I know its been awhile since I’ve popped on, but excited to share the book I just finished. Back in November I was looking for a movie to watch and stumbled on The Outsiders. The plot sounded interesting so I gave it go; ended up loving the story. After the movie ended, I went and looked up the book that it was based upon. I remember seeing Hamlette @ https://theedgeoftheprecipice.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-outsiders-by-s-e-hinton.html mentioning how much she loved the book. I promptly put the book on my TBR list. Now that we are in the doldrums of February, I decided why not give it a read.
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
Genre – YA Fiction
Series – No
Rating – PG-13 for gang violence and death
Ponyboy Curtis lives with his two older brothers, Soda and Darry, who have raised him since their parents’ death. They are apart of a gang known as the greasers, who are known for living on the poor side of town and for causing trouble. Pony is a dreamer and has never quite fit in the gang, and the same goes for Johnny Pony’s best friend. After an incident, Pony and Johnny run away. Leading to Pony looking back at his life and figuring out what matters.
My Thoughts –
Wow, I ended up really loving this book!! I can already tell this will probably end up on my favorites list. 😉 Pony and Johnny really stood out to me as characters and I fell for both hard. Johnny especially needs a big hug. I loved how the author helps us understand why they do what they do. She doesn’t put a halo around the gang, but neither does she make it too dark.
Considering she was 14 when she started writing this book, I find it incredible that Hinton created such vibrant characters. Ponyboy feels like someone you’d meet on the street. There are many families with a similar environment to Johnny’s. As we slowly understand the Socs and greasers, I loved how Pony became aware that Randy, a soc, was just a boy like him. I feel like I should talk about Sodapop and Darry. Soda has such a cheery outlook on life, which makes him very likeable.
When I watched the movie, I didn’t like Darry much. He seemed so distant and cold. However, the book makes him more human, and by the end he made sense to me. The same goes for Dally. Hated him in the movie. Yet, we see just how much Johnny means to him. Dally truly wants Pony and Johnny to remain innocent and not pick up his bad habits. He has his flaws for sure, but there is a caring side too.
Hinton’s writing style is super simple which lets the plot and characters shine. Being that the novel is only 180 pages, it runs at a clip. I kept wanting the author to slow down a bit and explain who some of the minor characters were. By the end I just wanted more time with Pony, Soda, & Darry.
Johnny’s letter brought the book to a nice close and tears to my eyes. I knew it was coming, but it still hurt.
“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.” (P. 1).
“We’re almost as close as brothers; when you grow up in a tight-knit neighborhood like ours you get to know each other real well.” (P.3)
“It seemed funny to me that the sunset she saw from her patio and the one I saw from the back steps was the same one. Maybe the two different worlds we lived in weren’t so different.” (P.40-41).
“Darry did care about me, maybe as much as he cared about Soda, and because he cared he was trying too hard to make something of me.” (P. 98).
“”Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold . . .” The pillows seemed to sink a little, and Johnny died.” (p. 148).
Content -Super surprised that there was hardly any swearing to speak of and very little innuendo. A few comments from Dally and that’s it. Now we do see some gang violence. Johnny ends up killing a Soc to save Pony’s life. We also see fights, and injuries on both sides. Johnny sustains third degree burns across his body and breaks his back while saving kids in a fire. He does end up dying.
I’m surprised I never found this book in my high school years because I know I would have loved it then. I am grateful I did end up reading The Outsiders. Gives an interesting perspective to a different world then I am used to seeing. One thing that did seem odd was having Pony like Gone with the Wind. Just seemed like an odd choice. Overall, a fascinating read! Highly recommend it!
Up Next – Honestly, I need to finish Live not by Lies, but it has been a struggle.
How is your February going? Read anything surprising? Have you read The Outsiders or seen the movie?