Book Review: The Boy With Words by C. E. Wilson

The first word that comes to mind to describe The Boy With Words by C.E. Wilson is unique (title links to Goodreads). On Goodreads, it has under a hundred ratings and reviews which leads me to believe that it isn’t well known – I probably wouldn’t have known about it, so I’m really happy that I got to read and review it!

Just for some background here is the blurb from Goodreads:

White Frost has only ever known the darkness. Everything outside of her closed society is The Unknown – a strange and dangerous place accessible to only a chosen few. White’s only 29207686glimpse of the world beyond comes from her beloved cousin in the form of mysterious collections of words that hint at astonishing wonders. When an accident upends her simple existence, she’s given an unlikely chance to see the truth for herself. What she finds is greater and more terrible than she could have imagined, and before long she is forced to make the most important choice of her life: does she accept her safe, limited world that she’s known or take a desperate gamble in a world not meant for her with the Boy with Words? 

Besides this blurb, I knew absolutely nothing about this book going into it, which I think worked out in my favor; it completely surprised me at how much I enjoyed reading it. Though that isn’t to say that it’s perfect – nothing is, right?

The Characters 

It took a lot of time for me to warm up to White as a character. While I can relate to her stubbornness and desire to see more of the world, she acted very distant and cold to a lot of her peers and tended to be manipulative at times. When she finally meets Kes – the boy with words – she becomes more likable to me.

Supporting characters, a brother and sister duo, Salt and Pepper are interesting. I was definitely wary of Salt, but liked his sister Pepper. I think each served the purpose of providing certain wisdoms for White.

Kes, short for Kestrel, was a very likable character for me. I could tell right away that he’s someone that probably tended to be the strange one out simply because he kind of does what he wants and doesn’t care what society thinks of him; kind of like White, ultimately.

The Writing

I thought the writing was great. Wilson did a great job with descriptions and hints about White’s society without giving away too much and avoiding major info dumps. For the most part, everything flowed well and made sense.

The Plot

The story was engaging and intriguing from the start. You get very little information about where White lives and why her society is set up the way it is. As I got further into the book, I totally thought I was reading a Dystopia of some sorts with similarities to City of Ember or something. I was only sort of right. But I won’t give a spoiler.

White will do pretty much anything to see the world outside her society and soon her opportunity presents itself and she takes it. And she’s blown away by what is out there. I, as a reader, was as well, although I had my guesses. This is when she meets Kes and after a couple mishaps, their friendship grows. But doing all of this is dangerous and soon White is confronted with a choice.

This book has its up and downs as we follow White through her choices and adventures. I was happy for her, sad for her, and scared for her. I felt like I was right there with her the whole time. Wilson did a great job with the plot, though were some points where I thought to myself why I needed to read this. But I don’t think it detracted from the story too much.

What I Disliked

Luckily there wasn’t a lot I didn’t like about this book. I think the biggest things were that there were a few chapters that seemed to drag the story on just a little too much. I could see the relevance, but I could also see how the story could work without some of these sections. Also, while the story is unique, it’s also a little weird, especially when you look at just the love story part, but I think ultimately it works for the story.

If you’re looking for a unique story about a girl who just wants to see the world and find her place in it, then I suggest you pick this up!

**I received a review copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Boy With Words by C. E. Wilson

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