Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas: Review

Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas: ReviewPunk 57 by Penelope Douglas
on October 21st, 2016
Genres: New Adult

“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.

Stacia says…

WOW…. Penelope Douglas wrote such a powerful, emotionally charged story with Punk 57; a story that is so prevalent with today’s society and the awful epidemic of bullying!  This story is about wanting to belong and trying so hard to not be the “different” one that stands apart from others. How far would you go and exactly what would you do to make sure that you got that approval from others or could you stand on your own?

This story starts with us meeting Misha and Ryen, who were assigned as pen pals seven years prior. They form a very strong friendship and unbreakable bond and even though they only live 30 minutes apart they have decided to not meet face to face and keep things just in letters.  Ryen inspires Misha to write some amazing music for his band, but when Misha runs into Ryen by chance at an event for his band, he doesn’t like what he sees at all. She isn’t the person she has proclaimed to be or that he has fallen for.

”And then when I found out she was popular, not an outcast, and a cardboard cut-out, not at all original, I became angry. She led me to believe those things, and my muse was a lie.”

After having no friends and wanting so bad to be part of the “in crowd,” Ryen at a very young age, decides to reinvent herself to make sure she is never alone again. She becomes everything she has always professed to hate about high school girls- fake, rude, and a total cliche; and along the way she starts to hate the person she has become and wishes she could let people see the real Ryen.

“I know it’s pathetic to want a place among other people, and I know you’ll say it’s better to stand alone and be right than stand in a crowd and be wrong, but… I still feel that need all the time.”

This story was very well written. Penelope knows how to write “bullying” so well! The secrets within the story were revealed in a very smart way, to where I didn’t feel like I was blindsided with a bunch of unnecessary drama. I think the message behind this book is so important and it really could help teens learn the importance of self-worth and the power of their words. As an adult, the sex scenes were HOT- but I do think had some of them been left out or “dumbed” down, this book would be an amazing YA read for high school students.

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



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.