Please read. Well worth it
I kept thinking all day of something Pepper Winters had posted on her website, of it being long enough to keep us entertained until the release of the second book on June 5. I started this morning, would put it down for a few minutes, trying my hardest to prolong it, then promptly pick it right back up again. I’m just putting off the last few pages to write this. Maybe my favorite so far. Just...so good.
The Boy and His Ribbon (Ribbon Vol 1) — Pepper Winters
Theme Song: “Unstoppable” by Sia
When Ren escapes captivity, he thinks everything from his wretched childhood is behind him. Instead, a little girl with a blue ribbon steals away in his sack and ruins all his plans to live in isolation. She takes and takes and takes until they must leave his woodland sanctuary to survive. From babe to teenager, all Della knows is that Ren has always been there for her. He is everything to her: family, confidant, and ally. But he doesn’t want her the way she wants him. They can’t be together–it wouldn’t be right. But, since the day they flee her cruel parents, they never play by the rules. They are always Wild.
(I was given this Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) in exchange for an honest review.)
The Boy and His Ribbon was a tale of survival, friendship, and growth. It was fated love, surreptitious lust, and necessary lies. Desire. Heartache. Passion. They were never supposed to be together. Warring morals and transitioning love. Fate may have paired the unlikely duo, but it would take much more than that to keep them together.
This was one of my favorite Pepper Winter’s novels to date! It was not her normal dark romance; it was a coming-to-age contemporary with wicked undertones. While I seldom read YA–I highly recommend this for over sixteen–I thoroughly enjoyed this first half of The Ribbon Duet. My only critique is that part of the narrative felt too mature age-wise.
Hero rating: 4.5 stars
Heroine rating: 4.7 stars
Writing mechanics (literary elements/devices usage included): 4.8 stars
Plot rating: 4.8 stars
Dialogue rating: 4.7 stars
Storytelling rating: 4.7 stars
Story ending rating: 4.6 stars
Sexual tension rating: 4.7 stars
Sex scenes rating: N/A
Sex scenes frequency: 2 stars (not good nor bad, just occurrence rating)
Overall rating: 4.6 stars
Would I recommend this book: Yes.
Would I reread this book: Yes.
Would I read future books by this author: Yes.
Ren is my favorite word
I dont even know where to begin with this review. I think Pepper has out did her self with this book its so different from anything. I loved the double POV Ren and Della. The story is told over a span of time. Im so Obsessed with this book. I wish I could give more Stars, More Rave. Its Fantastic
Ren who was sold for slave work at a young age by his Mom. The more he witness on the farm and what has happened to him. He tries to find away to leave. When he finally gets everything he thinks he will need to run. He does he runs. He ran into the woods to never look back. Only he didnt expect someone else to come along. Now he has to figure out how he can mange to live with his unexpected find. He didnt grab enough food for both of them. He tried to get rid of her. Only he couldnt let her go. She was all he had he loved her. She was more family than hes ever known. Even when times got hard he always found happiness in her.
Della how she ever ended up in Rens backpack is still unknown. She was always fawned of him even as a baby. He was all she known he taught her so much more than they teach you in school. He taught her life how to hunt, skin rabbits, cook, all kinds of stuff while living in the woods. He wanted more for her each time it cost him more time in the open and the wood were on hold. Ren feared the world it was cruel and just when you think your ok your not.
The older they get life happens Seasons change living in the wild is not easy especially for a kid. They find shelter they make a living but people talk and you RUN again. When fate finally seems on their side with a place to stay, shelter, food ,clothes. They miss the woods. The say they are brother and sister to the outside world to stay together. Truth is they are not but at times they feel like they are family.
Time doesnt stand still They both grow-up Ren into a Man and Della in a woman. You fight the changes no matter how much you try. They find something are no longer ok No more bathing in the lake together, No more sharing a bed together, No more closeness for fear of others.
What happens when you start to feel more for someone you shouldn't? What happens when you cross the line? What happens when you lie to yourself for so long but your dying inside? Watching them with someone else when you want them for yourself. How can you keep going when everyone thinks its so wrong. You Run always Running always hiding from the truth. How can you not fall in love with the person who has always did all they could for you. How could you something so right feel like it just destroyed everything you ever known.
"I would die for her i would live for her i would kill for her"----- Swoon Aww my heart.
