Review: Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

Review: Punk 57 by Penelope DouglasPunk 57 by Penelope Douglas
October 21, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Young Adult
Pages: 371
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
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“We were perfect together. Until we met.”

Misha

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.

Ryen

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.

Punk 57 delivers exactly what you’ve come to expect from Penelope Douglas. Amazing angst. An exciting and volatile love/hate/love romance. And characters that actually have depth and layers. If there is another author out there writing teenage angst as well as Douglas does, I’ve not found them.

Misha and Ryen are long time pen pals who purposefully never meet in real life. The friendship they’ve developed over the years an important part of each of their lives, for very different reasons. But a chance encounter and a tragic turn, inserts Misha into Ryen’s world and they find out that what they thought they knew of each other on paper might be vastly different than reality. 

The real heart of the story is not the push and pull romance between the two main characters, though. At least, not in my mind. There is quite a deep underlying message to Punk 57, it’s just wrapped up in an steamy romance. The message is one I loved. While I adored Misha and was very rapt by Ryen’s character development, I was in love with Douglas’ theme for this story.  Anyone who didn’t have a stellar high school experience will find something to relate to in this book. 

Punk 57 is very much in the same vein as Bully, but the message is more pronounced. It’s also maybe delivered in a bit of an over the top way. There were a few things I found to be a little too unbelievable and too harsh, that’s what drops my over all rating down a tad.  However, I never found myself focusing on those things while reading the story. Those feelings came later, after I finished the book and really started thinking about my overall feelings for it. There is something to be said about an author who can keep you turning the page like that. 

About Penelope Douglas

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.



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