Monday, July 1, 2013
Review: "The Outsiders" Classic a Month #6.2013
The Outsiders by SE Hinton
4 out of 5 stars
My 13 year old sister told me I HAD TO READ THIS BOOK, BECAUSE IT WAS AMAZING!!1! So I did. And she was right, it was pretty dang amazing. :) Side note: my sister likes to use "amazing" for everything from One Direction to broccoli, so I usually don't take her too seriously, but she was right in this case. I'm not sure why I never read this in school though, seems kind of odd. And the fact that this was written by a 17 year old girl just blows my mind. And kind of makes me feel sad for my pathetic life.
Okay, anyway, this is one of those "coming-of-age" stories where lots of bad things happen to the main character but he still stands strong for his morals and beliefs and turns out okay in the end. Or maybe he dies, that happens sometimes too. In this case, we have Ponyboy (real name), who lives with his two brothers, Darry and Sodapop, after their parents are killed in a car crash. The boys are 20, 18, and 14 so I'm not really sure how that works, them staying alone. The book is set in Oklahoma, in the late 1960s and the brothers live on the poor side of town and are known as Greasers. Their gang includes other lively characters such as Dallas (Dally), Two-Bit, Steve, & Johnny and their main goal in life is to take down the Socs (Soshes or Socials), the rich kids that seem to have it all better than them.
They carry out this goal by "jumping" random Socs who venture into their territory, stealing knives and candy from stores, sneaking into the drive-in movie, and having street "rumbles" which combine their thug skills with the other lower gangs against the Socs. I wish we still had rumbles, although I suppose we do, just all online now lol. "You didn't like my picture of my cat in a box! I'm unfriending you!" or "You use too many hashtags, I'm blocking you!" (<--actually happened to my coworker friend recently!) or "No one likes my pictures, I'm just going to delete myself from all my social media accounts." (<--also seen IRL) I will give the Greasers and Socs one thing though, they are highly civilized in their rumbles...they agree ahead of time when and where it will happen, what kind of weapons are allowed if any, where the "hit zone" is, etc...that's some classy fighting right there.
Ponyboy and his brothers also like to get cleaned up for the rumbles, putting on their nicest & tightest white t-shirt and making sure their hair is greased into that perfect curl. Just think of the amount of hair pomade these kids went thru in a month. Yikes. All kidding aside, this is a moving story of a boy having to grow up way too young and way too fast. Ponyboy has seen and done things he is not proud of and he is just now realizing that maybe the thug life isn't for him. Especially when 2 of his street family are killed. Spoiler, highlight to read: I didn't cry when Johnny died, because I kind of saw it coming, but I did wail dramatically "noooo Joooohhnnnnnyyyy!!!" Lol. /end spoiler The question is though, can he get out? Is it too late for him? I like to think that he was able to use his considerable brain and loving brothers and pull himself out of that pit of despair and maybe become a teacher himself of lower-class kids, kind of a Stand & Deliver ending. ;)