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The Beast Is an Animal

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  1,781 Ratings  ·  497 Reviews
A girl with a secret talent must save her village from the encroaching darkness in this haunting and deeply satisfying tale.

Alys was seven when the soul eaters came to her village.

These soul eaters, twin sisters who were abandoned by their father and slowly morphed into something not quite human, devour human souls. Alys, and all the other children, were spared—and they we
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published February 28th 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Tim Walker I'm pretty sure it's intentional -- draws on the Welsh inspiration of the story!
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Ninoska Goris
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: leido-2017, ya
English - Español

This book has a simply perfect cover and an interesting synopsis, but the name has little to do with it. The beast almost doesn't appear and it isn't as you think.

Our protagonist and narrator for the most part is Alys, when she was seven years old she sees the twins known as the "soul eaters". These girls ate the souls of all the adults of Gwenith the village where she lived, only leaving the children alive and sleeping. These are moved to Defaid the nearest village, but in thi
Elise (TheBookishActress)
This review can be split in two: the first half and the second half. The first half is a solid 4 stars. The second half is 2 stars.

The first half of this book is a claustrophobic, well-written, suspenseful tale of witches in the Middle Ages, with magical realism thrown in. The plotting is a bit slow, but there's a bite of tension in the air. This book really did NAIL dramatic tension.

I appreciated the portrayal of how religion can be coopted into hate. This is a recurring theme throughout the b
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-releases
Gaaaahhhh. This was so good! What did I just read? I'm mystified and intrigued by this story. It has an original fairy tale vibe to it. It was wonderful!

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

A girl with a secret talent must save her village from the encroaching darkness in this haunting and deeply sati
Nina-Tala (JustAddAWord) Shannak

THE BEAST IS AN ANIMAL has officially been crowned as "Nina's First Five Stars of 2017".

Yes, that is a thing. (Or at least, now it is. Shhh.)

It's been quite a long time since I've loved a book this much.

A very, VERY long time. Really. The last 5 stars I gave before this one was Crooked Kingdom, and I read that in November.


What is this. This is unacceptable.

As you can probably imagine, my relief at finally finding a fabulous book (look at that alliteration. I'M ON A ROLL) worthy of
The Beast Is an Animal is a young-adult fantasy novel written by Peternelle van Arsdale. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The writing is simple and the theme felt fantastically dark like all of the best fairy-tales are. It was engaging, suspenseful, creepy, scary, unfair, with a setting that felt very historical. I loved the heroine in this book. Her character was surprisingly complex and I felt a great deal for her and her situation. The ending could have been a bit more climactic in my opinion ...more
I was 100% in on this book. I loved the cover and the synopsis and yet I literally have no idea what I just read.

I liked Alys well enough. She's smart and curious and cares for the people around her. There were several other characters, but no one really stood out.

The story line was a bit too vague. I spent a good portion of the beginning feeling like I was dropped in the middle of s story. Nothing was explained, yet it seemed like I was already supposed to know the backstory.

I'm giving it tw
Nečakajte nejaký mega strašidelný horor, z ktorého vám budú vstávať vlasy dupkom. Netvor je zver je niečo ako creepy rozprávka o dobre a zle. Keď má Alys 7 rokov, všetkých dospelých v jej dedine vysajú požieračky duší, Alys a zvyšné deti odídu žiť do susednej osady a dedinčania, ktorí sa ich boja, si z nich urobia nočných strážcov na ohrade okolo dediny. Príbeh potom preskočí o pár rokov na momenty, keď má Alys 12 a 15.

Alys sa ale nedokáže stotožniť s ustráchanými dedinčanmi - naopak sa cíti dob
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Using simple but evocative language, Arsdale weaves a dark fairy tale with a heroine and a Beast who are neither as simply good or simply evil as such characters in these stories often are. There's a love story (but not with the Beast--this is not a Beauty and the Beast re-telling), but it doesn't really enter the narrative until close to the end and never devolves into some lurid love triangle or angsty drama.

