.
The whole premise behind All Rights Reserved is that our world has descended into a system where basically all words and gestures have been copyrighted. In this world, once you turn fifteen, you must begin paying for your words and gestures. The legal owners track your usage through a cuff (imagine a Fitbit like device) and contacts. If you can’t pay, you are put into an indentured servant position.
The main character, Speth, was interesting. Her stance on paying for her words and gestures are different from those around her, and she unwittingly starts a movement. Speth is fifteen in this book. I think, as a result, I had difficulty connecting with her. In addition, her age didn’t seem to accurately match her maturity. I realize living in her society may force her to mature faster than she would otherwise, but her progression seemed really rushed. This was made especially evident in her speech at the end of the book. She goes all this time without speaking then all of a sudden she’s giving an elaborate, sophisticated speech. I don’t know about her, but I know I definitely was not that well-spoken at fifteen.
I think the aspect of this world I found most frightening was that this world is not far outside the realm of possibility. There are parts of their society which we already have, such as targeted advertisements following us wherever we go. Emails, social medias – large companies track what we view and tailor ads for our usage.
The conclusion of the book seemed really rushed to me. The final action seen almost lost me a few times with everything that was going on. After all the rushing around, it abruptly ended. I was left feeling minorly unsatisfied.
Overall, All Rights Reserved was a pretty good book. There were a few things which could have used improvement, but most books are like that. If you’ve read All Rights Reserved or if you have any other thoughts, drop me a comment. Until the next review!