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Lost Boi

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  436 ratings  ·  107 reviews
Lambda Literary Award finalist

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 con
Paperback, 233 pages
Published April 28th 2015 by Arsenal Pulp Press (first published April 6th 2015)
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Leslie Ellen The word "boi" was a colloquialism that originated in the gothic subculture in the early 1990s. The word also emerged in the Riot Grrrl movement…moreThe word "boi" was a colloquialism that originated in the gothic subculture in the early 1990s. The word also emerged in the Riot Grrrl movement around that same time. Here's just one example I dug up from the alt.gothic newsgroup dated 22 years ago.

There is no evidence to support that "boi" was ever the exclusive lexicon of black people. Even the QPoC organization "brkln boihood" only launched in 2009. Yet Goth-Boi Babe of the Week launched in 1997, almost a decade before black people began claiming the word "boi" as a black-only queer identity.

Also /boi/ is the phonetic spelling of "boy" according to the dictionary. Most certainly the American English pronunciation of words taught in public school, cannot be owned by a single demographic of people. =(less)

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Glenn Sumi
Jun 22, 2015 rated it liked it
There’s always been something intrinsically queer about the Peter Pan story, from its androgynous title character – played by a woman in the stage adaptation – to its testosterone-fuelled lost boys vs. pirates battles, not to mention the campily outfitted, moustachioed villain, Captain Hook.

But Brooklyn-based writer Sassafras Lowrey takes things to the entertaining extreme in Lost Boi, a queer punk BDSM reimagining of the J.M. Barrie tale that says as much about gender fluidity as it does the di
Book Riot Community
My expectations were so high for this book just based on the premise: a queer, punk retelling of Peter Pan. From the first page I was relieved that this was exactly the book I was hoping it would be. Lowrey’s interpretation works incredibly well, somehow incorporating so many familiar elements and even lines into a whole different setting. Not only was this enjoyable to read, it also left me thinking about gender, consent, and what it means to “grow up.” This is not a book for everyone: it is ab ...more
Vanessa North
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lost Boi delivers exactly what it promises: a queer, punk retelling of Peter Pan with all kinds of D/s goodness wrapped in.

It is remarkable in its originality for a derivative work, and I enjoyed seeing the classic story re-imagined in this way. The ideas--the particular ways in which Lowrey queered Barrie's work are fascinating, easily visualized, and compellingly described.

At times I felt the story was limited by a more-tell-than-show narration, and a euphemistic coyness about sex and violence
Lark Benobi
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
The blurbs on the back of Lost Boi seem to mostly focus on the anthem-like qualities of the novel. And the novel -is- an anthem in that it depicts a world where everyone is queer and everyone celebrates their queerness, or even takes it for granted as the way things are in Neverland.

But celebration of identity was only part of the "Neverland" metaphor for me. There was also a dark and unsafe quality to the Neverland metaphor when it's transplanted to a queer context. The "lost bois" in this nove
Danika at The Lesbrary
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
From the first couple pages, I knew Lost Boi was exactly what I was hoping it would be. This is a queer punk D/s retelling of Peter Pan, and it has so much going for it. First of all, the book itself looks beautiful. I love that the black cover with the gold framing and deckle edges makes it almost look like a bible, which is hilarious. I loved that it's from the perspective of one of the lost bois, Tootles. I loved the voice, I loved how well Sassafras Lowrey incorporated and reinterpreted the ...more
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-books

You guys. I think this book completely ruined my childhood. And I'm not sure that's a bad thing. At all.

Also... I am suddenly, painfully aware that I am one vanilla, hetero, prude, married, cisgender person. I might be too much of all of those things to have been completely emotionally and psychologically prepared for this book. But again: I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Reading this queer, punk, contemporary retelling of Peter Pan was a bit like getting thrown in the deep end of
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbt, romance, fantasy
God, I wanted to like this book. I really, truly did. As a queer transmasculine person, I've been dying for a novel involving queer/trans characters that aren't the classic "LGBT narrative" of the hardships of coming out and being abused for their identity and whatnot. I've wanted a book that allows characters like myself to have our own stories and adventures.

