Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

Title: Punk 57
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre: Romance
Rating: 4/5

As fifth graders, Misha and Ryen were paired up as pen pals by their teachers who mistook the name Misha as female and Ryen for male. Over the next 7 years, Misha and Ryen wrote to each other nearly everyday. Their letters being the only thing that got them through some of the difficult things happening at home. They vowed never to ruin what they had by meeting in person, but living only a town apart meant meeting was inevitable and when it happens, everything changes.

“We’re all ugly, Ryen. The only difference is, some hide it and some wear it.”

This was not my favorite Penelope Douglas book. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t compare to the other books that I have read of hers like Credence and Corrupt. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Punk 57 is a runoff from Corrupt though. I knew the names of the towns sounded familiar, but it took me a second to put it together. Overall the book was an interesting read, but it wouldn’t be my first recommendation if someone was asking which Penelope Douglas book to start with.

“Life is fifty wrong turns down a bumpy road. All you can hope is that you end up somewhere nice.”

That being said, there were a lot of really great elements that were successful. For one, I thought Ryen’s character was relatable in the fact that she did some mean things in the spirit of trying to fit in. I’m not proud to admit it, but as a high school girl I definitely went along with some bullying to fit in. Kids are cruel and it takes a lot of courage to stand out against the crowd. Courage that takes time to build, for some longer than others.

I also really liked the dynamic between Misha and Ryen. They had a love/hate relationship which was entertaining to see play out. There were moments where I hated them, but also moments where I loved them so it kept me intrigued throughout the entire story. 

“Speak your mind, and you give others permission to do the same.”

If you are familiar with Penelope Douglas’s books then you know they are known for being spicy. This book, however, really wasn’t that spicy in my opinion. There were a few hot and heavy moments, but overall it was pretty PG-13. Some people may really like that, but for me when I pick up a Penelope Douglas book I’m expecting to blush and Punk 57 just didn’t do it for me. With that being said, it was still a great book that I would probably read again.

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