My silence meant something. It was a protest. I owned it.
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, for every nod, for every scream and even every gesture of affection.
Rather than read her speech—rather than say anything at all—she closes her mouth and vows never to speak again, sparking a movement that threatens to destroy her, her family and the entire city around them
* * * *
4 / 5
I knew sorry was always $10 – and a legal admission of guilt
I knew what I was supposed to do. I was supposed to pretend that I hadn’t seen them. But I was slowly realising that I wasn’t very good at doing what was expected of me
The book does have a couple of problem issues – the arc involving Speth’s older sister is totally bizarre, but I did enjoy it, the one involving her younger brother was, I think, tragically unnecessary and a waste of shock value, and there’s this weird love relationship going on. Sometimes Speth is difficult to relate to and her choices seem odd and the writing a touch clunky, but generally I loved Speth’s perspective: she’s young, afraid, cynical, and genuinely has no idea what to do in this massively messed up universe. She’s a lovely character drowning in tragedy who I couldn’t help but empathise with.
I had my eye on All Rights Reserved for several months before I took the plunge and bought it. I certainly wasn’t disappointed. It’s got a lot of aspects that dystopian literature should have – social and political commentary, for example – and manages to seem totally new and fantastic.