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That Was Then, This Is Now

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  27,264 ratings  ·  1,684 reviews
Does growing up have to mean growing apart?

Since childhood, Bryon and Mark have been as close as brothers. Now things are changing. Bryon's growing up, spending a lot of time with girls, and thinking seriously about who he wants to be. Mark still just lives for the thrill of the moment. The two are growing apart - until Bryon makes a shocking discovery about Mark. Then Bry
Paperback, 159 pages
Published April 1st 1998 by Speak (first published 1971)
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Popular Answered Questions
Carmen Does S.E. Hinton was a tomboy in her younger age, and she found it easier to work with narrating as a guy instead of a girl.
Stephanie Yes, it is. It is scary and there is a lot of romance, but yes.

Community Reviews

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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  27,264 ratings  ·  1,684 reviews

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M. Weaver
I read this so long ago I don't remember everything that happened throughout very clearly. All I know is that it left me feeling strange and not a good kind of strange. More of an empty, emotionally drained kind of strange. Now, I realize that many books that invoke such emotions are usually very good books. I admit to shedding many a tear over this book. But the ending was so raw. The resolution was hardly a resolution in my eyes; it was probably the most realistic ending. But I was not satisfi ...more
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic
I had aimed to read 40 books this year and this is my 140th so please believe me when I say I am PROUD of myself!
The Outsiders is one of my all time favorite book and I wanted to read something similar so I picked this one up. This one's set around the time as The Outsiders and also has Ponyboy's cameo ( I cannot express how happy I got when I read about him!)
The story's great, the book's great but I will never forgive Bryon for what he did. God, the ending was heartbreaking!
Do yourself a favo
Jazmin Jade
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is heartbreaking.

I read it years ago and wanted to read it again. Want to know the reason why it took me years to read it again? Because I cried my eyes out when I finished it the first time, that it has taken me this long to be able to read it again. The heartbreak was still there when I reached the end, but it was a memory of the original heartbreak. I didn’t cry the second time around, but I was close to it.

The characters are are very well developed making you feel everything they
See, everyone's talking about how the ending is wonderfully dark and hopeless and brave in its horror.
Well, I think it's bullshit.
I think Mark is gorgeous inside and outside, and fearless and clever and slightly twisted and dead sexy, and I think Bryon is a flighty, selfish, irrational dick. And I'm pissed about it.

You know what I'd love right now? I'd love to have a book about Mark. Just Mark. How he grew up and grew harder, what he felt for Bryon and the rest of the world, his reasons and his
Aug 17, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Do yourself a favor and skip the crap movie with, um, one of the Estevez brothers, I forget which one. This YA is actually pretty powerful, if rather bleak, because unlike the movie, the novel doesn't cop out by giving the audience a phony happy ending.
May 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Every bit as punching (no pun intended) as The Outsiders, but with a much darker ending.
It was great to see cameos of the characters from The Outsiders. The different perspective on Curtis was a nice touch.

Hinton's writing style made a noticeable improvement. Which is saying a lot. While she was fantastic in The Outsiders, this book made her points a lot more subtle (with the exception of the titled line). She made no great effort to foreshadow events, yet everything fell into a logical line o
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was another joint read with my daughter. She was pleased to see the reappearance of Ponyboy, but would have liked to have seen a bit more of him. It was fun to discuss with her the similarities and then contrast the differences of Bryon and Ponyboy. Both were intelligent, got good grades, were from the poor side of town scraping to make ends meet, and clearly had good morals; pretty much. Yet unlike Ponyboy, Bryon is a player with the girls, self-assured and a risk taker. To be sure, they a ...more
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
It really is amazing to me that this author, a female, can get into the head of a male teenager, to such a degree that she so completely reveals his thoughts, his actions, his justifications, his excuses, etc. In reading about the author, she said that as a teen she was not satisfied with what was available for her to read so she did something about it and as a consequence she wrote literature relevant to and for a young adult audience. (Of course, the frankness and bold honesty over the years h ...more
Aug 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I think I've read The Outsiders at least 6 times but strangely I've never read any other of Hinton's books until now. I picked this one up at the library for $1 and I'm very glad I did. It's just as gritty and real as Outsiders but it's time period is set a bit later. (Not too late for Ponyboy to make a cameo appearance though.It's fun even reading that name!) As a parent of a teenager and more on their way there it was a good reminder of all the crazy emotions of that age. My favorite part is C ...more
Emily Just Emily*~*
What an emotional roller coaster.
I remember reading this in high school, but I couldn't remember anything about the story. Until almost the end of the book and then I knew everything.

