Author: Penelope Douglas
Published on: October 21, 2016
Genres: New Adult Romance
“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.
Eventually we all have to weigh what we want more: wanting back what we had or wanting what could be. To stay or to risk everything to move forward.
I finished Punk 57 over a week ago and this story is still heavily on my mind. I loved this book from beginning to end. It slowly built and the momentum of the story never lulled. Punk was everything that I have come to love about Penelope Douglas’ story telling. It was her signature mix of dark teen angst, friendships, and emotional connections. Mixed in with her strong writing style that both evokes a myriad of emotions and captures your attention, Punk 57 was damn near perfection.
“We’re all ugly, Ryen. The only difference is, some hide it and some wear it.”
From the moment I read the blurb for Punk, I was anxious to get my hands on it. I was nervous though. I loved P.D’s Fall Away Series but Corrupt just didn’t work for moi. This story had a mix of what I enjoyed from Bully with the added darkness of Corrupt; but the story and characters were uniquely different from its predecessors. Ryen and Misha’s friendship was something that was cultivated over seven years. Their friendship started in the 5th grade when they were randomly paired up as pen pals. They didn’t stop writing to each other when the school year ended. For the next seven years the wrote to each other continuously. From their fears, to their experiences, desires and frustrations, they shared just about everything with one another. They were each other’s best friends even though they never met.
“Ever since I can remember, I’ve had others’ voices in my head, trying to tell me what to do. I fought back, stood up for myself, and I’ve been proud of the decisions I’ve made, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had doubts.”
Misha was the lead singer in a band and Ryen was always his soundboard. She was also his muse. Her words and friendship spurred him on. For Ryen, Misha was the one person she could be her true self with. The two had agreed to not meet, even though they lived a town away. It was a decision I understood because I liked the initial simplicity of their communications. Yes, I wanted them to meet but like them, I had high expections of what their first meeting would be like. Would they have the same strong connection? Would they like or dislike one another? And would it be what they both hoped it would be? As the reader we quickly see that the expectations aren’t always equal to the reality.
“I won’t let anything happen to you. You’re my tribe, Ryen.”
There was a delicious amount of tension and angst. The back and forth, push and pull, between Misha and Ryen was pure fire. It made you want more of it. It so sexy and so sensual. The characters were each disnticntly unique. I loved Misha from the start. He was a passionate guy and he just knew who he was and what he wanted. Ryen was hard to love at times, but it was easy to understand her. She wore a metaphorical armor to shield herself. She wanted to be liked and accepted for who she was but in her mind being herself never allowed her to fit in. We all crave love and acceptance for authentic self. It’s something that is hard to obtain, it’s hard to find your tribe. Misha and Ryen were the perfect balance to one another.
Reap, reap, reap, you don’t even know, All you did suffer is what you did sow! Alone, Empty, Fraud, Shame, Fear, Close your eyes. There’s nothing to see out here.
I loved the overall premise and message of this story. It touched on some sensitive issues such that go on in schools today. There was also some elements of mystery and drama infused into the story as well. There was so much I loved about this book. It’s definitely one of my favorites of 2016 and it’s easily one of my favorite PD books.