Thursday, March 8, 2012

Book Recommendation: The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton

I know I've been out of the blog loop lately. Blame it on lab, family, a weekend in D.C., Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and general laziness. I would promise to be better about posting more often, but the truth is, my life is about to get busier. In addition to my work in the lab, I was also offered a job teaching SAT prep classes. (Ironic, really, as I can probably count the number of hours I spent studying for my own SATs on one hand. But hey, it pays!)

I've also made the decision to cut back on New Adult Project reviews. One book a week means that I don't have a lot of time to read other books, and I have at least six already-purchased books clearing their throat at me as I write this. These reviews will now be posted every other week,.

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Now without further ado, here is S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders:



The problem with reading books that came out more than thirty years ago is that you can't always judge them by the same standards. Our current idea of "cliche" doesn't apply, for instance, and many of our stylistic "guidelines," (ie show, don't tell) might not have been much of an issue back then. For that reason, although there were little things in The Outsiders that annoyed me (the loop-back ending, a "writer"-ish protagonist, a certain character who had very symbolic initials), I won't judge the book based on those elements.

What I will say is that I understand why this book remains on shelves. (It was first published in 1967.) The story is short, but just enough long enough to reveal the complexity of the characters and their relationships. Ponyboy is a relatable narrator, and his voice makes this book a very fast, but impacting read.

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