elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Lost Boi by Sassafras Lowrey

Lost Boi by Sassafras Lowrey
Transgender Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press (April 28, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 155152581X
ISBN-13: 978-1551525815
Amazon: Lost Boi
Amazon Kindle: Lost Boi

In Sassafras Lowrey's gorgeous queer punk reimagining of the classic Peter Pan story, prepare to be swept overboard into a world of orphaned, abandoned, and runaway bois who have sworn allegiance and service to Pan, the fearless leader of the Lost Bois brigade and the newly corrupted Mommy Wendi who, along with the tomboy John Michael, Pan convinces to join him at Neverland.

Told from the point of view of Tootles, Pan's best boi, the lost bois call the Neverland squat home, creating their own idea of family, and united in their allegiance to Pan, the boi who cannot be broken, and their refusal to join ranks with Hook and the leather pirates. Like a fever-pitched dream, Lost Boi situates a children's fantasy within a subversive alternative reality, chronicling the lost bois' search for belonging, purpose, and their struggle against the biggest battle of all: growing up.

I was nervous going into this. I just wasn’t sure how a queer retelling of Peter Pan would read. But this was a wonderful book, hot and moving, brilliantly written. Loved it.

Genderqueer element aside, I didn't expect to enjoy this. Fairy tale retellings often fall flat for me; I wasn't sure I could get invested in the plight of homeless bois; and I didn't see how the d/s element could fit in without being exploitative. Much to my delight, it all works, and does so both smartly and erotically. Thhere are a lot of characters introduced at once, but I fell in love with all of them (including the mermaids), and I loved the tension between Hook and Wendi. This is how you remain true to the idea of a classic, but completely reinvent it and make it relevant for not just a new age, but a new community.

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Tags: rainbow awards 2015

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