Title: That Was Then,This is Now
Author: S.E. Hinton
Date Started: 29/10/2000, Date Finished : 29/11/2000
Category of Novel: Teenage Problem (Fiction)
Bryon: Bryon is a tall sixteen-year old who has black hair, and he's a bit tanned. The characters in the novel like Bryon a lot, because he is nice and caring. The people who are especially fond of him are his girlfriend Cathy, his bestfriend Mark, and M&M, Cathy's brother. At the end of the novel, Mark shows some hostility towards Bryon, because of some problems they are having. Bryon responds to conflicts of the story well. He understands them and tries to fix them, but he makes them even larger while doing that. Bryon likes the people around him, especially Cathy, Mark, and M&M. Bryon though, feels a gulf between himself and Mark because things are no longer the same between them.
Mark: Mark is a thin handsome sixteen-year-old with blond hair, white skin, and a special grin always on his face. People like Mark because he is a good kid, but some dislike him, because he is a troublemaker. Bryon ofcourse likes him a lot, so does
M&M. Cathy though dislikes Mark, because he is a troublemaker and she wants Bryon all to herself. Mark reponds to the conflicts of this novel not very well. He approaches them, but then ignores them. He tries to hint them to Bryon, but he is not being very straightford. Mark likes most people and treats them well, but he dislikes Cathy as much as she dislikes him. He dislikes her because he feels that she is taking Bryon away from him. Mark also feels a gulf between Bryon and himself, but they are both not confronting each other.
Setting: The setting of this story is in a poor neighborhood in a city in the U.S.A. in the present time.
Plot Summary: Mark and Bryon are bestfriends who always stay with a boy called M&M, Bryon starts going out with M&M's sister and he likes her a lot. They go to a dance one time and Bryon's ex-girlfriend paid a man to beat up a boy she liked, because he didn't like her back. Instead, he beat up Mark. Mark was hurt very badly, but he survived. Not a long time after Mark was beat up; M&M ran away from home, since then things have never been the same. Mark and Bryon go to a bar that their friend Charlie owns all the time. One day they were at the bar playing pool with some Texans and Mark and Bryon won all the games; they practically bankrupt the Texans. The Texans wanted to kill them by shooting them, but Charlie came in the perfect time and saved them. Although Charlie saved them, he didn't save himself; Charlie died! Bryon was beaten up by his ex-girlfriend's brothers, because Mark got her drunk and cut her long beautiful hair off. It was unfair for them to do that, but they thought Bryon did it. Bryon was hurt very badly, but he too survived. When Bryon was well again they searched for M&M and they found him. The problem was M&M lost his mind. To make things even worse for Bryon; Bryon found a jar of drugs under Mark's bed. Will Bryon put his life back together, or will he leave it as it is?
Content: I enjoyed this novel very much, because I felt the way Bryon felt and that really touched me. This novel was straight forward, and never boring. It was exciting right from the start. Before I read this magnificient novel, I thought all boys were tough, but the author explained to us that boys feel and cry like girls. A major theme of this novel was that was then, this is now. It is presented when Bryon changes and starts dating Cathy, and Mark wants it to be like the old days when Bryon and himself spent every second of every day together. Another major theme is friendship is golden, and no one should ever let go of it. It is presented when Mark and Bryon feel a guilt between one another and none of themare doing much about it; though Mark wsa hinting that they were risking their friendship. The setting is very real and appropriate for this novel, because there are many gangs in that neighborhood they're in and that is the main part of the story. The charcters are real. I know this sounds strange, but when I read the novel, I felt a connection with all of the characters. They were very convincing , because I could tell what they were thinking by their actions. The language is appropriate for this novel, because they are teenagers, but for adults it wouldn't be appropriate. They speak a lot of slang, and that suits teenagers more. This novel doesn't remind me of any novels, because it is unique and one of a kind. It is the type of book that you just can't put down, and youcan't find these books anymore. I would definitely recommend this book to other people, because I will be doing them a favor by letting them read this magnificient book. I would like to read more books by this author, because she talks about teenage problems with such experience. I also want to read more books by this author, because I want to know what to do if I ever stumble over these problems. The novel was too short because it left me in suspense thinking about Bryon, but that's better because I can imagine and think about things that coul've happened to them.
By: Samar Al Ansari
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