Review: Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas


“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.



Penelope Douglas delivers a poignant story about life, love, family and friendship, infused with her signature angst, wit and steam. I am a fan of the author’s previous works but I admit I was surprised by how much this book affected me. Punk 57 was so much more than the typical romance novel I expected. It’s a story that will urge you to self-reflect, analyze and strongly empathize with the characters’ journey. It’s like I suddenly became a philosopher myself when I finished and thought about it. Don’t lie! You’d probably had that moment in your reading experience too. 😉 It’s the best kind. It’s like you’ve discovered something exceptional that moved you while everyone is oblivious. Anyway, I digress. lol sorry. Let’s move on… Continue reading