I was told I have to read her works chronologically (as in from which book she wrote first) to see how her philosophical and political views developed throughout her writing career so I read this book first. While this is not as popular as Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged (which I haven't read as of this post), I think this explains a lot about the author.I wrote a paper about We The Living (A Deconstruction of -the character- Kira Argounova) for a graduate school application but, to be honest, I still can't figure it out. I mean, I'm not sure if I like the book or not. Or more specifically, if I like the main character or not (and, admit it, liking the main character has a lot to do when deciding whether you like a book or not). I decided it best to stay in the middle. Thus the three stars.It's not the book, per se, that I'm trying to rate here because this is already a controversial piece. It's a very good historical fiction especially since the author actually lived through the Russian Civil War. If it's just the story, the genre and the writing style then this is an easy 5. There are lines from the main character that I can imagine being said with passion. As tragic as the ending is, I actually liked it too. It's realistic. Period. But I guess I should say I don't completely agree with Ayn Rand's philosophies in life which is explicitly written in this book through Kira Argounova. And she did say this is the closest to an autobiography she has ever written. Now when I say I don't completely agree, I meant I DO like some of her ideas and ideals. Like her view on God and heaven :"God -- whatever anyone chooses to call God, is one's highest conception of the highest possible. And whoever places his highest conception above his own possibly thinks very little of himself and his life. It's rare, you know, to feel the reverence for your own life and to want the best, the greatest, the highest possible, here, now, for your very own. To imagine a heaven and then not to dream of it, but to demand it.And her individualism: Don’t you know, don’t you know that there are things, in the best of us which no outside hand should dare to touch? Things sacred because, and only because, one can say: ‘This is mine’? Don’t you know that we live only for ourselves, the best of us do, those who are worthy of it? Don’t you know that there is something in us which should not be touched by any state, by any collective, by any number of millions?”Now, there are decisions, the protagonist made, that I didn't agree to. The way she handled her family situation is a bit of a let down. Or her not telling Andre things she should have especially about her relationship with Leo. I understand a girl does what a girl has to in tight situations but I think she could've handled it better, this is one of those scenes where her individualist and objectivist philosophies come out as selfish. It's hard to explain and I might have to read the book again to look for those specific things. Lol.If anything, Kira's/Rand's opinions told through carefully chosen words can be very inspiring so I would suggest for people to read this … but to do so with an open mind.