The Outsiders
by S.E. Hinton

Penguin Group, 1967, 180 pp., $6.99
ISBN 0-14-038572

There's a saying that goes "there are two sides to every story."  This is true in The Outsiders. In this case, there are two sides:  the Greasers and the Socs.  Ponyboy Curtis is a 14-year-old Greaser who lives with his two older brothers, Soda and Darry.  His gang includes, among other, wild and crazy Dally, and small, apprehensive Johnny.  They're always looking for action, but only if there's a reason for it.  The Socs are the rich kids on the other side of town.  They look for action like any other gang as well, but only for no apparent reason at all.  Throughout the story, it's all about the Greasers versus the Socs.  But one night, the action between the gangs goes too far.  And it will change the lives of everyone forever.

S.E. Hinton creates this story wonderfully. Each chapter has an interesting and thrilling event that will no make you want to stop reading this book. The characters in this book are set up with their own individual personality that somehow ties in with every event. You will love how this book is set up with such details. You might even love how it could put you in tears.  

When I first started reading this book, I couldnt put it down. Every chapter ends with a cliffhanger; even the last one. I loved how Hinton created each character differently so that you could somehow relate to at least one of them. There are so many themes connected to this beautiful, action-packed and touching book that brought myself into the story with Ponyboy and his friends, such as loyalty or friendship.  

I would probably recommend this book to young adults who love beautiful and touching stories, yet are reluctant to read violent gang ones; also to young adults who love the violent gang ones but are not into the touching makes-you-cry stories. The Outsiders will make you think differently about each of those themes. This story is a classic that no one will forget.

~ reviewed by Berit