Book review of Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

“We were perfect together. Until we met.”


I can’t help but smile at the lyrics 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 phone number or picture or something.

He could be gone forever.

Or right under my nose, and I wouldn’t even know it.

“We’re all ugly, Ryen. The only difference is, some hide it and some wear it.”

Penelope Douglas

After I graduated high school, young adult stories are not really my thing. However, I do love everything Penelope Douglas writes. I remember I was on leave from work because I was sick, when I came across this book. You know when you have nothing to read and everything on amazon seems the same?

Punk 57 was raving with 5 star reviews, so I got myself a copy. Man, this is not a young adult novel. It’s so much more!

Misha and Ryen, offer a lot more wisdom than any mid age human!

They had been pen pals for around 7 years, eventually becoming best friends. When tragedy touches Misha’s family, he decides he wants to meet the only person that gets him. The muse to his music. He strategically enrolls in Ryen’s high school only to be disappointed by reality.

Although she’s one of the most beautiful women he’s ever seen, she seems like the perfect bully. Where compassion and inside beauty played a big part of his image of her, disgust took place. He just couldn’t understand why she behaved this way. In their letters she seemed like a naive introvert girl, when she was everything but.

Instead of reaching out to her as her pen pal, he disguises under another name and turns into the only person to call on her bullshit. They kind of develop a rival posture with each other. Even though she didn’t who he was exactly, she knew he could see for what she was, a poser.

Consequently, there’s someone in their school writing revelations and secrets all over using spray paint. Their signed by Punk 57.

Eventually, they grow closer than ever. Discovering parts they couldn’t imagine about themselves. They thought they brought the best out of each other through their letters, but that’s nothing compared to what they built when they were together. As the reader you can hear fireworks exploding when they finally let their guard downs and let themselves be.