Title: Punk 57
Author: Penelope Douglas
New Adult Contemporary
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.
Penelope Douglas is one of my favorite writers, every book she has out there I have pretty much devoured. Her books are so easy to read even when the theme it’s a bit dark.
In Punk 57 we have a bit of that dark theme I’ m talking about and quite a relevant one The Pressure to Fit In and how it can turn you into something you don’t recognise unless you find someone that truly sees you. Unless you find your tribe. (this concept of Tribe in this book I really loved)
We have Misha and Ryen, their characters are very real to me, they are flawed and at the same time full of great qualities.
Misha is full of anger because of some tragic events that wrecked his family, his only true friend being Reyn even if he’s never met her in person (Which I think it’s what made their relationship so honest, you can be absolutely yourself when you talk to strangers, you share things that you wouldn’t with people that are close to you) so, when he finally does meet her and realizes that she’s been lying to him about how she was really like, he wants revenge, he wants to teach her a lesson, but what he truly wants it’s for her to be real and face things head on without fear, to be herself or the self he knows she can be. Even if his methods are a bit shocking (He is a bit of an asshole at times but it’s part of his charm) I really liked Misha he knew who he was and wasn’t afraid of it, he didn’t really care what everyone though.
“We’re all ugly, Ryen. The only difference is, some hide it and some wear it.”
As for Ryen she was flawed, very flawed, very insecure and eager to fit in which turned her into a horrible person but she knew it was wrong, she felt guilt and wanted to be better but didn’t know how, she was trapped in a vicious cycle that Misha help her break.
“You don’t have to be afraid or embarrassed. No one does you better than you. You can’t be replaced. Not everyone will see that, but only you need to.”
This is a Frenemies to lovers story and quite a hot one at that, the chemistry between Misha and Reyn is scorching hot (which is usually the case with most of Penelope Douglas books) it’s set in high school but it’s certainly New Adult content.
It’s set in the same world as Corrupt and we get to see some of the characters of that book but it’s a standalone read. It has angst, steaming hot banter, heart breaking scenes, and a bit of food for thought.
So if you’re looking for a story that gets stuck with you pick this up. And I would seriously recommend you to find the book playlist (click here to go to her playlist page) and check it out, it’s another thing that I like about Penelope Douglas’ books, her playlists rock. 😉
Happy reading and listening 😉