Review: Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas
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.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I haven't read in months but last night I opened up a new book with hopes that I could get past the first few pages. Book slumps totally suck. I should've known if Pen Douglas wrote it it would be a winner. I absolutely adored the hell out of Punk 57. Thank you, Pen, for helping me defeat my book slump, even if it was only for one day, one book.
Misha and Ryen, as individuals and as a "couple," captivated me from the very first page. Their chemistry, friendship, underlying connection, and tension so palpable. They weren't always likable characters, especially Ryen, but they were characters who showed growth, as well as raw, gritty believability. Whether it's hate, empathy, disgust, love, or even some form of all of those I promise you won't walk away from this book/couple/characters without feeling something.
And don't get me started on the secondary characters. Holy hell, can we say there were so many damn times I wanted to whip out a b*tch slap or put my foot so far up their a**es they wouldn't be able to dig it out for weeks!! I often felt this for Ryen as well. Misha had it right when he continuously used the term brat. All I can say is that kids can be so damn cruel.
Punk 57 was one of those stories that brought me back in time. I remember the good ole days of high school, and not always with a fondness. Ms. Douglas' rich, vibrant, and intricate writing left me feeling as though I was right there in the halls, amongst these characters, living their story in real time with them. And in my humble opinion, no one writes high school angst and antagonism like Pen. She nails it each and every time.
I HIGHLY recommend this book. The only thing I would say is that while it is set within a high school, there is strong sexual content. If you are okay with this than I would also highly recommend this for HS aged kids. It centers around self-worth, impressions, acceptance, confidence, bullying, and the consequences/affects all of this has on our younger generation.
P.s. I DID NOT see that twist coming. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She dresses for autumn year round, loves anything lemon flavored, and shops at Target almost daily.
Her books include the Fall Away Series (Bully, Until You, Rival, Falling Away, and Aflame), as well as, Corrupt and Misconduct. Please look for Punk 57, coming September 2016 and Next to Never (A Fall Away Novella), coming January 2017.
She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter.