REVIEW: Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas
"We were perfect for each other. Until we met."
Misha 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. Ryen 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.
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There are a million reasons why Penelope Douglas is on my Top 5 list.
From the moment I read Bully I've brought every single one of her books without a second thought, I've purchased them without reading the blurb. I count down the days until each one is released.
My Top 5 list is reserved for 'those' authors. The ones whose every word they've written speaks directly to your heart and soul. The ones who write incredibly real and flawed characters who you can't help but relate to and learn something from. Learning something from a character, a storyline or a moment in a book is one of the most important things to me when reading. And Penelope Douglas has every single one of these qualities and then some in spades!
Like everything that Penelope has written I loved Punk 57.
“You kissed my hair while sticking me in the heart. But your house will break before I fall apart. -Punk”
Punk 57 hit me where it hurts the most. Ryen wasn’t your typical teenage mean girl she was a troubled and self conscious girl who didn’t know who she was. From a young age she knew what she wanted and she stepped on whoever she had to, to get there. But once she got it she wasn't so sure that all the hurt and the pain was worth it. That which glitters is not always gold. I really related to Ryen, I related to the alone feeling she had. Being a teenager is truly a difficult experience and something that everyone struggles with for different reasons and Penelope captured perfectly how hard it is to be a teenager. She captured the aloneness of it, the feelings of inadequacy.
Misha was a similar story. He was lost in a different way. He knew who he was but he didn't know what he wanted from life anymore. He lost his passion for the things he truly loved.
Ryen and Misha were pen pals for 7 years. They found each other through a series of instances that I believe were fate. Ryen and Misha created a bond that not many knew. or understood. They were each others truth and each others constant in life. While Misha was Ryen's chance for her to be who she really wanted to be, Ryen was Misha's muse. Every word the other writes is imprinted with there souls. And after 7 years of letters where they bared there souls fate intervene's again and circumstances change.
Penelope Douglas wrote some incredible lyrics in this story and I hope one day they're paired with music and sung by someone with an incredible voice. Just like every other word Penelope wrote these touched your heart and soul with the honesty and truth behind them.
Ryen and Misha brought out the worst in each other. Yet they also brought out the best in each other. They became the people they truly wanted to be when the other pushed them to do so. The angst, the tension and the banter created an incredibly unique story line that captured my attention from the first page and held it completely until the last.
Punk 57 was a complex and emotional roller coaster. I was so enthralled with this heart wrenching story that once I started I couldn't put it down. I hardly stopped to highlight my favourite quotes.
I wish I could tell you so much more about how much I loved the story of Ryen and Misha and why but this is the type of story that you should experience blind. Even though I love people to read my reviews, I urge you to avoid spoilers, avoid highlighted quotes. Avoid the world until you've read the last page of this stand out story of finding yourself and finding your tribe.
Meet The Author: Penelope Douglas
Penelope Douglas is a writer living in Las Vegas. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, she is the oldest of five children. Penelope attended the University of Northern Iowa, earning a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration, because her father told her to "just get the damn degree!" She then earned a Masters of Science in Education at Loyola University in New Orleans, because she HATED public administration. One night, she told the bouncer at the bar where she worked that his son was hot, and three years later she was married. To the son, not the bouncer. They have spawn, but just one. A daughter named Aydan. Penelope loves sweets, The 100, and she shops at Target almost daily.