Ugh, what a mess it ended up being.

Seems like more than one person lost their mind.
Michael cook
Aug 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Do you like gangs, drugs and hustling for money? Well then you’ll love this book. This book is about the criminal life of 16 year old Bryon. Bryon and his best friend Mark used to spend most of their time pool hustling and mugging people. Ever since they were kids they loved to fight. Almost every day they would mug people or hustle them in pool for money. One night that completely changed for Bryon. Their good friend Charlie ran the bar they would hustle in. One night when Bryon and Mark were l ...more
Jun 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a coming of age story about two best friends, and what happens to them when they start to mature and grow apart. It is a story about friendship, loyalty, and mostly how the difference between right and wrong is subjective. There is excellent character development, and although the book is short (I finished it in a few hours) by the end you feel for every character in the story, as if you really know them. Recommended for anyone who liked The Outsiders.
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Audio #148

I don’t think I could have survived puberty without the Brat Pack and S E Hinton. I read all 4 of her novels repeatedly for years. Then drooled over the casts of the movies. I felt a bit nostalgic when I noticed this audiobook at my library and immediately checked it out. I traveled back in time. Of course how I feel about the storyline now is not nearly as overpowering as it was 35 years ago, but I appreciated the flashback. I think I’ll seek out the other three too.
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
The Outsiders is one of the most important books in YA history. I doubt it was the first book to portray poverty and gang violence among teenagers realistically, but it was the first to get popular, and it hugely expanded the boundaries of what books for kids could do, in a way that's never been done before or since. With The Outsiders, Hinton paved the way for authors who took teenagers seriously as an audience to write about important issues. Do you like books like The Perks of Being a Wallf ...more
Oct 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT !!!!!!!!! I had to read The Outsiders for class and had the option of reading That Was Then, This is Now for an assignment, which I decided to do since The Outsiders is great and I'll probably never read this book if I don't now. First off the synopsis the book gives you is a lie, what Byron discovers is in the very last chapter of the book! The real small summary was that a boy named Mark lives with Byron and Byron's mom. Byron and Mark hustle at poker frequently and mana ...more
Leena Ali
Sep 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fave-book
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 17, 2010 rated it liked it
The book was so good...during the pages. During the journey of Bryon and Mark, that is. It was emotional, breathtaking, and shocking! S.E. Hinton is an obvious gifted writer, I'll tell anyone!

Bryon is a kid who's focused on the big picture. He's serious but has fun if it's hassling or just being the cool kid. He's a wise-crack kid and the biggest player in Tulsa. He never says "I love you" with feeling. But that was until Cathy came along.

Mark is the joker. He's the one who can hardly speak a s
Jul 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
I really tried to like this book. I loved the Outsiders, and I liked seeing some of those characters again. Brian and Mark just seemed a lot meaner to me though, without as many redeeming qualities. The thing that bothered me the most was the ending; it left me really dissastisfied. Whenever something ends sadly, people say it's realistic, but happy endings exist in real life, and would it kill authors to put one in every now and then?
Nov 09, 2015 marked it as to-read
Shelves: literary
Another I read as a child.
Ian Ochieng
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
That Was Then, This Is Now was a very eye opening read that becomes more exciting from the start to the end.

It’s a novel about two boys named Bryon and Mark that are living in a society where their lives can change in the blink of an eye, and Bryon has to start making strong decisions because of Mark’s choices.

