I have to admit that I was really excited yet nervous to read Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas. I have really loved the books of her Fall Away Series, yet I had a ton of problems with her story Corrupt. Punk 57 is a standalone story, though it is connected to Corrupt and those that have read Corrupt will recognize some familiar faces. I did have some problems with this book, and while I didn't dislike it as much as I did Corrupt, I didn't like it nearly as much as I did the Fall Away Series.
Misha and Ryen were set up as pen pals when they were kids, and the letters they sent back and forth were everything to them. They only had a few rules between them, and those were no pictures, phone numbers, and absolutely no social media. Everything was perfect until Misha found Ryen online and they met in person. He quickly discovers that the Ryen he knew was different from the Ryen in real life. Three months go by and Ryen doesn't hear from Misha, and soon she begins to wonder what happened to him. But can Ryen and Misha find their way back to what they had before, or has everything been changed now that they are no longer just pen pals and have actually met in real life, even if Ryen doesn't know it?
I will admit that part of what bothers me about Penelope's recent books is that not only are they a bit too similar at times for me, but the heroes seem to be a bit too big of jerks for me. With Jared it was one thing, but each book since, they are almost carbon copies of each other with just the details changed. They treat the heroines like crap because of things that they either believe (without actually knowing for sure most often) or their own insecurities and issues. Usually I have a tough time getting past it because I just don't understand where they are coming from or why they assume they know everything when it is so obvious they don't. Unfortunately that was part of my problem here. I did not care for some of the things that Misha did, and I didn't like how he treated Ryen at times. I also have to say that Ryen was far from perfect and some of my problems were with her as well. But I just struggled with their choices and couldn't get past some of what they did, even though they did have strong chemistry and a connection that they didn't share with anyone else.
I think that fans of Bully and Corrupt will enjoy this story, as it was pretty much a mix of the two. Unfortunately for me, Corrupt wasn't my favorite story, and things are starting to feel a bit repetitive when it comes to Penelope Douglas's books. As much as I have loved the Fall Away series, I don't want to keep reading the same thing over and over with just a few of the details changed, and that is what it is starting to seem like every time I pick up a new story from her. I can only handle so many jerk heroes that treat the heroines like crap for the dumbest reasons before it gets old, and I have pretty much reached my limit here. I do like dark stories and I even enjoy it occasionally when we get a hero that is a bit bad and more anti-hero than hero. But I also don't want every book I read to be similar and for all the heroes to be jerks, when there are so many to choose from. I think that Penelope Douglas is a talented writer, but I really hope that her future books break this habit that she seems to have boxed herself into, or unfortunately I don't know how many more I will be able to take.
**ARC Provided by Author**