Saturday 29 October 2016

Review ~ Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

Book Description:

“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.

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 stars

“This is a big ass world, and when we leave our small towns, we’re going to find our tribe. If we don’t stay true to ourselves, how will they recognize us?”

Penelope Douglas has become a firm favourite of mine since the Bully series and then of course Corrupt (hottest shower scene EVER!!) This had a Bully vibe about it seeing as bullying was once again at the forefront, but this book gave so much more too. This was about change, changing for the worse because you think it will make you popular. Changing to the point of unrecognition and doing unto others what you have tried your hardest to avoid being done to you. Realising the change is not for the good and loving yourself for you and if others don’t like it…then they’re not worth knowing…it is their loss.

“Eventually we all have to weigh what we want more: wanting back what we had or wanting what could be. To stay or to risk everything to move forward.”

There is a lot of pressure in schools to run with the popular kids, the nerds, the quiet ones, pushed to the side and victims of everyone else’s barbs and the subject of all their pranks and often hurtful antics. They don’t see the other side, they don’t see the pain and suffering underneath that person’s skin, they get their kicks, they do it for shits and giggles, but they don’t get to see the deep rooted affect that their actions have, often with deadly effect. I have been there, I was a victim for a long time and so for me, these kinds of books always hit me in the heart, because I know the pain.

“Alone, Empty, Fraud, Shame, Fear, Close your eyes, there’s nothing to see out here.”

This book once again has it all, drama, angst, passion, emotion…something that Penelope Douglas excels at. Her understanding of teenagers always relays perfectly through her written word and it is this that delivers a book that feels genuine, it is real, it could happen…it does happen.

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

Ryen was not a likeable character in the beginning, she ran with the popular crowd, she wasn’t necessarily the voice, but she was the quiet one that sat back and watched everything else unfold. She protected herself while regaling in the delights of her popularity, but underneath that façade you knew that there was a lovable girl underneath. Ryen was the victim of peer pressure, the pressure to conform…her sister was her opposite and she is basically forced to change to fit in her own family, even if it goes against every grain of her being. She was tired of being a liability.

“And then when I found out she was popular, not an outcast, and a cardboard cut-out, not at all original, I became angry. She led me to believe those things, and my muse was a lie. Until yesterday in the parking lot when I bit and she bit back. That’s my Ryen. And I want to see more.”

Misha was another quiet one, yet popular. He was in a band but he was the brooding songwriter. He came from wealth and a family that were “the town.” He didn’t ride on those coat tails though and disassociated himself from the family name as soon as he was able, he wanted to make it on his own. Misha was deep, his thoughts and dialogue lyrical as his world revolved around lyrics and music, he was an old soul with a heart of gold.

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

Misha and Ryen had been pen pals since they were little kids, their teachers setting them up thinking they were the same sex. It soon became apparent they weren’t but they continued anyways. Now in their late teens, they still hadn’t met. These two had developed a soul deep connection with their written words. They confided in one another, they knew everything about the other, the wrote songs together. These two lived for each other’s letters, they had each other on a pedestal, they were as close as close could be without actually being in each other’s company.

“No one does you better than you. You can’t be replaced. Not everyone will see that, but only you need to.”

One night Misha’s life changes in more ways than one and unknown to Ryen they have now met. Ryen is not what she seemed and Misha needs to know more and he doesn’t like what he sees. Misha the alpha ass hole is born and no-one does an asshole as good as Penelope Douglas. While I should have cringed I loved every bit as these two finally get to get under each other’s skin in more ways than one. It doesn’t take Misha long to understand the situation that Ryen is in, but how can he come clean now as to his true identity?

“You just got a whole lot more interesting.”

The sexual chemistry, the love hate, that underlying burning of passion makes this an unputdownable read. Penelope Douglas captured my attention from the start and didn’t relent till the very end. Once again a captivating read.

“But I love the way you lie.”

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