Tuesday, April 26, 2016

April Book Review: The Outsiders

This book. It was the first piece of literature that made me think about it for weeks after I finished. The first book that I was able to read in a single afternoon. The book I've reread probably ten times. The book that I plugged in my very first blog post. It means a lot to me.

I first read S.E. Hinton's, The Outsiders, when I was 12 years old, the summer before 7th grade. My sister, C and I were obsessed with it. We talked about it constantly and even tried to come up with our own copycat story. Almost ten years later, I love this book even more and I get something new out of it each time I reread.

The fact that Hinton wrote this when she was 15 astounds me. She does an excellent job of establishing the authentic narrative voice of Ponyboy Curtis, a 14 year old orphaned greaser being raised by his older brothers. What starts out as a night at the drive in movies turns into a chain reaction that will change his, and his group of friends, lives forever.

This story has so many beautiful themes, friendship, brotherhood, universal hardship and the general struggle to find the person you are meant to be among less than desirable circumstance. Each character is unique and has their own voice and presence. Character descriptions are vivid and crisp. This book is funny, it's engaging and heartbreakingly raw and sad.

If someone had told me, "Hey Grace, read this book about a bunch of teenage boy greasers on the wrong side of town, you'll love it!", I would have laughed. The back synopsis or even a spoken one can not do this book justice. It is so much more than the above description and absolutely anyone will enjoy it. From boys and girls in middle school all the way up to the elderly, this is a story for the ages.

What I love best though, is the ending. It leaves you aching from it's beauty and it's pain. It's hopeful but there is no ignoring the tragedy that brought the story to this point. Each time I finish it, I feel the same sense of loss and awe.

So yes, I highly recommend this book. I will be telling people about it forever because everyone deserves to have the pleasure of reading it. And the movie is worth it too, only if you get the extended edition though because one they played in theaters cut a ton out and is basically a waste of time.

Go, read The Outsiders, I dare you to tell me you didn't like it!

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