Beautiful, heartbreaking and sooo much more
I’m blown away with this book. Two words that describe this book is angst galore! The pull and chemistry of Ren and Della just makes your heart bleed for both of them. It’s beautiful, heartbreaking and this book is so different then any book I’ve ever read before. I felt the ribbon between Ren and Della pull so much your just hoping it will finally shred. The author brought us into there world trying to live then turning into woman and a man and living with the pull. I didn’t want this book to end. I can’t wait to read the next book the last book of this series. 5/5 Ribbon stars ****Reviewed by Sweet & Spicy Reads a voluntarily Advanced Reader Copy of this book ****
THIS! This Is Why I Love To Read!
Having finished this book, I immediately had to write my review. I had to do it immediately after because I wanted to make sure I wrote down everything this author made me feel, from the moment I started, up until I read the very last word.
I have so many emotions going through me right now. I am stunned. I am in awe. My heart is so heavy because it is filled with both love and sorrow to the point where if I experience just one more emotion, my heart might shatter and I may never recover......all because of The Boy And His Ribbon.
This book only reaffirms my belief that Pepper Winters is one of the most talented, mesmerizing authors in the book world today. Her ability to create unique storylines and spin tales that are absolutely addictive, paired with characters that are memorable and heart clutching, truly gives new meaning to the joy of reading.
The Boy And His Ribbon is the perfect example of why I love to read, why I’m excited to read and what will keep me reading for as long as life will allow me.
I don’t want to give one single detail away about this book’s plot, but I suppose I have to write something down, what with this being a review and all. So here is my attempt to give you something with nothing at all, because I feel you should read this story as blind as you could possibly be. Start with a clean canvas and let this story paint it with the colorful emotions that bleed from its pages.
This is the story of Ren and Della. Their story is filled with darkness and light, the forest and a cement jungle. Their story has struggle and sacrifice, conventional and unconventional love. It explores self discovery and denial that stems from a love that exceeds the meaning of love. It is not a rainbow and flowers type of read. It is something more profound than that. It gets you dirty with darkness and then dips you in light, only to start the cycle again in a deliciously addictive and vicious circle.
This is not my first story I’ve read from Pepper Winters and it certainly won’t be my last. How do I know that, you might ask? It’s because the follow up, The Girl And Her Ren, will be released on June 5th, and I will be there to read the conclusion to one of the best reads to have ever been put in front of me.
I would highly recommend this book and any other book by this author. Her talent is one that should be experienced by one and all.
Brilliant work by Pepper Winters
Pepper Winters destroyed me with this book. She ripped my heart out, left me in a tears, absolutely fried my emotions. I am only hoping she will put me back together. Oh my goodness what a book!!!!
It is unlike anything else Pepper usually writes, actually i have never read anything like it. It’s just brilliant.
This proves again that Pepper Winters is that amazing. She is capable to write any kind of genre and keep you hanging by the tread and asking for more.
I don’t think it’s possible to tell you about this book but not to give stuff away. Book is very unique and different. It brings you back to the youth and teenage years, innocents, heartbreak, first love but with a twist of course.
I will remember this book forever, it has some elements that “hit home” for me. I think this will be the book of the year for me, it left huge imprint in my mind. I love it and highly recommend it!
Brilliant job Pepper Winters!
Surviving the elements
The Boy and his Ribbon is about a boy and a baby, with ten years separating them in age. Both innocents facing the world with few necessities. The theme centered around change and its affect on the world, people, emotions, thoughts, body, and perspectives.
Pepper tells the story about a boy and a baby who fought to be free, surviving the elements, in the wild. Throughout this story the boy became a man and the baby became a woman. Change was imminent throughout this story. An innocence that developed into knowledge and with knowledge came the pain of reality. Ultimately it all comes down to freedom. The freedom to not be tied down.
It’s about survival, about growing up, about learning, about protection, about comfort, and about love. They were met with many complications and many obstacles. As time stretched, more roadblocks were met, some they could overcome and others they couldn’t. They persevered when necessary.
We get to witness Ren grow from boy to man. He was a selfless caregiver, friend, and provider. Ren had skills and a hard working work ethic that was unheard of for a young boy.
We also get to witness Della grow from baby to woman. Every milestone was outlined illustrating all stages of her life. She was a brave, strong, courageous, and stubborn female character.
