In S.E. Hinton's follow-up to the classic of teen fiction The Outsiders, she writes a more mature story called That Was Then, This Is Now. This novel is about how teen friendship evolves. The lead character is Bryon, and his best friend is Mark. They are close friends with a strong bond stretching back to childhood. Mark loses both parents and lives in Bryon's home with him and his mom.
During most of the story, Bryon's mom is in the hospital, so the teens are raising themselves at the mere age of sixteen. The plot involves pool hustling, Bryon meeting his first serious girlfriend (Cathy), and an older friend (Charlie) defending the two boys in a bar fight, in which Charlie is shot and killed.
Charlie's death affects Bryon and Mark differently. For Bryon, it causes him to get serious, get a job, and start dating Cathy seriously. Mark and Cathy don't get along, and Bryon feels caught between them. One night, Mark and Bryon finally get to spend a night alone, in...
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