Philadelphia, 1985. A once bustling industrial metropolis is now a veritable wasteland, rife with joblessness, homelessness and explosive racial tensions. Out of the swill and misery, a familiar anarchistic sound has returned to the scene and there's a new, wild tribe of kids ready to show the city and America the error of its ways, whether either's ready for their political and musical take on things, or not.
Nineteen year old Gemma 'Swan' Stinson, a tall, sultry hellcat with long, dark auburn hair, piercing green eyes and fingernails as sharp as switchblades, is a tenacious street kid who's turned her abusive, addictive, catastrophic life around, becoming a brilliant college student, vigilant activist and a hard-working punk rock busker whose guitar prowess and exquisitely ranged voice leave her with dreams of a better life but never quite remove her from a flawed, complex and nightmarish past, or a resurfacing sinister figure, hoping to crush everything she loves.
Gem's undying devotion for her adopted punk family, the Misfits, is surpassed only by her love for eighteen-year-old classmate and singer, Robert 'Robbs' Cavelli, a New York expatriate with a conflicted view of where his future lies. Sharing in Gem's distaste over current politics, Rob rebels against his conservative upbringing in the suburban hell of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, which ultimately fuels his ambition to write the songs committing them to being "Punks for Life."
Narrated from Rob's literary perspective, PUNKS and the subsequent novels of the trilogy is an unrestrained ride of humor and heartbreak, triumphs and tragedies and envelops them into the riotous punk scene at famous venues such as Trenton's City Gardens, New York's CBGB's and Philly's underground clubs.
Rolling the dice on life's gambles, will Gem and Rob fall victim to the will of the streets or stand tall against them, because when you have the love of each other and your music, the chance to make it big, and your faithful tribe of punks, you've got nothing left to lose.