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Review: Lost Boy by Christina Henry

 

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Title:Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook

Author:Christina Henry

Series: Standalone

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩

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Synopsis
From Goodreads

There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy.

Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter’s idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite.

Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.

divider-51Favorite Characters

Jamie is the main character so you would hope that you would like the main character, but I didn’t just like Jamie, I loved Jamie for all that he did for the lost boys! He was pretty much the only one who was remotely responsible, and he cared very deeply about things in a way that breaks your heart because no one else seems to.

Sal was also a very good character because of their strength and determination. Pretty much the only other person that could really understand and feel about things the same way that Jamie did.

Peter was infuriating. He always drove me crazy with how careless, selfish, stubborn, manipulative, and just plain cruel he could be. I hated him but loved how well he was written. And to be honest he was just a little terrifying as well.

divider-51Favorite Scenes

✩ This is pretty much the most accurate description of Peter. I mean, I can’t believe all the things that happened in this book. Some of them I saw coming but it still shocked just a bit that Peter would go so far.

Peter will tell you that this story isn’t the truth, but Peter lies. I loved him, we all loved him, but he lies, for Peter wants always to be that shining sun that we all revolve around. He’ll do anything to be that sun.

✩ I loved reading about Jamie and Peter’s friendship because it was such a complicated mess. I think part of it was that they were together so long that neither of them knew what to do without the other.

I stared after him, felt that familiar mix of love and worship and frustration that I often felt with Peter. You couldn’t change him.

✩ The secret about the island was a great twist too. I think it made so much sense and was kind of horror-worthy in that kinda twisty reveal way.

I’d never been glad at Peter’s absence before, and something inside me seemed to shift. 

✩ There was a little romance in this book and I honestly welcomed it so much because I wanted Jamie to be happy more than anything. He deserved that. They both did.

I think I fell in love with her then, when she pretended that everything was just the same as it had always been.

✩ The loyalty between the lost boys and Jamie was… I just have so many feels ❤

“Peter’s not jealous of me,” I said. “Only of anyone that takes me away from him.”

“He is,” Nod insisted. “He knows no one will ever love him the way we all loved you.”

✩ Can we all just agree how heartbreaking this quote is right here? Because I think we all know what it feels like to care about someone who just doesn’t know how to really love you back and ugh, all my feels!

It will always be Peter and me, like it was in the beginning, like it will be in the end. Peter, who took everything from me and gave everything too. Peter, who loved me best of everyone except himself.

divider-51Review

Now, I know I haven’t read too many retellings, but this one has to be one of my favorites!

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Every lost boy that lives on the island was pulled in by Peter’s promises of never growing up, never having rules, never having to be told what to do, and of being happy, forever. They were supposed to live happily ever after…

But that’s not what happens.

This is a retelling of Peter Pan told from Jamie aka Captain Hook’s point of view. I think that’s one of the biggest factors that pulled me to this story. I’m a sucker for books told from villains or complex character’s point of view. The kind that are “misunderstood” or you can never quite tell if they’re good or bad. Jamie fits that well because there is just the one version of him that everyone knows, and this is him telling his side of things. Jamie telling his truth.

Peter doesn’t start off too bad. He’s kind of petulant and irresponsible, but he is just a kid so you just kind of shrug it off. All the while we have Jamie right next to him and it is the biggest contrast. He’s the one always caring about the lost boys, making sure they’re clean and fed. Peter makes a joke that Jamie is basically like their mother and that he babies them all too much. That’s pretty accurate, but it makes me love him that much more. Jamie was definitely my favorite character in this book.

It’s only when Peter starts telling his “ghost” story that it starts to get a bit creepy. That was when I started going “I think Peter is a little darker than I thought”. Things start changing between Peter and Jamie before they get back to the tree, when Jamie is reminded of exactly how dangerous Peter can be. If you like dark retellings this is a good one because there will be danger, blood, violence, and not everyone will survive.

However, it’s not until Battle day that the rest of the boys stop blindly worshiping Peter. After the Battle, everyone starts to see Peter in a new way–seeing the worst parts of him. This is also when the boys start changing physically (although it’s not explained until later I could kind of guess the reasons behind it). The actual explanation for how the boys stayed young forever was kind what I expected but it was still so twisted and creepy in a way. It fit the story though, because of how selfish Peter was, how everything had to be his way, and how he had to be that “shining sun”.

There was also some budding romance in this book that caught me a little by surprise, for reasons I can’t exactly give without spoiling a secret about another character. Once I knew about that character though I could see it coming–and I really wanted Jamie to be happy, because he deserved something of his own. I felt like he needed someone else to share the weight of everything he dealt with for years.

I was also really pleased with the relationship between Jamie and Peter because of its complexities. On the one hand, Jamie loved Peter so much because of what he’d done for him. They were supposed to be best friends forever… But Jamie could get tired of Peter’s antics sometimes, and of having to be responsible to make up for Peter’s childishness. I think Jamie made Peter out to be so dependent on him, because Jamie was the first boy on the island, and Peter couldn’t stand to share Jamie with anyone. But Jamie was kind of the same about Peter. He needed to know that he was special to Peter, that it would always be just them when it came down to it because he was the first, and that there were no secrets between them. And even though he could really hate Peter at times, he never considered leaving to the Other place. Jamie was just as dependent on Peter’s praise and assurances as Peter was dependent on Jamie’s love and devotion. It was a very destructive and unhealthy friendship/relationship that made me love this book.

In the last section of the book things pick up fast and the stakes get raised even more. Everyone knows what kind of person Peter really is, and he’s not holding back anymore. Which is as scary as you think it would be when you read/consider everything that he did before in the book. I loved Nod in this part of the book because of how he finally let out everything he felt about Jamie and how he could finally appreciate everything Jamie had done up until then.

The ending of the book tied things together really well. Pretty much everything I’d wanted to know about Peter was answered. I knew why he had done so many things. And it wasn’t so simple as him just wanting someone to play with. He had darker reasons too that made the island seem like less of a paradise. I think how things ended between Peter and Jamie was really fitting because it plays into that whole destructive relationship aspect. Neither of them can really let go of one another, no matter how much hate boils between them. I felt upset coming to the ending because I was rooting for Jamie, and I felt he had been wronged. But I loved it at the same time because it was such a good ending!

I am highly recommending this book for anyone who likes retellings, especially dark retellings! It does feel like it moves a little slow in the first part, but I really enjoyed the focus on character development. The only other thing that knocked it down a peg was that there were so many characters coming and going that sometimes I forgot who these side characters were (not that they were terribly important). But still, just something to keep in mind.

This wonderful book is coming out on July 4th so please, please, please, go check it out if you have the time because it is well worth it!

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Review: Lost Boy by Christina Henry

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