All The Things We Never Said – Yasmin Rahman

Stars: ****

Meereen has been suffering with anxiety and depression for a long time, and it’s now beginning to take over her life. Her head is full of what she calls her ‘chaos’: voices which argue with her and make her see herself – and her life – in a negative way. She joins a website which runs a suicide pact, allowing her to be matched with partners and a method of death.

She is matched with Cara and Olivia who have secrets of their own causing them to have signed up to the site. Each of them are desperate for their problems to end and hope the pact will be the answer.

Soon, they realise their friendship is mutually supportive and has made them realise that life can be worth living. Maybe, the pact has given them life rather than death. But, after deciding they no longer want to go through with the pact, the website leads to a more sinister game which becomes increasingly dangerous for the girls.

With a dark theme running throughout, this book focuses on the struggles of three teen girls. Each of their experiences are completely different, but have led to them wanting the same thing. Initially, the suicide pact itself is a raw, emotional decision that engages the reader with their feelings for the characters. Meereen, Cara and Olivia’s chapters are each written from their point of view giving you an insight into their mindset, not just through what they say, but the stylistic choices of the writing too.

Meereen struggles with her ‘Chaos’ which is how she describes the voice in her head telling her she’s not worth anything; that her friends and family will be better off without her. She was vulnerable, yet still considerate and kind to her friends; she still put others before herself. Cara, whilst angsty and distrusting, still was able to use humour to defuse situations. Olivia was highly strung and very prim and proper, but was organised and efficient enabling her to help others with their problems, despite her own. All three girls were relatable in some way and allows a number of readers to see themselves within a book – either through what the girls go through, or even their personalities and coping mechanisms.

Without giving too much away (I don’t like to do spoilers!) there is a shift within the book where you see each of the characters moving towards their own resolution. This is not without issues; what I thought would be the ending of the book appeared in the middle and made for a very interesting ending.

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