2020 · books · new adult · romance

Book Review: Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

Title: Punk 57

Author: Penelope Douglas

Purchase: Amazon


“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.

Rating: 3.75 / 5

Punk 57 is a story of Ryen and Misha, two friends who mistakenly got joined as pen-pals when they were children. And they had been inseparable since then, sending letters and telling each other everything even though they’ve never met. Until a tragic accident happens and suddenly, Misha stops replying. But when a new guy Masen comes to Ryen’s school, she can no longer hold a perfect image of herself to the public, because he does everything he can to torment and embarass her. Only Ryen doesn’t know Masen is actually Misha.

“We were perfect together. Until we met.” is a sentence that describes this book the best. Because Ryen is not as humble as she had presented herself in her letters, she’s actually everything she told him she despises: popular and basically a bitch. And Misha feels like he never knew her at all. I love how the main character is one of the populars in school because in most of bully romances the female main character is usually an introvert. But the fact that she is acting like someone she isn’t just so she isn’t alone and outcasted is so sad but I know that so many young girls also feel that way.

Because she had a glow up (but more social than physical) she can’t risk being herself because she’s scared she’ll become what she once was: alone. But of course Misha comes and saves the day, that’s what friends are for, right?

I find their relationship (before the accident) so interesting and I haven’t read a lot of pen-pal books but they sure are interesting and something new and fresh. Their letters are basically brainstorm with all of their thoughts on a piece of paper and a way for Ryen to let out all of her bottled-up emotions.

Although the relationship before they met was very cute, I loved when friendship turned into lust. I’m very passionate about my enemies-to-lovers books and that is exactly why I picked up this one. It was so steamy and interesting because Misha is definitely one of the biggest bullies in the bully-romance world but he wasn’t aggresive or sadistic towards Ryen like some characters can be. He was standing up for himself and the weaker, trying to put down the queen b.

Their romance was very interesting but I can’t do it anymore with new adult and their sex scenes. There’s just to much of it in most new adult books, this included, and I feel like it gives little relevance to the plot and just makes me feel awkward. I don’t mind a scene or two but when everything is about it, it’s just not that enjoyable and becomes repetitive and boring.

The other problem is a very common one I have while reading YA and it is all of those high schoolers acting like grown ups. It’s so unrealistic and I think it would be better if the characters were a bit older. Also, why is it always when the main character does something illegal or bad, he gets out of it without any punishment. Not fair and very unrealistic but enough with the ranting.

I feel like the first half of this book was soo perfect and I predicted my ratings for this would be high. However, towards the ending my liking gradually dropped and I was left with a very average feel to it. When I started this I literally couldn’t stop reading because it was so good, fast forward to the last chapter which I only half read because I wasn’t into it. I liked how the ending had that big plot-twist but other than that it was mediocre (I didn’t like the last chapter which is their life 5 years later, I feel like it’s been done too many times).

But I still did enjoy a lot of things. It was very interesting and I flew through it. The writing is beautiful and the author really did well in creating a unique and interesting story.

I liked the songs and the lyrics and I also loved the mysterious feel to it. Also, I like how we don’t know until a lot later who Punk who draws the graffiti in school is. The most important thing is the general message of this book: it doesn’t matter how popular we are or how many people like us, because if we’re not happy living that life and we’re just acting, then what’s the point?

All in all, an interesting book with an enemies-to-lovers troupe that’s very well done but with a few re-touches it would be even better.

As usual, tell me if you’ve read this book and what are your thoughts on it.

Happy reading!

(*I am an Amazon affiliate and all the book links are my affiliate links. Using them you get a discount and I do receive a small commission.)


3 thoughts on “Book Review: Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

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