Review: Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas
Author: Penelope Douglas
Publisher: Penelope Douglas
Published: October 21, 2016
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
“We were perfect together. Until we met.”
I can’t help but smile at the words in her letter. She misses me.
In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed.
It didn’t take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing about everything. The best take-out pizza. Android vs. iPhone. Whether or not Eminem is the greatest rapper ever…
And that was the start. For the next seven years, it was us.
Her letters are always on black paper with silver writing. Sometimes there’s one a week or three in a day, but I need them. She’s the only one who keeps me on track, talks me down, and accepts everything I am.
We only had three rules. No social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. We had a good thing going. Why ruin it?
Until I run across a photo of a girl online. Name’s Ryen, loves Gallo’s pizza, and worships her iPhone. What are the chances?
F*ck it. I need to meet her.
I just don’t expect to hate what I find.
He hasn’t written in three months. Something’s wrong. Did he die? Get arrested? Knowing Misha, neither would be a stretch.
Without him around, I’m going crazy. I need to know someone is listening. It’s my own fault. I should’ve gotten his number or picture or something.
He could be gone forever.
Or right under my nose, and I wouldn’t even know it.
Rarely have I read a book as raw and amazing as this one. Punk 57 was quite possibly one of the best books that I have read this year. Such well-constructed storyline. Such real characters that are flawed yet redeemable. Such unique plot twist. It’s packed full of everything. HATS OFF, PENELOPE DOUGLAS!
“Do you notice that, too? How all of us just want to get through life as quickly and easily as possible? And even though we know that without risk there’s no reward, we’re still so scared to chance it?”
The story is all about childhood pen pals Misha Lare and Ryen Trevarrow. They’ve been writing letters for each other since grade school and for about seven years, they’ve never seen each others’ faces. They promised not to search each other’s name on social media to keep their identity a mystery and to keep their meaningful friendship as it is. But one unexpected night at his band’s party, Misha wasn’t able to resist the temptation of looking at Ryen’s Facebook account after he accidentally saw her picture online. That’s when he knew that Ryen was actually there at the party’s venue.
I’d be honest. This book was HOT. Like RATED PG HOT. And I’m warning you, Ryen and Misha’s smoking chemistry and their steamy scenes will possibly burn your e-reader. lol. And since it’s written by THE PENELOPE DOUGLAS, it’ll be impossible to stop reading.
Steamy scenes aside, this book resonated a powerful message. I loved how it tackled a very important issue which is bullying that happens in every school. The anti-bullying theme here was quite different compared to Douglas’s previous book Bully because in this book, the storyline was centered around the issue and most of the events happened at school. It presented a look at what kids go through every day. It was honest and terrifying and it served as an eye-opening view of what these kids’ lives are like.
One of the things that I also loved about this book was Ryen’s character which came as a huge surprise for me. She was not easy to like especially in the first few chapters, but I totally understood her. She’s a famous student at her school. A beautiful and sexy cheerleader. But underneath it all, she’s insecure. She’s worried about losing her place and losing her friends. She’s afraid to be alone. Afraid to be bullied. And that’s what made me appreciate her character. For me, she was real.
Same goes for Misha. I loved that both of these characters shared the same passion for words, the same desire for attention and love. Not to mention the same rebellious trait which was quite entertaining. And as I’ve mentioned, these characters were redeemable ones.
“We’re rebels with a reason.”
And you know what especially blew me away? The PLOT TWIST. Yes, that twist was a shocker and totally unpredictable!
It will surely take me a lot of time to get over this book. It was simply amazing. A new favorite of mine. 🙂
“We’re all ugly, Ryen. The only difference is, some hide it and some wear it.”
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