4 stars · Contemporary Romance · Enemies to Lovers · Friends to Lovers · Gives Good Grovel · New Adult · Pierced/tattooed · Revenge Plots

Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

Punk 57 Book Cover Punk 57
Penelope Douglas
Fiction, New Adult
October 21, 2016

“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.

Val’s Review

4 Stars

I haven’t been in a reviewing mood lately.

I have had a lot going on at home and at work…plus I think I have an ear infection that I have been assuming was a headache or something else for a while now.

For some reason – I blame the blonde – I had it in my head that only kids got ear infections.


Being that I had ear infections on the frequent regular as a youngling – and had tubes in my ear twice – you would think this option wold have occurred to me much sooner.

Oh well.

Maybe I’ll get some cool drugs.


Happy Thanksgiving to me.

Anyway, about this book….

I love me Penelope Douglas.

She is on what is becoming a very short list of auto-buy authors for me.

There is just something meaty about her characters and her writing that make her books oh so chomp-able.


This one was different from her other books in that I initially loathed her heroine.


Seriously though, I found a lot of Ryen’s actions to be pretty fucked up.

She was a bully.
And she stood by in silence while bigger bullies did some major bully shit.

Now at NO point was I considering a DNF – The story was still good and I trust PD.

I had a feeling she was going somewhere with all this…and she was.

In the “Note From the Author” section at the end of the book, Douglas says something that I think is worth sharing:

“We romance readers can be very hard on our heroines. We often see ourselves in those roles and compare their decisions to the decisions we would’ve made instead. We tend to judge them more harshly than we do the heroes, because we hold them to the same expectation we hold ourselves.”

My first reaction to this?


My second?


I was totally holding this poor 17 year old girl to the standards of my 34 year old mature *snort* self.

And I now realize I do this a lot – in all the books I read.


And I’m sure a lot of you do too. We are all human, after all.

I’m sure we would all act differently as teenagers – care about certain things less and other things more – if we knew then what we know now, as they say, no?

So, to ask Ryen to act as a 17 year old according to how I would act in her position is pretty silly of me.

I think of how much I have changed just from my late 20’s to my 30’s…

…how much I have learned…


…and I am amazed at myself for thinking a 17 year old should have the AWESOMENESS that I have fought so hard for.

That I had to suffer for.

That I have started to WRINKLE for.


Bitch needs to EARN that knowledge on her own.


So thanks for the self-awareness check PD.

I am expecting WAAAAAY too much from my heroines *wink wink*

And an attempt at more patience and understand for my future heroines might result in my enjoying even MORE books.

Which is always a win.


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