Title: That Was Then, This Is Now
Author: S.E. Hinton
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Recommended for readers of: The Outsiders
“Since childhood, Bryon and Mark have been as close as brothers. Now things are changing. Bryon’s growing up, spending a lot of time with girls, and thinking seriously about who he wants to be. Mark still just lives for the thrill of the moment. The two are growing apart- but holding on- until Bryon makes a shocking discovery about Mark. Then Bryon faces a terrible decision- one that will change both of their lives forever.”
My one sentence summary: Mark and Bryon have been best friends since they were kids, but they are growing up now and so they must grow apart.
I’ll just start by saying that I loved this book. I loved the emotion, the characters changes, and the suspense throughout the book. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it make me throw it at the wall. It was everything that you would expect out of a book. The only thing that could have been better is the ending. Okay, so maybe I’m just still emotional over how it ended, but I think that there should have been just a little bit more. If there had been one more chapter explaining what had happened to both of them later on in life, I might have been a little bit more pleased. However, this novel has made me see everything differently. I look at my friends differently, I look at my family differently, I look at the whole world differently, and it is because of this book. This book really makes you think about everything a little more deeply. S.E. Hinton could not have written a more powerful novel.
Here are some of the lines that made it so emotional for me:
“‘If I told you how it was in here,’ he said, ‘you’d be sick… I didn’t have to see you. I wanted to, though. I had to make sure.’
‘Make sure of what?’
‘Make sure I hated you.'”
“‘Yeah. I don’t seem to be able to get away with things any more.'”
“‘Like a friend once said to me, ‘That was then, and this is now.””
“I wish I was a kid again, when I had all the answers.”
After being sad and angry, I realized that the author had done something completely right. The emotion is what made the book, and without all of that it would have been just another story about two teenage kids. I highly recommend this to everyone, even if you don’t think you’ll like it. I may sound like a raging fan, but this book honestly did change my way of thinking.