Books are full of incredibly useful life lessons. But people like to hone in on the boring ones — and I’VE HAD ENOUGH. We overlook such marvellous life advice all the time in favour of the cliche stuff. Like “Ooh, Narnia teaches us that anything can be forgiven!” and “ohhhh The Hunger Games is about bravery and sacrifice!”
Let’s talk now about the lesser applauded life lessons from epic and fabulous novels.
- CINDER — teaches us it’s perfectly acceptable to attempt to fix broken technology by thumping it.
- THE RAVEN BOYS — teaches us if you don’t eat your greens and live strictly on yogurt, you will grow up to be fabulous and logical.
- THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA — actually teaches us not to have unlimited faith in our heroes, ’cause they ain’t always going to show up to save us. Aslan isn’t a tame lion, you know.
- THRONE OF GLASS — teaches us life is short. Eat the candy.
- THE BANE CHRONICLES — teaches us you can fall in love with a plate and not be ashamed. No joke, this did happen.
- RED RISING — teaches us to stab everyone with a Roman sounding name. Do not delay. Although I’m not sure this is a life lesson that should be emulated.
- DIVERGENT — teaches us food before faction before family. I applaud.
- GONE — teaches us to have a cookie in a crisis instead of panicking.
- DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE — teaches us to always have a spunky rabid pocket-sized friend, because they’re incredibly handy when angels attack the world. Thank the WORLD for Zuzana.
- PERCY JACKSON — teaches us the blonde ones are always the cute psychos. Hello Luke and Annabeth….
- THE HUNGER GAMES — teaches us that professions of love almost always have ulterior motives and are suspicious.
- THESE BROKEN STARS — teaches us you can attempt a jungle hike in a ballgown with high heels. Lilac was pretty much born to live in Asia, to be honest.
- DEAR KILLER — teaches us not to hire hitmen because there’s a high likelihood it’s an incompetent teen. Not because, you know, murder is bad.
- JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH — teaches us it’s okay to squash and therefore kill your freaky mean aunts.
- RED QUEEN — teaches us that love-triangles were so yesterday. Hello, love square.
- BIRD — teaches us if your 5-year-old thinks he’s a bird, don’t let him out of your freaking sight.
- THE SCORPIO RACES — teaches us that failing NaNoWriMo isn’t the worst thing you can do in November. As the first sentence is, I quote “It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.” Yikes.
- GALLAGHER GIRLS — teaches us you can kill someone with a piece of uncooked spaghetti…but then stops before details. Boo.
- THE FAULT IN OUR STARS — teaches us authors aren’t super-humans and instead can be super-disappointing.
- FANGIRL — teaches us you can exist on peanut butter.
- WE WERE LIARS — teaches us…oh gosh. Don’t trust anyone? Don’t have dogs? Don’t have friends? Don’t go on a holiday to an island? DON’T DO ANYTHING.
I think we can all successfully agree that these lessons are LIFE ALTERING and invaluable and handy. I plan to put many to practise (mostly the Divergent one and I shall try to keep the Red Rising one in mind for sure…but no promises). So many excellent truths like these go unsung and it’s such a shame.