I like Bryon, because the more he has life long experiences, the more he starts to realize reality. As the story develops Mark realizes how people really are. Mark learns that just becau
Chris Clinton
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it

I liked That Was Then, This is Now because it gives a good, vivid idea on how society was in the 1970’s. 16 yr old Bryon is having a rough time in this book about how hard it was in the 1970’s for some people and Bryon goes through a lot.
Bryon goes through a lot of things, especially for a teenager, and he changes his ways tremendously. Bryon experiences a lot of things like, gang violence, death, and depression.
Bryon is a good character to display what went on in that society. Bryon starts off
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Jason by: Nobody
I like The Outsiders more, but Ms. Hinton shows us with her second book that she can, indeed, stay gold. And I'll admit that this is the better written book. She improves a lot between ages 16 and 20, but some of the minor annoyances are still there. And I loved the story in this one; just look at all the stars I gave it. But there's a special place in my heart for The Outsiders mostly due to the movie, and that's that. And how awesome is it that Ponyboy makes a brief appearance in this? Uber aw ...more
Lee Foust
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
So I'm looking at my lit mag/writer-centered twitter feed sometime last year or the year before and I see an article about S. E. Hinton speaking before an audience. During the Q & A session a fan asks her why she had to kill off the hero of her first and most famous novel and she responds, "Because I'm a stone-cold bitch." Which is, I think, probably the coolest, most honest, and in-your-face answer to a question that any writer has ever given about their work.

I fall back into memories of my
Kim Clifton
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
An angst-ridden coming of age story about growing apart.

It's almost impossible not to compare this to The Outsiders because it's set in the same town and Ponyboy and the Shepard brothers make appearances. Since most of the story actually takes place in town, it feels like a snapshot of the culture in the 1960s, more so than The Outsiders. On one hand, it's interesting to see how the Socs and Greasers have changed since The Outsiders (props to SE Hinton for the still-timely observation that rich
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: uno-2019
I don't think I can write a review about a book that S.E. Hinton wrote without mentioning that she is the author of one of my favorite books as a teenager: The Outsiders. Then when I was in college I took a class on adolescent literature and we read The Outsiders and at that time I was in my 30's. I still loved it.

Reading this book, silly as it may sound, I loved seeing Ponyboy was in it. I felt like I had come across a long lost friend. I loved him so much in the previous book mentioned. He was
Phil Jensen
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
In her afterward, Hinton mentions that this book was written while fighting through writer's block. It shows. The character dynamics and plot development are very forced and after school special-ish. The characters and situations are dated and awkward. Overall, this is an overrated book that scores some cheap fan points through a cameo by Ponyboy.
Oct 22, 2018 rated it liked it
That Was Then, This Is Now written by S.E Hinton is a sad but interesting book.

The book is about two brothers, Bryon and Mark maturing and living in a violent neighborhood where they only have each other.

In That Was Then, This Is Now, I like the secondary protagonist, Mark. I like him because he is strong in the book even after going through rough events. For example, when Bryon and Mark talked about past painful events Mark says, after the murder-suicide of his parents he was relieved that he c
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-noir
Coming of age story that's equal parts "The Hustler", "Rumble Fish" and the Jack Kerouac-Neal Cassady bromance legends. Two punks grow up = one goes straight, the other gets crookeder, the story's been told many times before. But S.E. Hinton gives it a fresh spin setting it in Vietnam War-era hippiedom so you get psychedelic painted Volkswagen buses and Roger Corman-style drug den crash pads. As is the case in all noir books everything explodes at the end because hip kids never win and squares a ...more
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
A great adolescent character study, THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW is about growing up and dealing with all of the difficult and hard changes that life throws your way. A surprising book in some ways. I enjoyed this short novel of Hinton's.
Jun 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is a fragment of a story, a bitter, sobering look at letting people change you and then not recognizing the people around you - or yourself - anymore. It's less melodramatic than The Outsiders, which makes its darkness a little uglier. Nobody gets a happy ending. There is no ending.
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S.E. Hinton, was and still is, one of the most popular and best known writers of young adult fiction. Her books have been taught in some schools, and banned from others. Her novels changed the way people look at young adult literature.

Susan Eloise Hinton was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has always enjoyed reading but wasn't satisfied with the literature that was being written for young adults, wh
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