One of the things I enjoyed most about this was the way even the soul eaters were give
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, de-lo-peor
¿Premisa? Increíble
¿Narración? Fantástica
¿Ambientación y atmósfera? Impecables
¿Y la trama? ¡¡Doña, vuelva que se olvidó de la trama!!
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
The beast is an animal
Hear it scratch upon your door
It sucks your soul then licks the bowl
And sniffs around for more
The beast is an animal
It has a pointy chin
It eats you while you sleep at night
Leaves nothing but your skin!

So, first of all, this book doesn’t really have a lot to do with the beast. I mean…it’s in it yes, but I’m not sure why it’s the title subject to be honest. Second of all, it drags on and is sort of boring. As a whole, the story is sort of good, but the pitch was just, ZZZZz
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Wow! Tak toto bolo niečo! Určite jedno z najväčších prekvapení tohoto roka (príjemná zmena po toľkých sklamaniach).
Malo to skvelé postavy, príbeh, ešte lepšiu atmosféru a skrátka to bola krásna temná rozprávka :)
Aug 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Remember last year's immensely magnificent, where-did-this-book-come-from Uprooted? I knew from the synopsis alone that it was going to be an fantasy of epic proportions but still I was blown away with how goooood it was. This year's breakout fantasy comes in a more subtle albeit still epic tale called The Beast Is An Animal.

The story starts off with a very creepy, myth-like origin story of the soul eaters - who are in the form of orphaned twin girls. And our protagonist, little 7-year old Alys
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this book early on and am still thinking about it today. I don’t typically read fairy tales or fables or even much YA, but this book by Peternelle van Arsdale made me want to rethink all of that. The Beast Is an Animal opened up a world to me, its world, yes, magnificently, and also a world of thought and of reading options I might not have considered before.

The main character Alys feels things and we feel things alongside her. The weather changes, and we experience snow melting, the way
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was ok

The main reason why I didn't enjoy this book was probably because I've been in such a terrible reading slump lately. I didn't like really any of the characters. The romance was literally so cringe worthy and was too fast and just unneeded. This book was creepy and definitely felt like a fairytale. But meh I just really wasn't a fan. I just could not connect with the story at alllllll.
Jenny Baker
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult, arc, 2016
I first heard about The Beast is an Animal from a Simon and Schuster newsletter when they announced a reading study they were doing with Jelly Books. All participants could select an eBook from a list of six books. I was torn between this one and The Diabolic. Both sounded intriguing, but this one sounded like it might be more enjoyable and I loved the cover. Now that I've finished the book, I wish I had selected The Diabolic.

I loved the story concept and at first the story was engaging, so I t
Jeff Giles
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a spooky, gorgeously dark fairy tale that lures you deeper and deeper in, like you're chasing something through its pages. A lot of YA novels are about a girl lost in the forest of her teenage years, and struggling to understand her heart. This one has the courage to suggest that there may be some scary things lurking in there. At the outset of the novel, seven-year-old Alys is mysteriously spared when a pair of not-quite-human, soul-eating twin sisters ravage her town and leave everyone ...more
Sheila {}
Alys, in fact, had never been afraid. Her favorite nursery rhymes were the scary ones. The ones about The Beast sucking out your soul and leaving behind nothing but gristle and skin. Those were the ones Alys liked best.

At first, I was terrified to pick up this book. The cover is horrifying in some, unexplainable way, and the nursery rhyme in the beginning gives me the creeps. I don't do well with horror. Hence, why I don't normally read anything having to do with it (besides the rather harml
❈ I received this advance reading copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster❈

At this point, I am 100% sure that "it had potential, but..." will be the words on my gravestone because I find myself saying nearly everyday. Unfortunately, here I find myself again uttering that famous phrase. The Beast Is an Animal had a lot of potential: a fairytale-esque setting, mysterious soul eaters, haunts from the forest, and a girl grappling with her dark self, but in the end, it fell completely flat.

