Briynne's Reviews > The Outsiders

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
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Oct 03, 07

Read in January, 1995

I'm a little horrified at myself for not having this book up before now. We had a discussion about it in class today, and I had to write this as soon it was over. I wish there were more stars to give The Outsiders, but five will have to do. I love this book, and have loved it faithfully since I read it in sixth grade - I must have read it a dozen times, and possibly more. I can quote long sections of the book. I was obsessed, and to some degree still am.

It's not a good book by any literary standard, really. Hinton uses one of those usually awful formulaic introductions that devotes a paragraph to each main character, explicitly describing their characteristics, history, and appearance. When I think of it objectively, it's almost as bad as that awful, awful introductory second chapter of the Babysitters Club books that repeats in every installment.

I think the point is, though, that I just don't care. In fact, I adore the writing even though it is obvious. Maybe because I first read it when I was eleven and that sort of writing just seemed clear and to-the-point. At any rate, I don't think it suffers too badly from the style, and if anything it benefits from the authenticity of a teenage author.

I can't even begin to say what it was about this book that caught my interest and imagination so completely. I liked the otherness of it - I had never experienced anything like these boys dealt with. Not the pervasive fear and violence, not the absentee, non-existent, or abusive parents, and definitely not the fascinating siege-mentality camaraderie that existed in their group.

The best part of the book, without any doubt, is the characters she has created. I love them all, with the exception of Steve. They are wonderful and so sympathetic, with their odd names and ill-fated lives. I hope for the ending to change every time I read it. Ponyboy's voice, which narrates the story, has a beautiful vulnerability and honesty that makes the story believable. He's often confused, hurt, scared, sorry, and just feels like things are wrong; but, he's also brave and kind and takes chances on people. I think that Hinton's allowing her main character to be a real person, who is more often than not unsure of everything he does, gives the book its credibility with teenagers.

Fantastic, must-read, childhood-defining book. Reading Hinton's "That Was Then, This is Now" is worth it just for the few brief cameos a slightly older Ponyboy makes throughout the story.
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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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Emily Exactly how I feel about The Outsiders. (:


Kathy I read this book in 7th grade (it was a class assignment) and it was one of the best books ever. And the only book I've read over a dozen times.


Josie Exactly.... :) Such an amazing book.


message 4: by Jacklyn (new)

Jacklyn Nicklin I had to reed this book for 7th wan i was school, it was the best book of All of them i had to reed for school. It just amazing and i really get in to it. Of someone talk wan we was reeding i told the to shit up lol. I have read so many time its not funny and seen the to like 20 lol. I have to get a new bvb of cuz the last on i had stop work. Lol its my fave. :)


Lisa Baeringer Totally agreed.


Kerri Hehe "with the exception of Steve" <-- poor Steve (although I am of the same opinion)


Smiley I am the younger version of you read in sixth grad January 2014


Darcy Oh man, that obligatory second chapter in the BSC books. WE GET IT, ANN M. MARTIN, Claudia likes quirky outfits, Dawn likes hummus, Stacey has diabetes, Kristy is bossy, Mary Ann is shy. Check check let's move on.


message 9: by Tyler (new)

Tyler Trautner I read the Outsiders and I totally agree with you that it is such a great book, and I also read it in 6th grade. I agree that this is not a great book by literary standard, but it is one of my favorites. I have to disagree on the part where you said you didn't like the paragraphs dedicated to the characters. I would say they were very helpful. When you said "I can't even begin to say what it was about this book that caught my interest and imagination completely" The same thing happened to me. I thought this was a middle school type of book, but I really enjoyed it. The characters are the best is something I would 100% agree with you on. I feel like they are so connected and different. I also agree hinton is allowing her main character to be a real person.


science fiction lover This story is filled with such emotion that I actually cried at the end.


Animegeek13 This is how I feel I'm so happy others feel the same :3


Animegeek13 This is how I feel I'm so happy others feel the same :3


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