I'm going to be completely honest here - I'm at a loss for words... This was my very first read within the "bully romance" genre, and I wasn't sure how I would feel about it. As someone who was bullied quite a lot growing up, I couldn't fathom the idea of falling for your tormentor. But Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas changed that for me, and I finally understood.
The past two days has been a back and forth between my and my sister, me texting her variations of "WTF?!?" several times as I read through this novel. Misha - the tortured bad boy who doesn't care about fitting in, only about being himself. Ryen - the closet geek and timid girl who hides behind a cruel facade and cares far too much about fitting in. My heart broke and jumped into my throat on several occasions as I glared, teared up, laughed, and even bared my teeth once or twice at my Kindle.
Misha and Ryen find solace and comfort in each other for 7 years whilst never meeting, only communicating via good old fashioned snail mail. The way they torture and torment each other throughout the book stole my breath away, her trying to show off for her friends while he's trying with everything in his power to find the girl he knows and loves beneath the mask.
It's heart breaking, thought provoking, gut wrenching, and raw. Two people who would probably never associate under normal circumstances coming together and sifting through the lies to finally figure out who they are.
Now I could go on for hours, but it would give the entire book away, and I really encourage you to read it. But please, I am begging you - be kind to one another. If someone is down, try to lift them back up. You don't need to be cruel to gain attention - you simply need to be you. Throughout this book, I kept thinking of a quote from a movie that I've always loved, so I'm going to leave you with it to mull over.
"Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out?" - Ian Wallace, What a Girl Wants