All The Things We Never Said
Author: Yasmin Rahman
Published by:Hot Key Books
My Rating ★★★★
A pact is a pact, after all.
Mehreen’s anxiety and depression are taking over her life, and she can’t bear her ‘Chaos’ anymore. So she joins a website that matches people with partners and allocates them a date and method of death: the pact.
Mehreen is paired with Cara and Olivia. As the girls meet in secret, the desperation that brought them together leads to a mutually supportive friendship. They start to realise that life can be worth living. Before long, all three want out of the pact. But in a terrifying twist, the website won’t let them stop, and an increasingly sinister game begins.
All The Things We Never Said tells the story of three girls; Mehreen, Olivia and Cara as they struggle to cope with what life has thrown at them, forming a pact to commit suicide after meeting in an online forum.
The use of multiple POVs works so well in this book, and I loved getting to know each of the main characters and discovering what led them to each consider committing suicde.
I loved the way this book told the story of three teenaged girls dealing with completely different problems. Cara is in wheelchair because of an accident and feels smothered and overprotected by her mum, Olivia is living in the same house as her rapist and feels trapped. And then of course, there is Mehreen, who struggles with anxiety and depression and has a family that she feels ignored by. Whilst Mehreen is definitely the main focus of the book, I liked all three of the girls. Their personalities were very different,and the friendship they develop with one another felt genuine, powerful and important.
Unlike Cara and Olivia, who have both been through traumatic experiences, Mehreen’s ‘Chaos’ isn’t induced by trauma. But that doesn’t mean she’s struggling any less than the others. In fact, all three girls are brought together by the suicide pact because they collectively feel the same way despite how varied their backgrounds and life experiences are. I love that this was told in multiple points of view, telling the story through three completely different yet so similar people.
The friendship in this book is a really strong aspect of the book as a whole. It wasn’t a perfect friendship, but when it mattered most, they were there for each other and they helped each other, and I really loved that. I loved their friendship, but I also loved each character individually.
Personally, I really feel that the key theme of this book is the importance of talking things through. Talking to someone, as the novel ultimately shows, can make all the difference. Despite their disagreements, it was heart-warming to see the three girls find common ground in order to be there for each other and support one another through their struggles. What started as a fake support group turns into something real and special – friendship. And it’s not just about the importance of talking to professionals but also to friends, family members and those closest to you. There were moments that had me on the verge of tears, and others that were really heart-warming and sweet. Despite the plot involving topics like suicide and mental illness, this didn’t feel like a really heavy or depressing read. It’s actually very uplifting and addictive read. I sped through it because I was so invested in the characters and wanted to know how things would end up for them. I also liked the ending and felt that things were resolved really well.
This book really deserves a lot of recognition for the thoughtful and powerful way it deals with some very difficult issues. These topics aren’t often explored in fiction, and I loved the way the author handled the individual problems each of the girls were facing. With her book, Yasmin Rahman has created a thoughtful and insightful depiction of mental health issues on the page.