14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Gritty Fiction at it's best! Five stars., 3 Dec. 2006
What can I say? I am finally writing this review after reading the outsiders for the eighth time. Literally. For me, this book had everything and then some. Hinton makes us feel happiness, sorrow, despair and hope within a few hundred pages, leaving us breathless and hungry for more. She wrote this book when she was just seventeen, similar to the ages of most of the characters in the book and we really live the story with the characters.
Ponyboy is a greaser. A lower class, vunerable fourteen year old kid who has to grow up much too fast in order to survive. Having lost his parents before the start of the book, Ponyboy and his brother Soda (16) - a reckless, cheeky, high school drop-out - have to adjust to being raised by their oldest brother Darry, who works two jobs to keep them all off the street. As if this isn't hard enough, they constantly have to be on their guard against vicious attacks from rival gangs of the upper class 'soc's', the social elites. With their friends hot-headed Steve, tough, cool Dally, Wise-cracking Two-bit and world-weary Johnny they get by as best they can. Until the night someone takes things too far and Ponyboy is thrown into a world of terror and despair. Ponyboy has to decide what is important in a world where the only things you can count on are your friends and the fact that being born poor means never being good enough, no matter how hard you try.
They grew up on the edge of society. They weren't looking for a fight, they were looking to belong.