Before I started writing this Punk 57 Book Review I read a few reviews on Goodreads to see what everybody else thought. Booktok is also all over the moon about this book and some people on Facebook Groups about romance are too. So, I had to check this out for myself. I read in a review that we must not judge a character by the way we believe they should act based on our own actions. And, honestly, I don’t think I do that. I picked up this book with nothing in my mind, I didn’t even read the synopsis before starting it. However, it’s really hard not to judge a character who is not short of despicable. I try not to judge, I do! But, this time it was impossible. Sometimes, I’m shocked by what romance readers like. If they liked THIS, then, the bar is REALLY low. It feels like people read these books IGNORING all the plot and relationship facts just to read the smut part, which is the only part that is the saving grace of this. So, let’s start this Punk 57 book review and Punk 57 book summary. Sighs.
Punk 57 Book Summary: No spoilers
Misha and Ryen have been pen-pal friends for 7 years. They’d never met and promised to never meet not to ruin their relationship. However, they live only 50km apart, in small towns, and Misha is part of a band, that promotes an event in a place close to Ryen’s town. To his surprise, she’s there. She doesn’t recognize him but he does. He doesn’t say anything, though.
Some months later, a mysterious new student shows up in Ryen’s high school. She is a popular, vain, cheerleader, who bullies other people and has a relationship with the quarterback. She is surrounded by fake friends who clearly hate each other, but she despises the idea of being alone. This new kid is a punk, looks like a delinquent, and seems to hate her, as she’s a bully and she steals some stuff from him (without knowing it was him). At the same time, someone has been vandalizing the school with graffiti, and everybody thinks it’s this new student, Masen.
They hate each other until one day when they meet late at night, at school, and a secret is revealed. The relationship is still toxic and bitter, full of bullying and hate, but, now, they start f*cking.
The Official Punk 57 Summary:
“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.
Punk 57 Book Review – What I Liked about Punk 57: *Maybe Some Spoilers*
So, I figured I should start with the good part before starting absolutely bashing a book. Before I started, I thought about myself: “focus, Isadora, you must have seen SOMETHING good at least.” So, I came up with this list, and I’ll analyze it topic by topic:
- Misha is interesting
- The pen pal thing is cool
- I thought it was about a band
- The smutty scenes are goods
- There’s a cool plot twist
Punk 57 Book Review: Misha is Interesting
Okay, so I love my punk characters. When I read the book title, I was immediately interested. Who doesn’t love a bad boy? I have written myself a book about young delinquents (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09RGM7CJL).
And, the first chapter is really good. Misha is nice, interesting, and mysterious. Most of these bad boy guys are as*holes and this is different with him. He cares about his sister, he’s in love with this girl, he goes to this party to support his friends, he’s in a band. The setting of the first chapter is also really cool. He has great chemistry with his friends, and his personality is nice.
I just wish it had lasted…
Punk 57 Book Review: The Pen Pal Thing
I had never written a romance book where the main characters were pen pal friends. I thought the letters were cool and mysterious and, like the characters, I wanted to get more letters, and see what was happening in them. Read how different they were behaving in the letter versus in real life. Develop these two personalities, the letter one and the real one.
Too bad Misha stops writing them AFTER THE FIRST CHAPTER! Ugh. He spends the rest of the book hurt because the real Ryen is different than the Ryen in the letters, and I thought this sucked.
Punk 57 Book Review: I thought it was about a band
The first chapter has a super cool scenario where the two characters meet and they’re at this party with Misha’s band. The party is to get money for a tour, and as the name is PUNK, I thought music and this band thing would play a huge part in the story.
Man, was I wrong.
Punk 57 Book Review: The smutty scenes are goods
I was at 50% of the book and the sex hadn’t started yet. I thought this was a lost cause, it probably was a clean book… when they finally started getting going. FINALLY! The sex scenes were good and hot. They have a lot of chemistry in those. The only problem is when they put their pants on again and go back to talking. Then, ugh. But after half of the book, there are loads of sex scenes, which makes it much better than before.
It’s just sad that because of that, many readers give this book 5 stars, ignoring all the rest. By the time I got to the sex scenes, I hated them both so much that I almost felt like skipping their intimacy moment.
Punk 57 Book Review: There’s a Cool Plot Twist
I won’t ruin it for you but there’s a cool plot twist on who the Punk is. I’ll only say that.
Punk 57 Book Review – What I Hated about Punk 57: *Maybe Some Spoilers*
- The freaking female protagonist, who is a bully, and a terrible human being;
- How ridiculous it all feels;
- How forced the relationship is, no chemistry at all;
- The high school drama
- The other characters: Trey and Lyla, and poor Manny
Punk 57 Book Review: Ryen SUCKS
When I started writing this review, I literally could not remember the protagonist’s name. I think I hated her so much that my brain forgot her name. She’s despicable. She’s a bully, she hates who she is but she keeps doing that, she’s shallow, she’s a liar; she doesn’t have not even ONE REDEEMING quality.
