Review: Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

Bully meets bully in this so-called by Penelope Douglas. Misha and Ryen have been penpals since fifth grade. Now in their senior year of high school, the pair continue to exchange letters regularly. Then one day, Misha meets Ryen quite unexpectedly and he discovers that she is far from the outsider, indie chick that she claimed to be in her letters. In fact, Ryen is the leader of a group of mean, popular kids and the head cheerleader at her school. And so, Misha--who has already graduated--forges an elaborate plan to teach Ryen and her friends the ultimate lesson ...

Punk 57 is not your average nostalgic high school romance. And it is definitely not for children. Relying on emotionally charged and unrealistic scenes, stereotypical characters and eighteen year olds whose sexual lives match that of an experienced and adventurous adult, this feels more like a clumsy attempt to create porn for people who didn't fit in at high school. Misha is the worst kind of bully and his behaviour toward Ryen is tantamount to sexual abuse, as can be observed in a scene where he manipulates her into kissing him, and then parts with the comment, 'You taste like shit.' For reasons that are completely beyond me, Ryen falls for him anyway. Apparently that's okay, because Misha soon discovers that she has reasons for acting the way she does, and now she's trying to change just for him. As for Misha, it turns out that he has more than one reason for enrolling at the school and that side of the story seems completely ludicrous and feels resoundingly unfinished at the end of the novel, even after the big confrontation and reveal. I found many of the scenes to be overly emotional and very unrealistic. 

Overall, a disappointing read. 

Not recommended.


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