The First Rule of Punk – Celia C. Pérez

32050089.jpgThe First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: August 22nd, 2017
Publisher: Viking BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Fast
Genres &  Themes: Middle Grade, School, Friendship, Culture


From debut author and longtime zine-maker Celia C. Perez, The First Rule of Punk is a wry and heartfelt exploration of friendship, finding your place, and learning to rock out like no one’s watching.


What a lively book.

This spunky heroine definitely reminded me of what it means to be young and passionate. (Can’t believe I need reminding—aah, university, what are you doing to me!?) When the principal tells her the punk makeup she’s wearing is not welcome in the school, she finds new ways of showing her style.

Whenever someone tells her she can’t do something, she tries twice as hard, instead of giving up. She reminded me of… me! I used to be seriously scared of getting into trouble at school and then not get my diploma, or worse, end up in jail! Pouuufff, I’ve ruined my life.

Malu is a little bit like that too. Although she believes in punk behavior and doing what she believes is right despite possible consequences, part of her still wants to avoid getting into trouble and disappointing figures of authority.

Some have shelved this book under ”graphic novel”. It is NOT a graphic novel. It does, however, contain a lot of zines (short free magazines created on a specific topic), so there is visual art. But this is not at all a visual story. It’s one hundred percent a novel, just with awesome zines that give more punk to the novel. I needed to clarify that, because Goodreads shelves have deceived me more than once in the past.

There is also much talk of Mexican culture in this book, as the heroine herself is half Mexican and has a love-hate relationship with the Spanish language, even though she now goes to a middle school with a majority of Spanish-speaking kids.

Will she ever feel like she belongs?

Pssst! It’s pretty remarkable that 100% of people liked this book on Goodreads, but not surprising, as it is a compelling read.


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