Together they were an intense dynamic. Ren the over protective father figure who wanted an educated life full of possibility for Della. Della the dependent and reliable innocent who relied on Ren to provide a safe and loving environment for her to grow.
Pepper has always impressed me with her stories, the way she uses words and turns them into beautifully structured sentences. Everyone learns words, but not everyone has the talent to combine them in a way that entertains. This story reminds me of Unseen Messages with the way both stories spoke about survival.
While Pepper painted the perfect simple life of a loving bond between two kids in the wild nothing was simple about these growing characters. Life has so many curve balls that even a properly planned life couldn’t predict all the problems they encountered. The love between them is simple while being in love is complex.
It’s an exquisite story with so much Pepper in it from her love of horses, her love of rabbits, and her love of objects.(origami, needle and thread, crowns, birds, and ribbon)
Pepper Winters stole my heart with this story!
By Wendy LeGrand
Wow, I don't think I will be forgetting this story any time soon, if ever. What a hauntingly beautiful story!! And we're only half way through it. Ren and Della's story captured me from the very first page. It's SO many things. Tragic and realistic, savage at times, but also heartwarming and heart stopping. I am still a mess of emotions from reading.
Ren just broke my heart from the very beginning. A boy of 8 who is sold by his mother to a cruel slaver of a man who treats the children who work his farm worse than he does the livestock. A young boy just struggling to survive, by any means necessary. My heart was in my throat when he ran away, hoping against all hope that he would get away from the nightmare he lived.
Della McLary is just an infant when she somehow stole away in Ren's backpack. The daughter of the horrible people who made Ren's life a living hell everyday, she's just an innocent bystander but also guilty by association and condemned by Ren when he finds her hidden away. His head is telling him to just leave her behind but his heart tells him something different.
I was totally fascinated by and riveted to this story, of how Ren manages to survive in the wild for so many years, with a baby in tow. And even though Della is pretty useless in the beginning, she provides more support to Ren than he could have ever imagined. She becomes his ribbon, his constant source of comfort and strength, just like the ribbon she was clutching when he ran, the thing never leaving her hand.
Pepper tells the most amazing tale of survival, of how these two children managed to grow and thrive while living in the forest for years. As the years passed and they only had each other and no contact with anyone in the outside world, I had to wonder and worry how that was going to affect their relationship. Della was so young when they ran, she only knows Ren and no one else. He has singlehandedly raised her, provided for her, protected her. He IS her everything. And Ren, he's focused everything on taking care of Della, everything revolves around her and making sure she is provided for. No matter what it costs him.
It was inevitable that the lines would eventually start to blur from a familial relationship to something neither one could name. The years have passed by in a blur and suddenly Della is not a baby anymore. She's not even a kid anymore, she's growing into a woman and what does that mean? Ren won't be able to keep her to himself forever, but the thought of his ribbon ever leaving him is more than he can stomach.
Pepper is a master at venturing into taboo subjects. She has written plenty of dark romance, but this isn't that. It's something entirely different that I can't find the words to label. You will just have to read this beautifully heartbreaking story for yourself and form your own opinions, draw your own conclusions. I had a really funny feeling in my tummy that I couldn't pinpoint the cause of. I loved the beauty of the relationship between Ren and Della, that wholly committed to each other dynamic, but I eventually grew more and more scared of what was to come. Something was going to come to a head, and I wasn't sure I could handle it when it did. The only thing I can liken the feeling I had to is despair. Despair that Ren and Della won't be able to find a path forward together. And it they don't, what will happen to them?
This story is told with such beautifully poetic prose that I was just lost in the pages. The more I read, the more I knew that this is some of Pepper's best work yet. I just about died at the ending of this first book, and I don't know what I'm going to do with myself until book 2 releases in June. I know that I will be constantly thinking about Ren and Della, even while I'm reading other books. Man oh man, this wait is going to be excruciating.
Another Pepper Winters Masterpiece
As a boy, Ren was sold to a farmer as a slave. Wanting to be free from his horrific conditions he sets a plan in motion to escape. He never planned on a baby, Della, smuggling her way into his backpack when he did finally escape. What does a 10 year old boy on the run in the woods do with a 1yr old baby? As they grow older will they be found or can they survive alone, together in this world? This is not your typical book from Pepper but it is just as wonderful as all her books. She is a true storyteller! Part 1 of this duology is a must read and cannot wait for the second part of this story! Told in dual POV. A coming of age love story like no other!