I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.
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. (source)
This book was part of the assigned reading list for the Resources for Young Adults course that I will be taking during the spring semester. This book is considered to be a YA classic and it is still read and beloved by readers to this day.
I had never read The Outsiders before, but I'd heard of it and I've been meaning to read it for some time. I'm really glad that my class gave me the opportunity to do so! I felt that the book was well-written and I especially appreciated the character development. The characters in this book come from backgrounds that are very different from my own and it was really interesting to read about their struggles. I'm also a huge fan of this time period, so any book about greasers appeals to me, at least on the surface.
Although I did like this book, it got pretty angsty at times and I'm not really a fan of teen angst. I never really went through the angsty teen stage - moody, yes, but not the whole "my life sucks, woe is me, my problems are so difficult" thing, so I have a hard time relating to books like this. I had the same problem with Perks of Being a Wallflower. And in the case of that book and this one, the characters legitimately did have serious problems to be angsty about... but I can't relate to them and so I didn't appreciate the book as much as other readers have.
I do think that this book is worth reading. It's a classic YA novel, and, unlike Seventeenth Summer, I do think that it deserves that status. This book will resonate with many readers, though not all, and the storyline is compelling. I definitely recommend reading this, especially to teens who feel like they don't fit into a cookie-cutter group.