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Who Thought School Time Romance Could Be This Deep

Updated: Aug 25, 2022

Punk 57 is the second book of author Penelope Douglas that I have read. And now, I’m sure I’m going to read most or all of her novels. Maybe not immediately (I need a break from romance) but certainly not too far down the line.

Punk 57 is the story about Ryen and Misha. Quite uncommon names, and these names play an important role in how these two become Pen Pals. They have been writing to each other long enough for their letters to have grown from sharing of everything between friends to the friendship and the letters becoming each other’s only constant in a life of changes.

With this background, the story follows how Ryen and Misha start spending time around each other, hating each other, but somehow reach a point of passionate, hot, steaming, impulsive and possessive love. A love that has heartache in its fate because of the one single fact: when these two met for the first time, one of them knew who the other was but didn’t reveal their identity.

In this story, at various points, the reader may dislike the protagonists, or feel that a certain decision doesn’t make sense…or, at more places than one, feel exasperated with the fact that a huge chunk of the story happened only because one person did not reveal the truth, and the other person didn’t put their foot down to get the truth out.

That being said, this story has depth, well explored characters and a few twists that I didn’t see coming.

The book being written with the narrative points of view of both Ryen and Misha is a good thing, because otherwise, it could have been very difficult to establish the emotional weight these barely adults people have.

Lyrical poetry plays a major role in the story and for the most part, they are well written also well used as plot devices.

One gripe that I have with this book is that at two occasions, some aspects of the steamy scenes felt a bit gratuitous. The uninhibited manner in which Ryen opened up with Misha during their sexual encounters (including her dirty talk) didn’t feel natural for the character, rather, felt as though this facet was added to make the scenes more provocative.

This story also deals with bullying, self-doubts and insecurities in a real, a bit brutal way. While that added in making this story’s becoming deeper than a run-of-the-mill romance, it might also be a trigger for some.

I would recommend this for romance lovers, ages eighteen and older, only, obviously.

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