All the Things We Never Said
Runner-up YA in the inaugural Diverse Book Awards 2020.
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.
Its emotional charge remains riskily intense throughout its substantial length; but the interest of many YA readers is likely to be fully sustained through the girls' contrasting personalities and the circumstances which lead them to MementoMori * Books for Keeps * An absolutely remarkable novel * BBC Radio London, The Scene (Salma El-Wardany) * Captures the inner workings of a depressed mind better than anything else I've ever read. * Robert Muchamore, bestselling author of the Cherub series, Killer T and Arctic Zoo * A gripping, thought-provoking, sometimes shocking thriller. * The Guardian * Told from three viewpoints, this is an ultimately hopeful book, which does not shy away from the mental health pressures that young people may find themselves under. The author has experienced her own version of what Mehreen is going through, in a culture with little understanding of mental illness. This makes Mehreen's narrative all the more powerful and believable, without detracting from those of Cara and Olivia, who are fully realized characters with their own distinctive voices. It is very readable with moments of humour. This is a very timely book dealing with sensitive topics, which does not glorify suicide but aims to show that it is not the answer. Friendship can be truly life-saving. * Armadillo Magazine *
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