*The book discussed in this post was gifted by Hot Key Books*
A few years ago, you may remember that we did a lot of work with Stripes Publishing centred around A Change Is Gonna Come, an incredible anthology with new voices and established authors. Myself and Sophie absolutely fell in love with Yasmin’s story in A Change Is Gonna Come, so when her debut novel got picked up by Hot Key, i couldn’t have been happier.
It’s been a long time coming for me to read All The Things We Never Said. I purposely chose to not find out anything about the book. I knew it was based around mental health issues, as Yasmin has openly talked about her own struggles before, but i wanted to go in completely open with no idea what to expect.
First of all, i want to talk about the triggers in this book. There are a lot of triggers that Yasmin has as topics of the book. Such as suicide, depression, self harm, sexual abuse, and honestly quite a lot of other things. A lot of these are my triggers, so at first i wondered if i would be able to even continue reading the book after the first chapter. It’s incredibly important to acknowledge that the book is based on triggering topics, and without a doubt it won’t be for everyone. However, i found myself not being triggered by anything in the book and found it to actually be incredibly informative on the topics of mental illness and i feel like Yasmin gives a great representation of what it’s like to suffer with so many of these issues. It felt very real and raw, and i really appreciated that. If any of these issues are particularly bad triggers for yourself, i would recommend that you don’t pick up this book.
I adored the characters in All The Things We Never Said. It’s written in three points of view, those of Mehreen, Cara and Olivia after they meet in a very unusual way. Each character has a very distinct voice, something i’ve found many writers struggle with, and Yasmin also gave them quirks to the way they spoke regarding their own mental health issues. Something i really loved was that Olivia’s chapters were written in verse, and it really made her voice stand out. These are some of my favourite characters in YA at the moment, and it’s a friendship group that will definitely stick with me.
For a debut novel, i cannot fault anything about Yasmin’s work or her writing style. The book flowed incredibly easily and it was honestly a joy to read. I adored the way she wrote the characters, the story-line worked well and the timing of the book felt incredibly easy to keep up with.
If you have any doubts about picking up All The Things We Never Said, i urge you to give it a try. Yasmin is about to be one of the big names in YA at the moment. This book is absolutely stunning, with wonderful representation and diversity which felt just right. I cannot express the love i have for All The Things We Never Said, and after reading the entire thing in two days, i feel at a loss without these characters in my life now.