The Boy and His Ribbon by Pepper Winters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Boy and His Ribbon is a dark, winding tale of abuse, survival, and forbidden love. This book is definitely not a traditional romance and has elements that are somewhat taboo. Nonetheless, I found this book to be very well written, intriguing, and emotional.
The story follows Della and Ren, two children on the run after escaping from an abusive house of terrors. Della is the McClary’s biological daughter, while Ren is not. He was being held hostage and forced to do labor for them. When Ren, who is much older than Della, escapes, he takes her with him and their saga of survival begins.
As Ren tries to learn how to survive in a world away from the horrendous farm, he takes on a caregiver role for Della. The two grow up and grow together, both each other’s world entire. Nonetheless, when decades pass and the two are grown, those feelings of love will get more complex and confusing.
I will say that some people may find this book a bit taboo. Nonetheless, Pepper Winters handles the topic in a respectable, understandable manner. She manages to make the somewhat taboo topic the central conflict and also something the reader can fathom and even accept. The characters were well-crafted, and the plot was so intriguing. Nothing about this story is cliché or overdone—it truly is a piece that stands out in a crowd of stories.
I loved the back and forth feel of the book thanks to the alternating point of view. It really helped me understand both characters and their reasoning for their actions. In a dark world full of violence and abuse, Ren and Della find hope in each other, which is a beautiful thing.
I cannot wait to read the next book, The Girl and Her Ren, which releases this June. Thank you, Pepper Winters, for a uniquely engaging storyline that really had me thinking about the lines in love, survival, and what it means to truly love someone unconditionally.
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