book review
2 Stars, ARC, Book Reviews

{REVIEW} Lost Boy by Christina Henry (ARC)

by Christina Henry

Genre: Young Adult, Fairytale Retelling
Pub Date: July 4, 2017
Publisher: Berkley
Length: 304 pages
Spoilers: N/A
Goodreads ♦ Amazon($11.99)

I received this free digital ARC from the publisher via Penguin’s First to Read in exchange for my honest review.


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.

Peter lies.


For something as fanciful as a story in Wonderland, this was quite dry. There was description, but it was lack-luster and empty. Or it was so thick that I couldn’t muddle it all out. There seemed to be quite a few tangents of unnecessary information (that didn’t seem to be in appropriate voice for the character, either.) And that’s just the writing style.

The actual story itself seemed to be left wanting, as well. It read more like an auto-biography, a recounting of past events, than an adventure story. Frankly, it just felt like a random dull read.

Slow. This did not really help the story either because on top of being a little on the dull side, it was also quite slow. It had a large build up, but didn’t really pick up from there. It kept a rather slow, plodding pace through, really, the entire book. Even what was intended to be the climax didn’t have the appropriate ‘umpf’ to give it speed or tension.

The main characters – Peter and Jamie – were really the only developed characters in the book. The rest were there, served a purpose, but weren’t truly fleshed out themselves. (Issues with that.) But I’m more annoyed by how… flat(?) Peter and Jamie were. They had obvious characteristics, but… it was like they were never hitting extremes or felt fully-developed (which is like the opposite of what I just said.) But what I’m trying to say is that they were fleshed out, but they didn’t feel fleshed out. They just felt hollow.

I do like the way this retelling managed to implement all the elements of the original Peter Pan story, but still keep it original. It stayed true to its inspiration, but made it a little less fanciful and a little more realistic and gritty. (Though, I still would’ve preferred more grit. It kind of felt like that was subdued, as well. :/ )

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13 thoughts on “{REVIEW} Lost Boy by Christina Henry (ARC)”

  1. Oh dear, I’ve heard such amazing things about Lost Boy, but, after reading your honest review, I just may have to make do with rereading Alice in Wonderland.
    I’ve always loved with authors use intertextuality – retelling stories from a different perspective – so Lost Boy instantly intrigued me.
    Have you ever read Michael Cunningham’s collection of short stories, The Wild Swan? He does this same retelling technique of childhood tales such as Jack & the Beanstock by adding a surreal and gothic twist.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I look forward to reading more from you in the future Melanie… Happy Reading 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Delphine! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

      I have heard some positive reviews about this book, as well, but I tend to be a bit on the critical side when it comes to books. As such, I don’t tend to agree with other people. In regards to this book, I think it could’ve been executed better. It kind of just felt like author needed some more practice with writing and I felt a similar way when I read another of her novels, Alice. Perhaps she’s just not the author for me as a lot of other people seem to enjoy her writing.

      That being said, I’ve read PLENTY of amazing retellings before. (In fact, it’s Calendar Girls theme this month! So, all the participating bloggers shared their favorite fairytale retelling. There’s a list, if you’d like some ideas. 🙂 )

      Oo! Gothic twist! That is harder to come by in retellings, I will say. Too many are YA retellings and follow a lighter, politer, more joyful path. Not my preferred option given the darkness from which the stories originated. I will have to look into this Michael Cunningham. Thank you for the suggestion!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Its great my fave read last year and def one of the best I read in a long time to! And yes you can see the old story shining through yet Its something new and exciting! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I love when retellings manage to do that. A good blend is what it’s all about! This actually sounds a lot like what Calendar Girls has been talking about this month: stories that stay true to the original fairytale, but still manage to have a sense of originality and freshness. Any interest you’d want to join us this month?


  2. Ah, I see now! Very different opinions!

    I did enjoy this one a lot. I feel like maybe the characters weren’t as well developed because they were stuck as children, so they didn’t know much of their real lives and all they have known since coming to the island was Peter and his games.

    I really loved Unhooked and am glad you added that in to this post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mm. I suppose I could understand your viewpoint, especially since many of them forgot their previous lives when they came to Neverland. So, backstory would be difficult to come by. :/

      Hee hee! I always put recommendations in and Unhooked was similar enough, but better! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just love that books can be viewed so differently by different people. And I love that there are those of us who can be adult about it and discuss our different opinions, lol.

        Yes, I agree, Unhooked was definitely better! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I have and I wasn’t a huge fan of it either, but I thought I’d give Christina another chance. Can’t say she’s at an appropriate writing level for me to read her stuff yet. Maybe in a few years and a few more books under her belt I’ll give her another chance, but not for a while. :/

      Liked by 1 person

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