All Rights Reserved was absolutely mind blowing. There is this ominous tone that creates an eerie similarity to our world – bringing us closer to the characters and their world. In this feeling of discomfort lies a story filled with compelling characters who question a system rooted in inequality and money.
As soon as Speth, and every teen, turns fifteen, her whole life changes. She will transition from a world where her words were free, to a world where she is charged for every word, nod, and even scream. Living in a world of branding, money, and trademarks, her life has been traveling to this moment. Except what ends up happening is the furthest from her dreams she can imagine. When her friend Beecher commits suicide on her Last Day (before 15) in front of her, Speth’s entire world is rocked to the core. Instead of reading her speech and beginning her life of adulthood and debt, Speth chooses to close her mouth and vow never to speak again. But what starts as a simple gesture, turns into something more – something that will change the face of her society.
What drew me to this story was the incredible premise. And I was not disappointed. Katsoulis builds us an immersive and colorful world that leaves you reeling. There is a striking balance between the futuristic details and the sense that this dystopia is closer than we think. Having been able to see Katsoulis discuss just this at the Boston Teen Author Festival, I am more in awe of this society that he draws us into. There are fantastic small details that lend color to this bleak world. At the same time, there are large and looming issues discussed such as food printing, social inequality, and debt.
I could go on and on talking about this great world. But there’s so much more. The title is accurate and clever, only really sinking in once you close the cover of this book. At the heart of this book is the idea of a revolution bred from silence. There are heartwarming, and also breaking, moments throughout the entire book that make you think about the price of revolution. Katsoulis illustrates the dilemmas, the difficulties of being part of a movement, of letting it have a life of its own.
Speth and her entire family are fabulous characters and this plot continuously throws you for a loop. There are so many different twists and turns that I did not predict and I am absolutely thrilled there will be a sequel. This has been one of the most striking and entrancing YA dystopias I have read in awhile and makes me remember the utter chills and thrills the genre is capable of.
Make sure you check out All Rights Reserved on Goodreads.