Lost Boy or Lunatic?


Madysen Alvarez, Writer

Growing up, fairytales were a large part of our childhood. They shaped us and have followed us throughout our lives. We were inspired by heroic actions and fantastical worlds. I remember Peter Pan was a story I loved, watching various movies and shows and reading books on the simple story of a boy who will never be a man. Yet, never did I imagine such a horrific background to such an innocent tale.

In the book, Lost Boy, by Christina Henry, we discover the background of the Peter Pan we thought we knew. The book is told through the eyes of Jamie, or better known as Hook, a lost boy himself and Peter’s right-hand man. However, after centuries on the island, his admiration for Peter begins to fade, and Jamie starts to see Peter as the demented villain he is. The pretty lie of being happy forever turns into the ugly truth of violence and inescapable death on the island. This discovery leaves Jamie in an impossible situation. With everybody’s life at risk from Peter’s wrath, Jamie attempts to find a way off the island, but he soon finds out that Peter’s secrets go far beyond what he thought.

This book was hard to put down. Page after page, I tried to find relief yet found nothing but horror and heartbreak. The novel takes everything you know about Peter Pan as an innocent lost boy and puts him into a horrifying light, making it hard to keep reading but impossible to stop. I loved every part of this book, but it is not for everybody. The violence and gory details in this story shocked and scarred me, and I am not usually one to shy away from horror.

Let’s start with the positives of this book. It was an incredible read, with a riveting plot that kept me turning the page. It held so much emotion for the characters, and I could not help but love each and every one of the boys. Several of the boys reflected different people in my life because of how relatable each character was. The story was personal, as Lost Boy took an important fantasy that was a part of nearly all our lives and twisted it into a story of betrayal and hurt. After reading this retelling, I can only see Peter as the selfish, violent boy that the novel reveals him as.

The downside of this book relates to its genre: horror. With a lot of horror books, death and gore are a given. However, I felt every other chapter included a scene that made me sick to my stomach. The writing was so beautifully constructed that I could, unfortunately, vividly picture each battle and slaughter. This book is not for the faint of heart, especially for those who do not like blood or a lot of death. It contains both, and a lot of it.

Initially, I rated this book 5 stars, but after sitting on it for a couple of weeks, I am knocking it down to a 4. I crave a happy ending for my books, and I did not get that here. Realistically, for it to line up with the entire plot of Peter Pan, there was not any happy ending that would have worked. Regardless, I am still heartbroken over the ending. Christina Henry did a beautiful job executing this story, and it will forever hold a special place in my heart.