The Outsiders by S.E.Hinton, Reviewed by Anna Gao

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

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.


Do you have a group of friends or family that you care about, love, and trust? You probably do. Just like how Ponyboy loves his “gang” member, or also known as the “greasers”. I did enjoy the book quite a lot, and even though it was written a long time ago, it still made me feel really into the book like if  I was a character in the book watching the whole thing happen.
I loved how the writer described each character, the characteristic of them really left deep impressions in my mind as a reader. It has a lot of 60’s themed parts to it like their leather jacket, since it was written during this time. I always find myself just imagining myself living at the time and going through what Ponyboy was going through. The book was written in Ponyboy’s point of view, that helped me get into the book, because as a teenager myself, it is easier for me to understand Ponyboy’s thought and maybe if he wrote if as Darry, who is an twenty year old, that was forced to mature in order to stay with his younger brothers.
This is kind of a dramatic type of realistic fiction, instead of writing about a teenagers daily life worrying about what they are going to wear to prom, the writer went with teenagers in gangs and getting jumped, having to kill to save their friend, and even having to lose their friend forever. I think the fact that it was so dramatic really make your heart beat while your reading. It make you think about how important your friends are, and it includes a lot of emotions, which made me cry on some of the parts while I was reading. The way the book has separated the “greasers” and the “socs” in the way were it make you think about how you can be completely against someone, but at the end of the day you still share the same sunset, and you can’t judge someone by who they are with.
Another thing I most enjoyed was the fact that even though there are two gangs completely opposite of each other, that already makes the different, but the characters even had their own unique personality, for example, Cherry Valance, a soc girl, she is different than all of the other socs. She don’t like fights, and she is brave enough to help the greasers for something that she think is right to do.
Over all I think this is a very inspiring book. I think ever teenager should read this book, it really does teach you a lot about life and friendship. Sure not a lot of us have been through anything that Ponyboy has been through, but we can still related to our daily small events, like an argument with your friend, or confusions about how to treat someone. Great book, definitely recommend it.


6 responses

  1. Anna,
    You’ve done a very good job articulating how you feel about the book. I like that you provided examples to support your points; this is always a strong way to back yourself up. I do have some suggestions for you to help make your writing even stronger.
    I’ve noticed that, at times, your singular and plurals don’t agree. Here is an example of what I mean: “It has a lot of 60′s themed parts to it like their leather jacket, since it was written during this time.” In this sentence you use the word “their,” which is plural, but use “jacket” which is singular. To make this correct, you should rewrite to, “…their leather jackets.” There are a couple other places where this happens (such as saying, “She don’t,” which needs to be changed to “she doesn’t), so just a quick and easy revision is all that is needed for areas like these.

    Also, when quoting, put the end mark on the inside of the quotation marks. As an example, you quoted, “greaser”. This should look like this, instead: “greaser.” This is a mistake I have found myself making, too. It is an easy one to do, because it seems like it would make sense, and British English does quote that way, so we do see it presented like that from time to time. This is another quick and easy fix.

    Another suggestion is to clarify words such as “it” and “their.” While these words definitely keep us from being redundant by repeating the same words over and over, sometimes we need a clarification of who or what is being referred to. This is also very quick and easy to fix. An example of this could be, “It has a lot of 60′s themed parts to it like their leather jacket, since it was written during this time.” In this sentence, you could clarify “it” and “their” by rewriting to say, “The book has a lot of 60’s themed parts to it like the greasers’ leather jackets, since it was written during that time.”

    At one point you say, “I always find myself imagining myself…”
    In this sentence, you need to revise to where you only use the word “myself” once. That way your sentence will flow more smoothly and you won’t sound redundant. I really like that you added your personal connection to the book in this sentence.

    One more suggestion is to clarify unclear sentences. This can often be difficult, since it is easy for us, as writers, to know what we mean when we are saying it. However, what we are trying to articulate is not always so clear to our readers. This is a struggle I have had, too (and I may continue to have. This is definitely a great reason for having reviewers. I almost always have someone to review my work due to this exact reason). An example of an unclear sentence in your writing is:

    “The book was written in Ponyboy’s point of view, that helped me get into the book, because as a teenager myself, it is easier for me to understand Ponyboy’s thought and maybe if he wrote if as Darry, who is an twenty year old, that was forced to mature in order to stay with his younger brothers.”

    Part of the reason the above sentence is unclear is because it’s a run-on sentence. If you separated this into at least a couple of sentences, you would probably clarify a lot. The other part that is confusing is word choice. It looks like you probably got to typing quickly and typed the wrong words at times, which I often do, too.

    Your final sentence is a sentence fragment. This is also a quick an easy fix. Instead of saying “Great book, I definitely recommend it,” you could say, “This is a great book and I definitely recommend it.”

    Overall, you are on the right track. You clearly have a good idea of what is going on in the book and you give great examples to emphasize your points. All of the suggestions I have given are easy fixes that can be done relatively quickly. With these revisions you can make your review even stronger and more effective. Good luck!

    1. Thank you for your suggestions. I did realize that my writing was not clear enough but I never found out why and how to fix it and what mistakes i’ve made to make it unclear. Thank you for pointing it out, it helped a lot. I will make sure to take your suggestions in my next review.

  2. You have a great attention grabber for your introduction it makes your reader think and makes them want to continue reading on. Great job on this sometimes this is the toughest part, but you did really well. Your introduction is great, however, you need to establish your thesis to let the reader know what you are going to be talking about in your paper, also, this will help transition from your introduction to what you will be talking about in the book review. For example, a thesis could look like this, “I loved how Hinton captures the details, realistic fiction, and characters of this book it makes for a great reading experience.” I’m not saying you have to use this, but this thesis establishes the three points you will hit upon in your book review. Also, it helps with the organization of your paper.

    Along the lines of transition watch out from jumping from topic to topic. After you talk about description/point of view in your first body paragraph you quickly jump into realistic fiction. Maybe you could transition a bit more like, “The description Hinton uses in this novel really adds to the genre of realistic fiction.” Something as simple as that would help the flow of your paper a lot. I would love to hear some of your own ideas that you would have for transitions between your paragraphs. Just play around a bit and have fun.

    I felt like you did do a good job of expressing your thoughts about the book and this is really good to do because it helps the reader understand what you thought and felt about the book.

    1. Thank you so much for taking your time in reading and commenting on my review. That really helps me on finding out the goods and bad about my writing. I will try my best to include thesis and organize my topic next I write.

      1. I think adding a thesis statement would really help to strengthen your paper. If you have any questions about how to write a thesis statement just ask.

      2. Thank you for replying. We have been talking about thesis statements in class, and I do understand how thesis statements work, but I have a little trouble on deciding on the placement of the thesis statement.

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