Review: Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

punk-57Reviewed by Joanna

Every time a book is released by PD it goes straight to the top of my reading list. With a fierce love/hate relationship between two hot protagonists, dark, suspenseful writing that slowly exposes the story, No Way moments, and tension that sucks you in, Punk 57 did not disappoint.

Misha and Ryen are pen pals, picked for one another by their unwitting fifth grade teachers (Misha is a boy, Ryen is a girl – their teachers didn’t understand names can be multi-gender), and they kept a seven year relationship via mail. Their close bond got them through tough times, relying on a pact never to look each other up on social media. One day, at a warehouse gig Misha’s band is playing (they’re 17/18 now), he finds himself face to face with a girl called Ryen. Knowing it can’t be a coincidence, he hits up his phone and, yup, confirms this beautiful girl is his Ryen. But as his attention is diverted, something awful happens elsewhere and Misha’s life is destroyed overnight.

Ryen doesn’t suspect anything when Misha shows up at her school three months later. He enrolls under a fake name and still doesn’t admit who he is. Though the draw between them is epic, he’s a different boy inside now, darker and very unhappy. Ryen isn’t the reason he’s haunting the school, but she quickly becomes his main focus, particularly when he realizes she’s nothing like the girl he was writing to for so long.

I loved this book. It was sexy, emotional and angsty, and I was hooked on the feeling.

“What does it feel like?” she asks quietly, reaching a timid finger out and touching my lip piercing.

I groan, challenging her. “You tell me.”

Douglas builds an atmosphere like others can only dream of. The scenes (can you hear the creaking of the chains in the abandoned fairground?), the aggressive music (this book contains lyrics which I normally find cringe worthy – these I actually read), fast cars and dark nights.

Then there’s the supporting cast. One dude, Trey, I wanted to punch in the face. Another, Manny, I wanted to put in my pocket and take home to look after.

Ryen is a flawed heroine – she’s a horrible person, at least at the beginning, and it’s brave of Douglas to write a main female character who isn’t someone you want to be. Romance readers can be hard on their female leads (whilst the guys get away with anything as long as they say ILY and don’t cheat) so to put you in the mind of someone you don’t like is brave. As much as I wanted to shake Ryen, I wanted to hurry the wising-up so the two of them could work out. And Misha, well, he’s brooding, tattooed and just ace, plus he goes through a lot so deserves his HEA.

Rating: A

p.s. If you’ve read Corrupt, you’ll be excited to see a shout out to the characters from that series.

Click to purchase: Amazon

Punk 57
by Penelope Douglas
Release Date: October 21, 2016


  1. Really good review. I’ve read very few anti-heroines that have redeemable qualities. Sounds like Ryen might be one to read about.

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