You have to go into this story with an open mind. You have to believe in something that’s hardly believable.
I received this advanced reading copy from the author via NetGalley but it had no influence whatsoever on my always honest review.
Dear Professor Baxter, I know you asked us to write something true that reads as fake, but I have a problem. I’m not trying to be difficult and refuse to do the assignment but…well, this problem of mine…it’s a fairly big problem. You see, I’m not allowed to tell the truth. Ever. Like literally, forbidden on pain of death. Ever, ever, ever. You want us to write a story based on reality, but my entire life I’ve lived a reality based on a story. Every town I ever lived, every school I ever went to, every friend I made, and enemy I crossed, they all got told a tale.
So began the story of The Boy and His Ribbon, a work like none other Pepper Winters stories.
This is the story of Ren and Della through the span of ten years. How they met, what they faced, how they protected each other. Every low and every up. Every hope and every despair. Every moment of innocent joy and every lust filled thoughts.
Told in dual POV with Della writing her story for a school assignment it had an enthralling quality.
You have to go into this story with an open mind. You have to believe in something that’s hardly believable. Don’t shy away. Don’t be picky and think it’s just impossible. Just go with the flow and let the story lull you into its depth.
I don’t want to spoil anything and the synopsis is quite evasive so I’ll go the factual way but don’t be fooled, this story left me all but indifferent! I was a cauldron of swirling emotions.
Some facts or statements:
- First: Pepper Winters did an incredible job reminding us what being kids and growing up through teenage years with raging hormones and mood swings was. This book covers about eighteen years of the character’s lives. We witness Ren going from a young kid to a man and Della from baby to young woman. All this through incredibly harsh circumstances. It always amazes me when authors can write so accurately about children and teenagers. Experiencing the strange reactions your body went through. How embarrassing and frightening it can be without proper guidance! Pepper has passed with flying colors!
- Second: Ren is wild and made to live in the woods. He is a noble hero pure at heart. Nearly a Saint. No wonder Della said she could not avoid falling in love with him! He was savage and lost until he “found” Della. She’s been his guiding light. The one inspiring him to do better, to be better, to be worthy. It is short to amazing how Ren turned out to be such honorable hero when he had horrid humans “taking care” or rather exploiting him. It shows that worth is not to be measured to the size of your bank account but to your actions, courage and work.
Ren is deeply protective of Della and that’s the kind of hero that I love!
“Good girl,” I whispered. “You’re very brave.” The transformation in her entire body blinded me. A smile spread. Cheeks pinked. Spine straightened. Any sign of sickness and starvation from living in the wild deleted, all because of one morsel of praise. There was a key in that. A message that all humans—tiny or ancient—needed nutrition in the form of love as well as everything else.
- Third: this story emphasizes the importance of your upbringing and role model in becoming someone good or bad. Genetics is not all, upbringing is even more important.
- Fourth: it was a nearly permanent heartache as I rooted for Della, even so young. I wanted… something that I didn’t get and hope to get in the sequel, hopefully. I would have given my last half star if some parts would have been cut or brushed as the long wait and the complicated path frustrated me so much! But that’s good as it made me experience the character’s emotions!
It’s not exactly YA as you have heated thoughts and mounting needs but it’s far from Tears of Tess. I guess you could say it’s NA if you have to brand it.
I want to conclude with: I need the sequel now!
Yes you have guessed it ends on a cliffhanger or rather an open ending or an ending that you want to change.
Male MC: ***** (noble, protective, loyal, caring, resourceful)
Female MC: ***** (protective, kind, humble, sweet, courageous)
Heat: **** (even if it’s the longest foreplay I’ve ever read about)
Side characters: ***/2 (they don’t take the center place and I wanted to slap some)
Overall reading enjoyment: ****1/2
Have you read this book? Or any of Pepper’s books?
Happy Thursday and thanks for reading!