So of course I picked up this book in excitement. However, I quickly found that it wasn't for me. I found the "Mommy/little Boi" sexual
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a dangerous book. And that's a very, very good thing.
Lowrey has created a genderqueer D/s reworking of Peter Pan, here, and it is stunningly good. But it is not a safe book by any means, and that makes it powerful and necessary. Literature, the good stuff, the real stuff, isn't safe, isn't merely a pleasant diversion for a Sunday afternoon. Here is a literary ancestor of Delany's works. Here is a literary ancestor for Burroughs' Wild Boys.
Punky, thrilling, sweet, dangerous...if I could
I really don't know how to talk about this one. It's been nearly twelve hours since I turned the last page, and I'm still raw over it. It feels like bleeding.

This is a queer retelling of Peter Pan; specifically a genderqueer retelling, with heavy D/s themes and a brutal examination of the realities of social services and life on the streets. I found the dialogue pretty weak but there's very little of it; the book is narrated by Tootles, Pan's right-hand boi, and Tootle's voice is wonderful. You'
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Solid, interesting retelling of the Pan myth, set in the polyamorous, queer, punk squat Neverland. Really good parallels to the story, very interesting interpretations. I like seeing some of my communities/culture reflected in the larger myths, that's really exciting.
Bogi Takács
I had very complicated feelings about this one, but I'm not sure if I want to do a full-length review; still mulling over it...
Jul 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
Peter Pan re-imaged, his story revised and lavished in overt sexual themes and street life struggles, yet this distinct and dastardly different story manages to remain loyal to the source material.

Reader warning - there is a clear distinction between the popular children's tale Pan and LOST BOI - author Sassafras Lowrey's book is decidedly adult, replacing motherly affection with fantasy role-play and fairies with pigeons among other switches that emphasize the sexual connotations of the origin
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
normally, i am really really not a big fan of retellings of classic stories with a modern twist. but how could i resist this one?! i love pigeons more than faeries and this whole book is just bursting with sweetness and magic, despite the gloomy realities of the characters' lives. and it's more than just "a queer/punk/kinky retelling of peter pan," it's also a critique of the shittiness of child welfare agencies, an exploration of the complexities of serving populations that you once were a part ...more
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I really loved this book and my only complaint is the editing. That's it. I might eventually relent and give this one 5 stars.
I am pretty sure it's impossible to give any spoilers for this book since it's basically an extremely clever retelling of the Peter Pan story through the world of queer/transgender leather scenes. It makes sense why Jack Halberstam blurbed the book, you know? This kind of reading gives me hope for the world of queer literature, which often seems really... well
Kaeli Wood
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
not necessarily valid, just something you could write or publish
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it
I didn't know what to expect from this book that looked and felt gorgeous as I picked it off the shelf and read the reviews. I think I was hoping for some kind of riot grrrl/queer safe space where the lost bois, the queers of the world rebel and fight back. I never expected this to turn into a D/s leather daddy play book. I am familiar with the world of kink, not so much leather daddy protocol. I myself felt lost at times.

The characters were not as complex as I hoped them to be, and this lack o
C.K. Combs
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I remember reading social media updates from Sassafras Lowrey while ze was writing this novel, updates that spoke in excited tones about the characters and the way the story was unfolding. Now I know why.

Lost Boi is a retelling of Peter Pan, yes. A brilliant, imaginative, ambitious retelling that replaces pirates with Leather men and mermaids with Femmes. There is magic and kink and fairy dust and flying and through it all there is Pan, the charismatic enigma who pulls everything together.

Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtqiap
i really enjoyed this; it's a retelling of a tale i like (peter pan, obviously), and an exciting, kinky, wondrous one at that. i'm just not sure about the use of 'boi'. it's used consistently all through the novel, and i've read up on it and know that this word has been used by various lgbt identities for years, but it's also aave and it seems appropriative to me that a white author uses it. the characters about whom it's used are never identified as a specific race, nor described as having any ...more
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked 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 ...more
Sep 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
If I had read this when I was a teenager, I would have fallen in love with it. I think I'm too grown up now, and I just kept thinking about runaway kids doing heroin and living in squalor. I was never one of those kids, but I knew them. I went to some of their parties.

The queering of the story was troubling to me, mostly because I was reluctant to give up my deep and probably slightly disturbed crush on Barrie's problematic story. Once I adjusted to the new frame, though, I enjoyed the story qu
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: drama
Inventive retelling of the Peter Pan story about homeless LGBT youth with more than a dash of BDSM. Worlds I'm unfamiliar with, so figuring out and trying to understand them were good in terms of expanding paradigms and exploring other perspectives. The author kept my interest in seeing the ways the original story were adapted for this retelling, but apart from that the narrative and characters were a bit flat for me.

