Review of The First Rule of Punk by Celia C Perez (hardcover)



The First Rule of Punk by Celia C Perez

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.

There are no shortcuts to surviving your first day at a new school–you can’t fix it with duct tape like you would your Chuck Taylors. On Day One, twelve-year-old Malú (Maria Luisa, if you want to annoy her) inadvertently upsets Posada Middle School’s queen bee, violates the school’s dress code with her punk rock look, and disappoints her college-professor mom in the process. Her dad, who now lives a thousand miles away, says things will get better as long as she remembers the first rule of punk: be yourself.

The real Malú loves rock music, skateboarding, zines, and Soyrizo (hold the cilantro, please). And when she assembles a group of like-minded misfits at school and starts a band, Malú finally begins to feel at home. She’ll do anything to preserve this, which includes standing up to an anti-punk school administration to fight for her right to express herself!

Black and white illustrations and collage art throughout make The First Rule of Punk a perfect pick for fans of books like Roller Girl and online magazines like Rookie.




I really loved this book and I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner. It’s always on my yearly TBR, but I never get around to it. It jumped out to me this week and I’m glad it did. I read this in one day.

Malu is Mexican on her mom’s side and white on her dad’s side. Malu’s mom is always pushing her to embrace her culture more and to be a lady. But Malu is a punk like her dad. He owns a record store and teaches her about what it takes to be punk. When Malu’s mom makes them move to Chicago for two years, Malu is angry and bitter. She is bullied by a girl there because she’s not Mexican enough and her Spanish isn’t perfect. But Malu finds a coffee shop with owners that are like her. Their son, Joe, goes to the same school and they start talking. Malu decides she wants to start a band for a talent show and recruits two other kids. The group gets together to practice, but Malu doesn’t tell her mom about it. She’s too worried about how she’ll react to a punk band. Things don’t always go well and the band feels discriminated by the school. They decide to do something really punk to get the attention they deserved to have.

The book is full of zines that Malu makes and I loved those so much. The artwork is great and they really add to the book. I loved all the culture and that it took place in Chicago. I love punk music and style, so this book was pretty perfect for me.

I gave this book 5 stars.


Have you read this?  Is it on your TBR?





Author: confessionsofayareader

I'm Kristi. I'm a wife, mom, and grandma. I have been breeding leopard geckos for ten years. I love to read and have been trying to review more books (the reason for this blog besides wanting to talk about books with everyone). I also love music and going to concerts, mostly punk and pop punk.

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