World bu
Macarena Yannelli
Este libro tiene una hermosa portada y una ambientación increíble pero el resto del libro es cualquier cosa. Los personajes no evolucionan ni un poco en los años que pasan en el libro y el argumento es inexistente, pero, no es joda, no hay argumento. CERO.
Una lastima.
Reseña completa proximamente
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the best books Ive read, I cant believe how engaged I was in this story that barely had any dialogue. Peternelle van Arsdale is incredible at describing scenery and what is happening without the need for dialogue. Absolutely incredible. ...more
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own

Tak konečne pridávam mini recenziu (na blogu bude... no za pár dní snáď :D)

Takže... nečakala som toho veľa, lebo síce Slováci knihu milovali, ostatné hodnotenia sú dosť také všelijaké a presne taká bola aj kniha. Všelijaká.
Veľmi pomaly sa budoval príbeh a ak mám byť úprimná, tak sa veľa ani nemalo čo budovať, pretože to bol jednoduchý príbeh, ktorý mohol skončiť za pár strán, no celá kniha stojí na tej atmosfére.
Do polovice máte pocit, že čítate nejakú creepy rozprávku, v polke sa diali ta
Ezgi Tülü
Jan 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks

Beth  (YA Books Central)
Full review to come....absolutely LOVED this book! Beautifully written with phenomenal characters and an enchanting atmosphere.....LOVED it!
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bolo to zaujímavé, ale nič, z čoho by som vyslovene padla na zadok. Plus ten koniec mi prišiel taký divný a vedela by som si predstaviť, že to skončí inak...ale inak sa mi to dosť páčilo :)
Sep 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Checkout my full review on my blog! http://omgbooksandmorebooks.blogspot....

This is a very unique, dark, and twisted tale. This story is so unique and the cover ensnared me. However, it was slow. There is a lot of build up but what stopped me from really enjoying this was that it was slow. But the story is so so unique. If you like dark and twisted tales and can mind the slow like pace, then this book is for you.
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Predstavujem vám moju ďalšiu obľúbenú knihu do zbierky.

Nemám slov! Bolo to fantastické! Magické! Surové! Kruté! Miestami creepy a ja som si to totálne zamilovala!
Od tejto knihy neviete, čo máte očakávať, ale to čo dostanete! Och! Môj ty Bože! Toto je jedna z kníh, ktorú chcete čítať a vlastniť. A nielen kvôli tej nadpozemsky krásnej obálke. A dokonca vám nebudú vadiť hluché miesta a ani ten koniec, ktorý....ani neviem čo sa tam vlastne dialo, tak ma to pohltilo:D Je to mega! Len smelo do to
Crystal (Bookiemoji)
While I didn't love this book, I didn't dislike it either. But also didn't particularly LIKE it. I absolutely LOATHE when I feel this way about a book.

I honestly rarely read anything unless it's a 4-5 star for me. Yes, I will DNF a book so quick, even if it feels like it will be a 3 star. I just want to spend my time on books I LOVE.

I really can't even explain to you why I kept reading this one. I didn't love the writing, it was in 3rd person which makes me feel so disconnected from the characte
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Brilliantly crafted, this is one of the best YA fantasy novels I've read in a long time - so good that I'm adding it to my list of all-time favorite books. This is old-school master storytelling at its finest, the huddle round the fire while darkness gathers school of story-crafting. It does what the best multilayered, morally and emotionally complex tales do - it leads you effortlessly down the path until you've surrendered completely to this author, surprised to find you've followed her straig ...more
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and read it in one sitting. It was an atmospheric fairy tale that kept me entranced from the first page until the last. Alys is a strong heroine worth rooting for, and the reader gets to follow her journey from a young child, through many challenges and ordeals, into womanhood. The author creates a world full of superstition, suppression, fear, and magic, that is at the same time both ethereal and earthy. This was a captivating and compelling book about coming to t ...more
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Peternelle van Arsdale is a book editor who never thought she'd write a book. She lives in New York City, where she is at work on her second novel. Visit her at
More about Peternelle van Arsdale

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“Perhaps this was one of the things that had made her so different all along---that she saw the truth of things. That beauty could sometimes be ugly, and that you didn't always find good and evil where you expected to---or where you'd been told to find them.” 10 likes
“It looked evil but It seemed good.” 5 likes
More quotes…