Life Lessons Learnt from 'We Were Liars'

7 September 2015

We Were Liars - a book that needs no introduction to those who have stumbled across it. But for all of you who haven't, let me tell you it's an unforgettable novel that will leave you breathless. For a young adult novel, We Were Liars deals with some really heavy emotional situations and life obstacles that are worth paying attention to. 

Just to let you know before we begin, like my book review of the novel, this post will be full of spoilers. So if you haven't read the book, I urge you not to read this post until you have. Because going into We Were Liars blind was the best decision I ever made.

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 Everyone handles loss in their own way
The grieving process is not a clear path set in stone. Every person is an individual with their own story to tell, their own life experiences that make up who they are. We differ from one another, and the way we deal with our emotions is all different. While others express their grief through tears and rage, others internalise their emotions while going through stages of denial. Sometimes people just need time to accept and process their loss at their own pace.

Teenagers aren't immuned to the problems of the world around them
Over summer fifteen Cady, Mirren, Gat and Johnny are deeply involved in a political internal war between family members about their inheritance - turning sister and sister, mother again mother. But the liars stay loyal to each other and their friendships as best as they can - attempting to ignore the pressure their parents put on them to impress their grandfather. But the battle ground between the family can just get too much for these teens, causing them to act out in the most unimaginable way. They were emotionally pushed into corners that left them feeling lost, and full of hopeless desperation to take control. If only the adults around them could have seen how using their kids as chess pieces could cause such a tragedy.

People only appreciate things after a tragedy strikes

It's sad really, but we get too comfortable with the lives we have and want more. We crave what we don't have. We long for it with a passion and lose sight of the things we have right before our eyes. The sister's only lived off their trust funds, never working or earning their way in life. They played games to the win the lottery inheritance, and used their children as tools to win the game. All the while Harris Sinclair enjoyed the pressure he placed on his children and grand kids. Why couldn't they support each other and be there for each other? If they had and appreciated the value of their children and their emotional well-being, they wouldn't be in the position they are in now.

Don't make extreme decisions while drunk, under the influence or emotional.

If you learnt anything at all from this book is don't act rash. If Cadence, Gat, Mirren and Johnny had just hung out, enjoyed their night as friends instead of planning to burn down a house ... I can't even say it. It's too heartbreaking to think of the lives lost before they even began. This rash act of rebellion costed these families their children, and presented them with gut-wrenching grief. Think carefully about your actions. You never know how you and everyone else around you could be affected by them.

What was your favourite part of We Were Liars?

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