Which wouldn’t have been enough if she couldn’t write. But she can. Well. All her early books were written in the first person, and it only takes a few lines to immediately recognise her crystal-clear, unmuffled voice. Some writers leave you feeling woollyheaded, while others – only a few, mind you – just the very best – have the immediacy and effect of a slap of cold water; it’s like your best friend is talking to you completely seriously and completely honestly. That’s what reading S. E. Hinton is like.
So we all found a bit of refuge in her books. Man, even my older brother read it, and he trusted books about as much as he trusted adults.
But any port in a storm, and God knows it isn’t easy to find anything that helps you being a teenager. If you ask an adult for help, you will usually be offered some lame platitude about "finding your place in the world" or it just being "a stage you are going through."
Probably even worse if you go to a psychologist. You might get something unsupportive like this: “During the teen years, under the influence of massive new hormonal messages, as well as current needs and experiences, the teenager’s brain is being reshaped and reconstructed. In such as situation, things rarely flow smoothly, and surprise destinations thrive. This reconstruction explains why the personality and stability that was evident just a year or two before adolescence recedes, and suddenly new perspectives and reactions abound.”
Or, unhelpfully, this: “Teens are undergoing dramatic changes. In addition to the biological changes of puberty, they experience cognitive changes that allow them to think more abstractly. They become increasingly focused on friends. And as they seek greater independence, they often come into conflict with parents. Most get through adolescence with few problems, establishing identities and preparing for adulthood. Some, however, experience problems that lead to dropping out of school, drug use or crime.”
Or, even offensively, this: “What’s novel about this research is that we’ve demonstrated that quite a bit of adolescent decision-making is not reasoned on – on any level. It’s not because it’s motivated behaviour, or they’ve thought about how much they want to do it. It’s because they just do it.”