Thank you to the publisher who gifted me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Mehreen Miah’s depression and anxiety, or ‘Chao’, as she calls it, has taken over her life, so much that she can’t bear it anymore. So, Mehreen joins MementoMori, a website that matches people with partners, a date and method of death, otherwise known as ‘the pact’. Mehreen is paired with Olivia Castleton and Cara Saunders, two complete strangers who are struggling with their own serious issues.
Trigger Warnings: Mental health, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, mentions of suicide, sexual abuse.
This book has an incredible note from the author before you even start the book and let me tell you, it made me want to read this book immediately and it also made me realise how likely it was I would relate to at least one of the characters in this book.
This is the first book I have ever read that embraced religion the way that this book does. It felt extremely real to read a book with heavy religious beliefs throughout which didn’t feel forced or fake.
There are three perspectives throughout the book, Mehreen, Cara and Olivia. All three girls stories feel like main character stories. They are all vastly different and show their own lives as leading characters, without it all being overwhelming. I love how easy it was to distinguish between the three girls perspectives, if there wasn’t name cards at the start of the different chapters, I feel as though I would still have been able to distinguish between the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed Olivia’s narration and the way this is displayed in the book.
The way this book tackles the heavier issues felt incredibly real to me. Mental health, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, mentions of suicide and sexual abuse were all dealt with realistically and they all hit me hard. This book is not very cliché and there was a sickening twist to the story.
The writing in this book is extraordinary. I already want to read more of Yasmin Rahman’s books and this is only her debut novel. The writing is beautiful, realistic and incredible. One of my favourite things about the writing comes from the three girls different point of vies. They each have a unique voice and a unique style of writing and shows the personality of each girl as an individual. It made the book feel as though each chapter is a journal entry by each girl.
I left this book feeling hopeful and I feel this is the way Yasmin wants readers to feel when finishing this book. I cannot praise this book enough at all!
This book sends an important message throughout the narrative. Embrace you mental illness, acknowledge it and most certainly do not ignore it. As well as, it is never too late, do not give up.
I will be recommending this book for years to come and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Yamsin has written a beautiful debut novel that I flew through within a matter of hours. Thank you Yasmin for such an extraordinary book and I cannot wait to read more!
Having discussions regarding these topics is vital, but it felt like it all happened too quickly in All The Things We Never Said. Mehreen’s parents seemed like they changed completely, from one thing to a completely different tune with not enough of an explanation, not enough time, especially given the cultural aspect of it.
It also seems like there are way too many jokes, particularly in Cara’s point of view. Cara is a wheelchair user, paralysed from waist-down, but there a lot of comments in the book that make light of disabilites, or of mental health (though yeah, I know there are different coping mechanisms for different people). For some, this could be offensive and seen as able-ist, particularly to invisible disabilities.
In spite of these flaws, it was a good read and I did enjoy it, more from chapter 18 onwards. The book was heavy with its themes of depression and suicide, as well slut shaming. It included a lot of Mehreen’s religion and culture, making the issues surrounding her mental health seem a lot harder to talk about. That was what made it just that bit more realistic. I loved the diversity in the book, it made me feel represented, so that’s why I rate this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars. But I do think that this was an important read, as there is definitely a need for more books that talk about mental health.