REVIEW: Lost Boi by Sassafras Lowrey

lost boi elenasquareeyesPan’s best boi Tootles narrates the story of the Neverland squat home, how the lost bois have created a home and their own version of a family and how the arrival of Wendi changes everything. The lost bois are loyal to Pan and refuse to join Hook and the leather Pirates, as they battle and learn they all refuse to grow up but sometimes things don’t always work out how they planned.

Lost Boi is a retelling of the Peter Pan story but it’s filed with a different sort of magic. It’s full of sex and drug references so it’s definitely not for younger readers but it somehow makes these things seem otherworldly and dangerous yet appealing. The writing is strangely beautiful sometimes as it shows the world of Neverland through a child’s eyes, a world which is in fact pretty grim and dangerous suddenly seems appealing when Tootles talks about it.

As the reader you get thrown into the world that the lost bois are living and it’s sometimes a bit hard to figure out what’s going on and how these characters that you know like Tinkerbell are really so different and how they fit in this version of the tale. Tootles does his best to describe what’s happening in Neverland but it’s almost like it has a different language and it takes a while for you to grasp what is really happening like with the “battles” between the lost bois and the pirates.

Lost Boi is fascinating because of the dom/sub themes present both in relationships and in just sex. The way in which all the characters interact are influenced by a hierarchy present in Neverland and in the way they interact with both Hook’s pirates and the mermaids. In this tale the mermaids are in fact young women who live in a house on the water and are very likely to be prostitutes.

Tootles and a lot of the other characters are queer or gender fluid and it’s something that is never really explicitly stated. These characters are how they are and it’s up to the reader to pick up on these things and how they react to having it just there in this book. Sex, drugs and being queer is normal in Lost Boi and it’s up to the reader how they react, if they judge because the characters certainly aren’t judging anyone.

It’s quite hard to talk about Lost Boi because there are so many mature themes and it can feel weird because while it’s a completely different story, this is a retelling of a children’s story that we all have some connection to. The mature elements with the child’s innocence can be an odd and uncomfortable mix.

Lost Boi is completely different to anything I’ve read before, the way it turns the Peter Pan story on its head can sometimes be a bit uncomfortable and shocking but it’s also captivating. 3/5.

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