February 24, 2016

Book + Movie Review: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

February 24, 2016

The Outsiders
Author: S.E. Hinton
Genre: YA Fiction
Ponyboy can count on his brothers and his friends, but not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids who get away with everything, including beating up greasers like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect--until the night someone takes things too far.

Written forty-five years ago, S. E. Hinton's classic story of a boy who finds himself on the outskirts of regular society remains as powerful today as it was the day it was written.

I'm currently enrolled in a class called "Young Adult World & Perspective" or simply "YAWP" for short.  S.E. Hinton's "The Outsiders" was our very first required reading selection.  A light read at only a few pages short of 200, I went beyond the assigned chapters for homework and just read the entire book.  I found the movie version online and periodically paused my reading experience to watch the movie adaptation in tandem.

"The Outsiders" is truly a classic -- the book that practically created this whole "YA" genre.  I couldn't stop smiling after I closed the cover and the credits rolled onscreen.  My reading (and watching) experiences were phenomenal.

Anyone can read "The Outsiders."  Anyone.  And that's the beauty of it all.  The book's written in easy-to-digest, simple language, the plot is painless to follow, and the meaning of the book can't be lost on any reader.  According to this New Yorker article, S.E. Hinton was a high-school student when she began writing "The Outsiders."  Quoting the article, "The novel, she told me, grew out of her dissatisfaction with the way teen-age life was being portrayed in the books she read."  She wanted something relatable . . . and that's a mindset we can all relate to!

"The Outsiders" follows a gang of "tough" or as they like to call it, "tuff" guys known around town as "The Greasers."  There's our narrator, Ponyboy Curtis, his older brothers Sodapop and Darry, switch-blade-loving Two-Bit Matthews, steely-eyed Dally, Steve, and of course, lovable Johnny.  They're hoodlums, used to picking fights, shoplifting, stealing, the whole lot.  Life isn't easy for the boys, but they have each other's backs, and that's what matters.  The movie and its famous cast of actors portrayed the boys perfectly and although my English teacher would call it cheesy, I felt the film 100% complimented my reading experience.

The story is male-dominant, which isn't actually a bad thing.  I loved witnessing how STRONG their friendship was and how the boys interacted with one another.  They're like brothers -- family.  Ponyboy, Darry, and Sodapop, the real brothers of the story and their dynamics were impossible not to love.  Even though tragedy has struck every boy in some way or another, they remain unbreakable as a single unit.

"The Outsiders" is a book about conflicting sides, true friendship, and brotherly love.  It's a feel-good book and movie you're bound to love.  I recommend it to all and anyone.

author image

Julia Anne

I'm a teen with a refined taste for good books and great writing, currently living in Honolulu, HI. I'm a reader. A dreamer. And an aspirant writer. One day I have hopes to travel the world, but for now, I'll settle with venturing through the written works I read.


  1. Great review! If you can believe it I have never seen the movie or read the book. I really should soon, I feel like I'm missing out! :)

  2. Such a classic! Glad you liked it. Great pic of the cast -- fun to see these actors back in the day (Patrick Swayze looking very good). :)

  3. What a great review! I only just discovered your blog so I wasn't sure what to expect but I'll definitely be following because I'm excited for more posts and to see how they're influenced by your class. I'm glad that it introduced you to such a great book and movie - I'll have to check them out myself now :D
    Enchanted by YA

  4. I absolutely love this book - and I really love the movie too! It's crazy to see how so many of these actors went on to do great things after The Outsiders movie. They were so young then!



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