Speth decides the ad-filled speech she must (contractually) read aloud the moment that she turns 15 is too much to bear, so she zips her mouth shut and triggers an unplanned revolution.
By saying not one syllable, day after day, she risks her siblings’ safety, as well as her own, in this future where lawyers and lawsuits rule the domed city.
How could we afford to not say “I love you” to family?
My book talk: If she doesn’t speak, then Speth won’t add to her family’s debt, but the 15 year old’s silence is copied by other teens coming of age and deemed defiance by officials in this future where even a sigh is tradmarked and must be paid for.
A fee for every gesture (patented, of course), money charged for every word (all copyrighted) – of course, the poor slide deeper into debt and are taken away to pollinate crops in this bee-less world where Lawyers rule and the Cuff worn by all records every single syllable and shrug.
Speth had hoped that her Last Day speech would earn some product endorsement to supplement what older sister Saretha earned after their parents were Collected from them, but watching friend Beecher commit suicide rather than slave his life away to pay his family’s copyright-debt shocks her – into silence.
Can Speth and Saretha keep little brother Sam safe as their debt rises and rises?
Will she accidentally speak and void her Last Day speech contract?
How do the secretive Product Placers move so swiftly in the city dome?
And hidden in powerful lawyer Rog’s towering high-rise is a book, the book that can free them all…