The Outsiders

Finished The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton.

Summary (from Goodreads):

According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for “social”) has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he’s always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers–until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy’s skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser.

This is the first time I’ve read this book (at my high school, some freshman English classes read it but mine didn’t) and I always felt sad about that.

I’m pretty sure that if I had read it when I was about the same age as Ponyboy, this would have become one of my favorite books ever.  Unfortunately, as a 34-year-old, there were a lot of things in this that I couldn’t relate to.  I didn’t hate it (I actually really liked this book) and I definitely want to rewatch the movie, but I didn’t feel the absolute love for it that most people seem to.

I liked Ponyboy and his older brother Sodapop and their friends, but the character I loved the best was the oldest brother, Darry.  He has so much responsibility and he was only 20 years old.  I wish he had been in the story more, but it’s Ponyboy’s story and he doesn’t spend much time with Darry.

Also, I just want to say that Johnny absolutely broke my heart.  And so did Dally.  (So did this whole book, really; there’s such a feeling that everyone in it is just trapped due to forces beyond their control.)

It’s such a good and powerful book and I wish I had read it 20 years ago.

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