I appreciated the book more on an intellectual basis than a "must-devour-this-
Tillie King
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
You know how you love a story as a kid, but when you grow up you feel sad because it's not about you?

Sassafras Lowrey takes Peter Pan and Wendy and makes it about people like me - and breathes in all the terrible sweet truths about love and longing, belonging and losing, knowing who you are and forgetting and remembering it again. This sexy, queer, and heartbreaking tale of what happens to the Lost Bois when Pan brings Wendi home to be their Mommy is a must for anyone who felt lost.
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Finally, after not getting useful answers out of Pan, Wendi asked him where he lived. Pan’s eyes glittered as they always did when he talked about Neverland, about us bois. He told her that we had our own warehouse, a paradise we were always working on, patching the shot-out windows, hanging swings and slings, and about the day we added hammocks for each of us to sleep in amongst the rafters with our pigeons. Pan told Wendi he had a pack of bois who jumped at his command, who had sworn themselve ...more
Warning: This review contains discussion of alternative sexual lifestyles. If that makes you uncomfortable, then you should probably skip it. I mean it!!

All righty, then, if you’ve decided to read on.

Everyone knows the general story of Peter Pan, right? And how it manages to seem kind of sweet, because it’s about little kids, but is also kind of problematic, what with its combination of little boys and adult pirates and mermaids, not to mention that in the stage version, Peter Pan is always p
May 28, 2016 rated it liked it
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
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer, realist, poly, trans, bdsm
I picked this up while attempting to find a book with BDSM and queer elements. It was pretty decent and I'd recommend it, particularly if you have a high tolerance for nonmagical queer fairytale retellings.

In this book, the narrator is Tootles, part of the accretion of queer bois and homeless young trans men taken into the Leather family of Pan, who calls them his Lost Bois and requires their chaotic service and submission to live in the abandoned warehouse they call Neverland. Pan's greatest ne
BD Swain
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a gorgeous, intelligent, delightfully playful re-imagining of a classic story. I absolutely loved Lost Boi. The book charmed me completely. It even entered my dreams and I had a fantastic romping around with my own gang of lost bois one night.

I am a purist at heart. I do not tend to like retold stories. I usually groan when I read them, embarrassed at the way a story is being cheaply knocked off. I look for them to be lazy. But the story this Neverland, of this Pan, this Wendy, this Hook -
OK, hmm

Eu daria 3.5 estrelas, na real, porque achei que o Tootles não foi bem utilizado como protagonista - a história é muito mais sobre o Pan (e o Hook, e o conceito dos Lost Bois) e a Wendi (e o que ela traz pra Neverland) do que sobre o Tootles. Não sei se uma terceira pessoa ajudaria - talvez sim, porque são vários momentos em que a história, contada em primeira pessoa pelo Tootles, passa pra contar coisas que aconteceram com o Pan e somente com o Pan (ou com a Wendi e somente a Wendi). Por
I wanted to like this more than I did. I love Peter Pan. It is my favorite childhood story. I'm queer, so queering it up was like !!!!! but... the BSDM thing is not really my thing and that was much heavier throughout the novel than I realized it would be when I started it. Bits of it just really weren't my thing at all. Trans kids, queer kids, runnaways, finding their own families, the way the handled the lost bois, and the mermaids, the crocodile, the pirates, it was all very clever and I enjo ...more
Aug 06, 2015 rated it liked it
The author deems this a "queering" of Peter Pan, and I'd say that's probably the best description that I can offer. This book was incredibly enchanting; it was difficult for me to put it down once I had started it.

My one disappointment: I didn't find enough verbal power in this book that would have needed to be there for me to say that I loved it. There was--as other readers have mentioned--an almost frustrating level of coyness that made it hard for me to remain fully engaged, and not simply wi
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Sassafras Lowrey got hir start writing as a straight-edge queer punk zinester in Portland, Oregon, and grew up to become the 2013 winner of the Lambda Literary Emerging Writer Award. Along the way, ze changed coasts, genders, and several other things besides. Hir first book, the Kicked Out anthology (, gathered voices of current and formerly homeless queer youth alongsid ...more
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“There is magic everywhere around you, but most people are too busy being grownup to notice it.” 4 likes
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