Authors: S.E. Hinton
Genres: fiction, modern classic
Short summary of the story: Told from the perspective of Ponyboy Curtis, it is a riveting commentary on classism,as well as a reminder that the 'good old days' of the 1960's weren't really all that good. There are two main rival factors, the Socs (rich kids) and the Greasers (poor kids), and the animosity between them leads to very tragic circumstances.
Here is what Goodreads has to say about the book:
According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for "social") has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he's always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers--until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy's skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser.
My feelings on the book: This has to be one of my favorite books of all times! I cannot even remember how many times I have read it, and this is one instance where the movie was just as good as the book. in a sense, it reminds me of Rebel Without a Cause, which is another story of the 'real' story behind classic Americana of the 50's and 60's. Behind all the white picket fences and June cleaver smiles, there is something dark which tends to get hidden underneath hoop skirts and nostalgia. That is ultimately what drew me to the book.
I usually do not like stories written in the first person, but this one is definitely an exception. Additionally, for as much as this is a story about tragedy, it is also a story of hope. The relationship between the three Curtis brothers (Ponyboy, Darry, and Soda Pop) is also a core part of the book, and the roller coaster ride tugs at your heartstrings as you watch the trio grow throughout the course of the book. There are quite a few hidden gems beneath the surface of the story, which even includes a poem by Robert Frost. You simply can't beat that