16-year-old Mehreen Miah’s anxiety and depression, or ‘Chaos’, as she calls it, has taken over her life, to the point where she can’t bear it any more. So she joins MementoMori, a website that matches people with partners and allocates them a date and method of death, ‘the pact’. Mehreen is paired with Cara Saunders and Olivia Castleton, two strangers dealing with their own serious issues.
As they secretly meet over the coming days, Mehreen develops a strong bond with Cara and Olivia, the only people who seem to understand what she’s going through. But ironically, the thing that brought them together to commit suicide has also created a mutually supportive friendship that makes them realise that, with the right help, life is worth living. It’s not long before all three want out of the pact. But in a terrifying twist of fate, the website won’t let them stop, and an increasingly sinister game begins, with MementoMori playing the girls off against each other.
A pact is a pact, after all.
In this powerful debut written in three points of view, Yasmin Rahman has created a moving, poignant novel celebrating life. ALL THE THINGS WE NEVER SAID is about friendship, strength and survival.
I received this book in exchange for review from the publisher. I also need to admit that I am friends with Yasmin and I did do an early read of this book before it was picked up for publication. I have tried to limit my bias but I can’t fully control it so I feel like I need to let you know that first.
Ever since reading Yasmin’s short story in A Change Is Gonna Come in 2017, I knew straight away that her first full debut novel was going to be one of my new favourites, no matter what. All The Things We Never Said is such a raw, heart breaking and emotional read. It’s hard to read at times, especially if you suffer from any of the issues that the main characters suffer with. But it is just such an important read. I can’t remember the last time I read a book that tackled so many issues yet still managed to be a compelling read.
This book is very character focused, with the book being split into 3 POVs. Mehreen was my favourite POV for obvious reasons. I felt like I could relate to her the most as her issues were issues that a lot of Muslim girls that I know have struggled with in the past. Cara’s point of view is going to be the most polarising I believe. She’s not a great person; she’s quite angry and rude however I found her to be quite realistic as a lot of people who have gone through what Cara has been through, would feel quite angry at the world. I loved Olivia’s point of view too. Her POV is told in verse, and I’m not someone who enjoys poetry, but the way that it was used in her chapters was just so effective.
For a debut novel, Yasmin Rahman has written a beautiful story. Her prose is stunning and the way that she portrays the Mehreen’s ‘Chaos’ is really interesting. The pacing of this novel was the only thing that I think could be slightly improved. The beginning is quite slow compared to the last 100 pages or so when a lot happens all at once. However, it did not deter away from the fantastic story.
This book really is one that will leave a huge impact on everyone who reads it. It deals with a lot of heavy issues but you come away with a feeling of hope. I honestly believe that Yasmin Rahman is someone to look out for and everyone needs to read her debut novel.