My pick for our January theme as I had somehow emerged from high school without ever having read it. Plus, it was due time that I stop pretending I know the “Stay gold, Ponyboy,” reference.
Hinton really sucker-punched me with this one. In the first five pages, I knew that by the end of it, someone would die and that it would break my heart. For a 14-year-old (or, in Hinton’s case a 15-year-old), our protagonist had some pretty profound revelations about the world and its people. This passage in particular stuck with me:
“It seemed funny to me that the sunset she saw from her patio and the one I saw from the back steps was the same one. Maybe the two difference worlds we lived in weren’t so different. We saw the same sunset.”
It was a quick read filled with tension and a sense of innocence that managed to also feel world wise. I would have gladly stayed in this world with these characters for many more pages. Though, I do wish I had read this about a decade ago—14-year-old me would have loved it something fierce. And, I could have probably knocked out a pretty decent literary criticism paper on this one.