Ryen and Misha have been friends for years – but only through their letters. They’ve never met in person and only know what the other writes in their letters. They’re perfect on paper, but when they meet all hell breaks loose.
Published: October 21st, 2016
Publisher: Penelope Douglas LLC
Pages: 341 (Kindle)
Series: N/A – Standalone
“I think that’s why people stay unhappy for so long, you know? Miserable or not, it’s easier to stick with what’s familiar.”
I can’t help but smile at the lyrics 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 phone number or picture or something.
He could be gone forever.
Or right under my nose, and I wouldn’t even know it.
“Eventually we all have to weigh what we want more: wanting back what we had or wanting what could be. To stay or to risk everything to move forward.”
This settles it. Penelope Douglas is officially my favorite author. Ever. Hands-down. I’ve never read anything like her books before and I’ve never read anything that made me feel the way her books do. I’m just in love with her and her books.
This was my first dip into her other works – so far I’ve only read her Devil’s Night series – and I’ve come to see that all her books are amazing. Just pure gold. Her books just have that dynamic to them that put me on the edge of my seat and at the same time has me rooting for the “bad guy” in that situation. And they’re so sexy. Nobody writes New Adult the way Penelope Douglas writes New Adult. I don’t think anyone could even compare.
I loved the premise of this book. It was so original and fun, and the fact that they had been pen pals since grade school added this super sweet element to the book and their relationship. Per the usual, the plot of this book was pretty intense. A lot of friend and family drama and some pretty deep themes, but it was really realistic and didn’t feel overly dramatic. The addition of themes and ideas like school bullying, fitting in or standing out, and the sexual harassment that sometimes gets over looked in schools felt really real to me and I remember facing these things while I was in school.
The characters in this book were absolutely perfect. Ryen was a totally believable character for me and I found her really easy to relate to. I remember being in high school and just wanting to fit in and never have to feel alone in a crowd, I understood her motives for hiding who she really was and trying to blend in. I think we can all relate to that feeling of uncertainty and longing. Misha (or Masen) was a total babe and the meaner he was to Ryen the more attracted to him I was. I don’t understand how Penelope makes these super rude douche bag characters and I still can’t help but fall in love with them. Literally blows my mind, but the men in her books are some of my favorite book boyfriends. Both characters were sort of living this double life (that I won’t get into for spoiler reasons) but pulling away at their layers and really seeing them for who they are was my favorite part of this book.
While I would have been happy with this being a series, I think it worked really well as a stand-alone. I lost my mind when the Horsemen showed up in the ending! It was such a fun surprise, and seeing their connection to Misha was just another little twist in the plot. The epilogue was amazing and the perfect way to wrap up this wonderful book. This really was one of my favorites I’ve read in a long time, and I have a feeling I’ll be thinking about this book for a while.
Penelope Douglas is an extremely talented writer and if you haven’t read her work yet then you seriously need to. She blends these amazing worlds, realistic characters, deep themes, and steamy romance scenes all together to create these masterpiece books. I can’t wait to read more of hers and follow her new releases!
Find Punk 57 here:
P.S. If you’re interested, here’s the link to my review of her novel Hideaway, the second book in her Devil’s Night series, and the books that started my love for her!