Review: Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

Punk 57
by Penelope Douglas
Publisher: Self-published
Publication date: Oct. 21, 2016
Genre: New Adult Romance


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.



When I read the synopsis, I thought this was going to be a cute friends-to-lovers/enemies-to-lovers story. Misha meeting his longtime pen pal, only to realize she isn’t who he’s cooked up in his mind. However, the author did something so completely different. Not only is this a story between two best friends, but it’s kind of a story about finding yourself, too. You see, Ryen is not a likable person. She has spent years building up this person of who she wants to be with Misha. She writes about her inner-self feeling like an outsider, when in fact, she’s one of the popular cheerleaders. She throws people under the bus with snarky comments, bringing them down and making her look good. It’s not hard to figure out why Misha hates the person he sees when he meets her, because she’s nothing like her letters. Heck, I didn’t spend seven years thinking I knew her only to find out it was all a lie, and even I couldn’t stand her.

“We were perfect for each other. Until we met.”

While Ryen does some really awful stuff, the author somehow redeemed her. Don’t ask me how she did it. I honestly thought I was going to hate this chick throughout the whole story. I think the only reason why I kept reading the story is because Misha was just as rude and mean to her as she was to everyone else. She had no clue who he was, since she met him as Masen, but he knew who she was and he wasn’t afraid to bring her down a few pegs. Now, Misha isn’t perfect either. He does some pretty sketchy stuff and says some pretty awful things to Ryen. He even hides behind his fake identity way past when he should have. However, yet again, the author made him into this character that you couldn’t seem to hate.

There is so much that takes place in this story but I don’t want to give away any plot twists or major spoilers. Just know that this isn’t just about two pen pals. There’s a lot that goes on throughout the story that builds right up until the end. The bombshell that the author dropped at the end had my jaw on the ground. I usually see stuff coming from a mile away, but she had me so focused on one thing that when she revealed a rather large surprise, a ton of pieces started to fall into place that I hadn’t even noticed until that point.

Punk 57 was a great novel. I wish I could tell you why the book is called Punk 57, but that would ruin part of the story. What I can say is that this story had me glued to my seat. Penelope Douglas knows how to write characters in a way that will have you both hating them, and rooting for them at the same time. I’ve really enjoyed all of the books of hers that I’ve read so far. I’m starting to think that she’s an auto-buy for me.


Favorite quote…

“Fifty-seven times I didn’t call
Fifty-seven letters I didn’t send,
Fifty-seven stitched to breathe again,
and then I fucking pretend.”




13 Thoughts on “Review: Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

  1. This sounds quite unique, and I’m glad you ended up loving it so much! Hugs…RO

  2. You got me in this one Kristin! Need to get my copy soon and read what made you love it!

  3. Oooh! I was just complaining about trends and no originality and this book sounds like a perfect remedy for that!

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

  4. Melliane on 4 May, 2018 at 11:46 am said:

    I only tried one book by the author and I enjoyed it. I need to try more

  5. I haven’t read this but it sounds good.

  6. Right, Penelope Douglas is amazing, this is definitely going on my list!

  7. bookwormbrandee on 9 May, 2018 at 4:39 pm said:

    I really gotta read this one, Kristin! I love it when an author can completely swing my feelings toward a character from one extreme to the other. And this story sounds so interesting!

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