Summary: The Outsiders is a compelling, heartfelt story about a young man and his six best friends, trying to survive in the streets of Tulsa. After coming home past curfew, Ponyboy and his eldest brother Darry have a fight; afraid and not knowing where to go, Ponyboy runs to his best friend Johnny in hope he will be safe with him. However that is not the case. A group of Socs find them in the park, and start beating up Pony. Johnny sneakily pulls out his switchblade hoping it would scare them off, but instead he stabbed the leader, Bob, to death. Not knowing what would happen to them after that, they run away to an old church. After a long week, Dally finds them and takes them home; however, an incident involving a burning church leaves Johnny with a broken back and burnt skin. He is sent to the hospital and tragically, dies abruptly. And the gang is split apart when Dally can’t take the trauma, robs a local store, and get shot several times by the police.
Social and historical context: This book is set in the sixties, when the poor and the rich were often classed into two different categories. In this case, Greasers and Socs. Ponyboy constantly feels like an outsider, because of his place in society, and how it drastically affects his greaser friends.
Writing style: The Outsiders in written in first person, through the eyes of Ponyboy Curtis. This allows his true emotions to come through to the reader, about all his experiences, and they’re told in a way that is not too dramatic, yet still engaging to read.
My thoughts: The very first page into this book, I was hooked. The pace is perfect and I love the writing style. Although the characters, I found were introduced extremely fast, the plot completely made of for that. I loved how genuine the friendship is between all the boys, and you really get a sense of how life was back then, and how the wealthy, and not so wealthy lived. I think the reason I loved this book so much, and could not put it down, was because it made me feel something. A book can be well written, however the ones that people want to read again, are the ones which bring emotions out of the reader, and that’s what The Outsiders did for me. The only critique that I have is I wish the book lasted longer! This is definitely one of the best books I’ve read.