I know it’s hard to write female characters. Usually, the girls are judged harshly. If they’re weak, they’re the weak princess waiting for her prince to save her, a bad-developed character. If they’re too strong, they’re unrealistic, a tomboy that hates feminine stuff and thinks tears are bad. I GET IT. But in this case, there’s nothing that helps Ryen’s case. She’s one of those shallow popular girl stereotypes that we love to hate. And instead of breaking this stereotype, she just makes it worse! She sometimes says “I know I shouldn’t be like this but I don’t like to not fit in.” We have a small pinch of hope that she’ll get some self-reflection but she just shrugs it off and keeps being terrible.
As a writer myself, I know how it is to write female characters. It is hard. I’m all for twisted characters. They can start as an horrible ass, but they will grow in the story and learn something. Ryen doesn’t. She doesn’t change at all. She’s just a spoiled brat bully surrounded by terrible friends. If someone changed, this is Misha, who changed to fit what she wanted of a guy and became a bully himself.
Punk 57 Book Review: How Ridiculous It All Feels
Everything is bad. The writing is bad. The scenarios are bad. Misha starts living under a different name in a different city, being basically homeless, and he still gets to go to school every day, and the thing that’s in his mind is this popular cheerleader bully. How did he enroll in school with a different name? Where does he get money? How could he live in this abandoned theme park? Why is there power in this abandoned theme park? This whole book feels like a fantasy. It ignores worldbuilding, character building, relationship building, etc.
Punk 57 Book Review: How forced the relationship is, no chemistry at all;
I love myself a good enemies to lovers story. Usually, they hate each other but they have chemistry, they’re always flirting beneath the acid comments.
Not here, my friends. There. IS. NO. Chemistry at all. It’s awkward, forced, disgusting. Misha gets close to her on the first day they meet, licks her cheek, and tells her that she tastes like shit.
When they talk, I feel like my eyes are going to go inside my skull of how hard I roll them.
Misha is a completely different person when he’s with her. He stops being nice and caring to become a bully asshole. Not in a good way. It’s just terrible. Every time they interact you wish that they would suddenly die just to make it end sooner.
Punk 57 Book Review: The High School Drama
When the book starts and they’re in a party with a band, marijuana, alcohol, cool guys, I thought, wow, cool! And then, the next day, THEY ARE IN HIGH SCHOOL! NOOOOOOOOO!
I thought these guys would be 20-something but they’re actually 17. Minors.
Disgusting. Wrong. The high school drama is so ridiculous. They’re deciding who they’re going to prom with. And here I thought they would be on a world tour with a band. No, they have to sit their exams still and ask mommy and daddy for money to go to the cinema on the weekend.
No. Freaking. Way.
Punk 57 Book Review: All The Other Characters
And here you thought that Ryen and Misha were bad. Wait till you hear about Tyler (is it Tyler? I forgot now. Yes. He’s this insignificant) and Lyla.
Okay, I checked my notes and it’s Trey, not Tyles. He’s a quarterback asshole of kinds, with absolutely no chemistry again, borderline rapist, and Ryen hates him. But still accepts going out with him. Why? Because! There’s no self-reflection, no ulterior motive besides “I don’t like not fitting in.” For goodness sake.
Lyla is “her best friend” who fucks Trey behind her back, always messes with her, and they’re clearly hateful. They hate each other. But they insist they’re friends. Again, is there a self-reflection there? Absolutely none. She’s friends with her because she’s the popular kid, and that’s it.
And there’s this poor emo kid, Manny, who doesn’t say one word. He’s there just to be bullied by Trey, Lyla, and, of course, Ryen. He’s a character who has no life of his own, he was invented just to serve the purpose of being bullied by these stupid kids. I was SO hoping that there would be a plot twist where Manny went there and killed all of them, making this book at least a little interesting.
Punk 57 Book Review Questions and Answers:
I found these questions on Google, so I thought I’d answer some.
What type of book is Punk 57?
Punk 57 fits in a very specific subgenre called: Dark High School Bully Romance (contemporary, not paranormal)
Is Punk 57 appropriate?
Punk 57 is absolutely not appropriate, actually, the only good part is the 18+ scenes.
Is Punk 57 a bully romance?
Punk 57 is a bully romance. A Dark High School Bully Romance.
Is Misha from Punk 57 a girl or boy?
Misha is a boy. Both Ryen and Misha have gender-neutral names, and that’s why they started to be pen pals, their teachers thought Misha was a girl and Ryen was a boy.
What does the title Punk 57 mean?
Punk 57 title analysis: the Punk part is because of a Punk that’s graffitiing the school and nobody knows who they are. We find it out later on in the book. The 57 part, I believe, is because of a poem that Misha writes about being 57 ways f*cked up, almost like Christian Grey says he’s 50 shades of fucked up.
Why is Punk 57 Inappropriate? Should a 15-year-old read Punk 57? Does Punk 57 have Spice?
Punk 57 is inappropriate because it’s full of spice, and is also a terrible book. And no, no 15-year-old should read this.
How long does it take to read Punk 57?
I read Punk 57 in under 2 hours.
Punk 57 Book Review: Final Thoughts
Absolutely horrible. Not worth it. If you want to read smut, there are a bunch of better books out there to do so. You don’t need to waste time with this one. My thoughts are exactly the same as those of these girls on Goodreads: