The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"Yes, I'm feeling a little bit nervous
Yes, I'm feeling nervous and I cannot relax
How come they're out to get us?
How come they're out when they don't know the facts?"
-Coldplay, "Hurts Like Heaven"
Glory hallelujah. Why didn't I read this one sooner?
Like a lot of teenagers, I tended to hate the books I had to read in high school English classes. One of the ones I hated the most was Catcher in the Rye, because it was just so hard to see what made it so special. Holden was unlikable, his circumstances were laughable and a classic case of "first world problems" before such a thing even existed, and he felt like he was trying too hard to be edgy.
If I could switch that book for any other to have read in English class when I was sixteen, this is the one I would choose. Hell, maybe I'd put it into my eighth-grade English class, because my sister's in eighth grade and is reading it herself right now. That was the final reason why I finally picked this one up - that and my recent discovery of the fact that S.E. Hinton's one of the biggest-name Supernatural fans around, and that they've given her and her book plenty of shout-outs as a result.
If any book should be required reading for all high school students, it should be this one. Most teenagers can't relate to the entitled, whiny likes of Holden Caulfield (who I think would probably be a Soc if he weren't so antisocial), and probably laugh when they're not supposed to at the title characters of Romeo and Juliet. But I'm sure they can see a little more of themselves in at least one of this book's outsiders. Especially Ponyboy, but I'm probably just saying that because he's pretty much me in sixties Greaser form. He's a dreamer, a creator, and he's been told that he has too much imagination - as if that were even possible. And thanks to this book, my intention to end my own series the way I plan to do is now validated, as it would be another well-deserved Outsiders shoutout for the list, tucked in with all my numerous Supernatural shoutouts (it helps that a lot of people have picked up on my first book being subconsciously inspired by a Season 1 episode.)
I just hope Supernatural remains on the air when I'm published, because if I'm famous enough to get a set visit the way Hinton's done many times, that would totally make my life.
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