“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.”
The first thing I will say is that All the Things We Never Said gets very deep and certainly doesn’t gloss over the effects poor mental health can have on the person suffering and those around them. It was written in such a beautiful, yet raw, way. It broke my heart at times and it really did make me think. The issues that come up throughout the book are very real and immediate and it’s important to be made aware of them, and how we can help others who are potentially suffering with them.
The book is written through three points of view: main character Mehreen, Cara and Olivia. What I loved about this was that each character had their own different style. I especially loved Olivia’s chapters, which were written in verse - a unique and gorgeous way of telling a story. It shows that we can all experience mental health difficulties in a completely different way to someone else. Having a deep insight into the lives of each girl made me feel equally close to all of them. I don’t feel like the story could have been told through a single narrator.
The plot itself is heart-wrenching and gripping. The idea of a website that matches people to suicide partners is something that I have read about in the news, and the way it was dealt with in this book had such a huge impact on me. As you get further into the story, things start to get terrifying for our girls, and this had me fearing for them like they were my own friends. It’s scarily realistic.
The diversity within the book is perfect! We have a Muslim character, a disabled character and an LGBT character. Diversity in YA is highly needed and this was another reason why I loved this book so much. It additionally shows how anyone of any race, religion and sexuality can suffer from mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Also, I found the the relationship between Mehreen, Cara and Olivia so inspiring! It was a joy to see how three girls on the cusp of ending their lives could find friendship and love through something awful.
All The Things We Never Said is a beautifully written book about the struggles of mental health and how it can affect not just the person suffering, but also their loved ones. It also shows us that beautiful things can blossom from a situation that seems hopeless.