Tuesday, 29 August 2017


Title: All Rights Reserved
Series: Word$
Author: Gregory Scott Katsoulis
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: 29th August 2017

BLURB 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 speechrather than say anything at allshe 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.


I downloaded this book from Edelweiss, as soon as I saw the cover and read the blurb I knew I absolutely had to read it. I found both the cover and the blurb fascinating and to be truthful you could imagine this actually happening in the distant future.

The cover is a very powerful image. It's a bright yellow colour background so that should ensure it jumps out at you on a book store shelf. There are also lots of different words around a silhouette of who I would say is the main character Speth. I think the byline at the top of the cover of "When every word has a price. Her silence could spark a revolution", it really describes Speth and her actions in this book.

The genres listed on Goodreads for this book are Sci-Fi, and Dystopian which I totally agree with, though I would add "Futuristic" to that list too. The book is aimed at the Teen and YA age group and I certainly don't fall into that age group but I totally loved it. The blurb of the book had me asking lots of questions before I even arrived at the first page to begin reading. I mean how can you exist in a world where every word and most gestures have to be paid for? What happens when you have no money left to pay for you to speak? What would life be like? How could you do day to day things?

So to tell you a little about the book. The society like every great dystopian society has the "well off, haves" and the "poor, have nots". Every word and the majority of gestures have a monetary value. For children up to the age of fifteen words and gestures are free, but only until they are fifteen. At the age of fifteen you have a party and are given a speech that is paid for by those that wish to be your sponsors. Sadly the best sponsors prefer the wealthier and more aesthetically pleasing people in society. Even your name has a price! Naturally the more you speak of gesture the more you are charged. Everything is trademarked, or copyrighted. Only the very affluent can manage to live debt free. There are also those that make a living finding breaches of copyright/trademarks and suing those that made the breaches or the family descendants of the individual. When you are in a certain amount of debt, or have broken any rules in any way you are either indentured, which means you are literally sold as a servant to the highest bidder or sent to work monotonously manually collecting the pollen from flowers as there are no longer bees to do this work. 
I guess like myself you will be wondering how the speech and gestures are monitored. At the age of fifteen everyone is fitted with a cuff that keeps track of your words and gestures and adds up the cost of everything and it is added to your families ever increasing bill. People also have corneal implants, these used to be optional but even that choice has been taken away. 

My favourite character had to be Speth Jime, but I was also fond of the characters that make up the placers gang. Placers take out items and sneak into premises to place new or promotional items which can be anything from a new soap, to a new gadget. They then place spotlights to shine on it so its looks the best it can when the person/people its meant to be for finds it. I suppose you could compare it to people today that test products and then blog about them. I suppose its like book blogging, where you are given a book and then you review it and naturally tell friends and family about it. Its a "word of mouth" way of promotion. The Placers gang that we get to know in this book are leader Kel, and Henri and Margot. Though they may not agree with the ethics of their job and how the items are distributed to the wealthy they continue as if they did not do it, another placer gang would. Placers are not meant to be seen. Their jobs rang from simple placements in someones living room whilst they are in bed to a persons bedroom whilst they are laid asleep in it.

I really loved Speth, though she hates her name, its cheap, but its what her parents could afford at the time. Speth has courage and is strong willed with a great sense of the rights and wrongs about the society she is living in, On her fifteenth birthday someone who she cares for commits suicide and I think its the final straw that pushes her into the controversial act of making the motion of zipping her lips ad not speaking. I don't think Speth could have ever imagined what the fall out or others reactions to her gesture would be. Let alone that her choice would provoke others to do the same.
Speth hates her name, it is a cheap name at just 9c. Saying Sorry can be very expensive as not only are you charged for the word but it is treat as an admission of guilt/fault and opens you up to be being served with a law suit. Smiling is still free as are any emotions that you can control, such as laughing and crying. However screaming is charged at $1.99 per 2 seconds. Kissing is 17c a second. 

I loved this society and felt really drawn into the plot of the book. I felt sorry for Speth's family. Having being sued for an ancestors misdemeanor her mother and father are taken away to do the job that bees once did. As a family their only hope of ever having their parents back is to pay off the debt. Unfortunately to function in society you need to communicate so as they pay off some of the money they owe, they are also continually adding to their bill. Those families whose parents have been sent away to work are assigned a guardian/social worker to check in on them regularly. 

This book really was a brilliant read! It did an excellent job of showing how words were used to trap the society, and how ultimately the lack of them can possibly lead to making life better. Though the way this book ended I suppose it could be a standalone but I love the fact this is one book in a series. I am seriously looking forward to reading much more about this society, both about the characters I loved and the ones I loved to hate, as well as meeting new characters. This book really did keep me glued to it from beginning to end. As so many YA books are being made into a movie, I have to say this would be perfect! After seeing the Book Trailer I'm certain it would be a hit. Its so different to other books I have read.

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