by S. E. Hinton
I finished this on Do Nothing But Read Day- June 27, 2010.
To me, this book is about people's potential being a mixture of who they are deep down inside and the environment in which they live. It's like a constant war between who they are and the people around them, the situations they land in, and the culture they're stuck in. The style of writing reminded me a lot of The Outsiders but the characters/dialogue didn't grab me and pull me in the same way. It was still good, but it's told in a sort of flashback so you know where two of the characters are sort of going to end up... and you soon have suspicions about one of the other characters.
I read this book slowly, in little bits, because I found I needed time to think about some of the concepts. It wasn't until Motorcycle Boy saw those "Rumble Fish" in the pet store that the story really came together for me. Now that it's over, I have this weird sense about all the boys. I half admire them and half feel sorry for them--even their older selves, I can't completely admire because their pasts are still part of them and things were... well, complicated then. I like Steve a lot. I like Rusty-James. And I like Motorcycle Boy, because you see him through Rusty-James' eyes. I liked reading this story, wondering the whole time exactly where it was going to go, and knowing in the back of my head what was going to have to happen. Seeing it, though, was painful. And the end , which it goes back to present day, was just as illuminating as those last few chapters of the book--the end of Steve & Rusty-James' friendship, the talk with his dad, the pet shop, the scene with the cops. It was very interesting and thought-provoking. I feel like I could spend days analyzing this short story and still not come close to seeing it from every angle.
In the end, it filled me with more sadness than admiration or adoration or enjoyment.