Review: The Outsiders

May 24, 2013 Whitney Review 2 Comments

Review: The OutsidersThe Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Published by Speak on April 20, 2006
Genres: Young Adult
Source: Bought

Ponyboy can count on his brothers and his friends, but not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids who get away with everything, including beating up greasers like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect--until the night someone takes things too far.

Written forty-five years ago, S. E. Hinton's classic story of a boy who finds himself on the outskirts of regular society remains as powerful today as it was the day it was written.

I loved The Outsiders in middle school.  I was always reading books about girl power and in 7th grade I was introduced to some bad-ass boys with a heart of gold.  Although this time I was not as enthralled.  I thought it seemed too rushed.  like trying to fit Gone with the Wind into a 30 minute movie.

I felt like the story was in fast-forward mode.

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Yes, it’s only 180 pages and a young adult book but that short summary is about the pace it went on.  I felt like I had whiplash and hardly stayed in one place long enough to adjust to my surroundings.   In short, it came off as someone with a short attention span.

Obviously, saving children out of a burning building speaks louder than words and shows greasers in a better light.  Ponyboy’s older brother Darry (he also has a brother named Sodapop) shows his love silently, with his reprimands of curfew and grades only showing that he is concerned for Ponyboy’s future and well-being.  Plus, like many young adult books the Curtis boy’s parents are dead, leaving the brothers to grow-up by themselves with Darry taking the stress and responsibility of the Father figure.  Even though Darry was a secondary character I thought he was the best formed in the novel, and because of the qualities mentioned above was the most three-dimensional and could actually picture him as someones older, over-protective brother.

S.E. Hilton was fifteen when The Outsiders was published so I must give her props for that, but I found the descriptions of the characters lackluster and the big fight scene at the end to be ho-hum.  For me, this is a book that is meant to stay for young adults.

The positive, Robert Frost poetry was incorporated into The Outsiders (Nothing Gold Can Stay) which I thought was clever and added substance to these misunderstood boys.  To conclude, from a 13 and 28 year old’s point of view it was a stand-up coming of age story, I just wish it had been better executed.


2 responses to “Review: The Outsiders

  1. I love Frost's poetry from the time I was ten, so when I read the Outsiders I adored that. I read this back in the sixth grade, ooh 20+ years ago and I wonder what I would think of it now. Wonderful review!

  2. I had to read The Oustiderd for class back in 7th grade. (I'm not telling how long ago, but it was more than Kimba's 20+!) I remember hating it at the time. It was really hyped back then as being gritty and realistic. I was into fantasy; gritty and realistic was NOT my cup of tea, and the city life of these kids was incredibly far from the rural Maryland and small-town NJ I was familiar with. Like Kimba, I wonder what I would think of the book now. I suspect the pace would bother me as much as it does you.

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