“stay gold.”

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Y’know those books that grab hold of you from the first page and won’t let go, ever?  That’s The Outsiders.  I read it in a blaze of speed, starting last evening and finishing it this morning (no, I didn’t read it through the night – but I could’ve).  Shane was like that.  So was To Kill A Mockingbird.  And a bunch of other books.  If a book can grip my interest like that, make me totally invested in the characters (and what characters!), and have me in tears over a half dozen times, it’s a keeper.

Yes, I was a bit leery about reading The Outsiders at first, simply because it’s so foreign to what I usually read (the 60s? greasers? what?) but I’d heard it was super good (and Hamlette rated it five-out-of-five on Goodreads) and there was no language or inappropriate content, so I gave it a try.  I vaguely knew the story (very vaguely) because one of the girls I follow on Pinterest is obsessed with both the book and the movie, but I wasn’t prepared to fall in love with all the characters as fiercely as I did.  And I definitely wasn’t expecting the story to be so bare and honest and brutal (without being needlessly so).

It was a bit hard to keep track of all the characters at first (I kept getting Darry and Dally mixed up because their names are so similar) but by the end, I was in awe of S.E. Hinton’s characterization skills.  Everyone felt very, very real – even the minor characters, like Randy.  Steve was my least favorite, along with most of the Socs (I just don’t like Bob and I don’t think I ever will), but I loved, loved, loved all the other characters.  The names did weird me out a bit at first, though I quickly got used to them. (But, really…Sodapop?  Ponyboy?  What kind of a dad names his kids like that?)  After a long debate, I think I like Darry the best (but only by a fraction over all the others).  He’s the oldest brother and I found that I related to him in that way, since I’m the oldest in my family too. (Did anyone else cry when he came to see Ponyboy in the hospital?) 

But Johnny… *bawls*  And Dally… *bawls*  And all the others, basically.

Personally, I wouldn’t like to read books like The Outsiders on a regular basis, since it is quite depressing and bleak (and one thing I didn’t appreciate is how the characters smoke all. the. time.), but it was a jolt in my otherwise humdrum-as-of-late reading life and so I appreciate it for that.  Oh, and one other thing I really, really liked about it was how Gone With The Wind featured so much in the story.  That made me smile. (Well, at first…and then it made me cry.)

Have you read this breathtaking book?  (Breathtaking as in ‘it will take your breath away with how real and hard it is’.) Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Eva

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16 thoughts on ““stay gold.”

  1. I’ve never read this, but I want to read it now. It sounds amazing . . .

    (Oh, btw, I’m about a third of the way through “Salt to the Sea” by Ruta Sepetys and IT. IS. SO. GOOD.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. THIS BOOK.

    This is one of my absolute favorite books of all time. And always will be. Oh my goodness. I adore it! And I’m going to re-read it this fall! Soooooo looking forward to that.

    Also, it blows my mind that Hinton was 16 when she wrote this. It’s staggering.

    I first read this when I was 14, Ponyboy’s age. My brother and I used to measure our ages by which character we were the same age as. When I turned a year older than Darry and couldn’t do that anymore, I was quite sad.

    The movie version is actually quite good too. Not as good as the book, but very faithful and surprisingly well-acted, considering how young most of the actors are. I do recommend it.

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    • I couldn’t believe that a girl wrote it, much less a sixteen-year-old girl. #lifegoals 😉

      Hmmm…going off the Gradesaver characters page, I’m the same age as Dally right now. (Soon to be as old as Two-Bit.) Will you be reviewing this on your blog after you re-read it? (*fingers crossed*) And I REALLY want to see the movie. Mom’s reading the book right now and if she digs it, I’m sure we’ll be watching the movie on VidAngel sometime soon.

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      • Hinton’s ability to write realistic, believable male characters gave me a lot of courage as a young writer.

        Steve and Dally are both your age 🙂

        I will definitely review this! You’ll be seeing a bunch of YA fiction and other re-reads from me popping up all fall, winter, and spring.

        The movie has more bad language than the book, so VidAngel is a good idea.

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      • Well, I can’t wait to read your review – and watch the movie. I think Mom is getting caught up in my enthusiasm for the story, so we’ll see.

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  4. Awwww, yes, this one remains one of my favorite books of all time. The movie is pretty amazing too, a pretty fair adaptation to the book. You’re making me want to read it again and I have too much other stuff that requires my attention!

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