“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.
Roxie and Jen’s Review
The world isn’t always what’s right in front of you, you know? It’s below, it’s above, it’s out there somewhere.
Misha and Ryen. So close but worlds apart. Fate threw them together when they were assigned to be pen pals in the fifth grade. Their friendship blooms and what a friendship it is. Solid. Honest. Unbreakable. Or is it?
Ryen had always been the outcast, the awkward one. Tired of being on the sidelines, she reinvents herself into someone who would fit in. A mean girl, a gossip, a cheerleader–popular and admired. All the while remaining her “old self” in her letters to Misha.
Misha—the hot, tattooed musician you just want to take a bite of is true to himself and a what you see is what you get kinda person. He is the type of person who doesn’t have any pretenses and loves that Ryen shares that same quality.
They remain pen pals all throughout high school and one night they cross paths. She doesn’t know who he is and he decides to keep it that way.
He snakes his way into her life quickly realizing that she isn’t the person she said she was.
As the storyline progresses we learn what makes these characters tick and how far some will go to be accepted.
“We’re all ugly, Ryen. The only difference is, some hide it and some wear it.”
In true Penelope style, you travel with these characters, walk the halls with them, go to parties and feel as though your actually “with” them as opposed to just reading their story.
Punk 57 is a story that shows you both sides of such a huge problem with society today—bullying. It’s a huge eye opener and filled with a very important message. Be kind, stay true to who you are and always believe in yourself.
“Life is fifty wrong turns down a bumpy road. All you can hope is that you end up somewhere nice.”
The love story between Ryen and Misha was one bumpy ride with crazy hot times and moments that will break your heart.
About Penelope Douglas
Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author living in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her cleaning or trolling the IMDb message boards, arguing with other Star Wars fanatics. Her books include the Fall Away series (Bully, Until You, Rival, Falling Away, and Aflame). Please look for her recent standalones, Corrupt and Misconduct. Available now. Look for Punk 57, coming Oct. 21, 2016, and Next to Never (A Fall Away Novella) coming January 17, 2017.
*represented by firstname.lastname@example.org
Connect With Penelope