Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Beast Is an Animal” as Want to Read:
The Beast Is an Animal
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Beast Is an Animal

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  2,668 ratings  ·  677 reviews
Alys was seven the first time she saw the soul eaters. Twin sisters, they radiated an energy that excited Alys. Through them she felt the wildness of the forest, and The Beast within it. Too late, she learned of their power to destroy.

By the time she is fifteen, Alys knows too much about both the lure and the danger of the soul eaters. She lives in a world of a
Hardcover, 343 pages
Published February 28th 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,668 ratings  ·  677 reviews

More filters
Sort order
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, just enough dramatic tension interwoven that it is impossible to look away. This sort of fantasy-suspense combination is honestly my favorite genre and if you're lookin
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
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Nina (JustAddAWord)

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 (loo
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 eate
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
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
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 but overall, ...more
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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, ZZZZzzzzzz.

So this story follows a little girl named Alys. She’s seen the soul
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. An/>Thecalled Theproportions but
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This eerie little fairytale doesn’t really fall into any sort of category. The writing is unlike anything else in the YA or MG market. The plot depicts blind ignorance of middle aged religion vs witchcraft perfectly and builds up a lot of dramatic tension about the soul eaters. But I wouldn’t say that it feels dark. Told through the eyes of an adolescent, the story has more of a magical coming of age feel to it than a witch hunt. I can’t really express the feeling I had while reading it, but it ...more
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 melti
Jenny Baker
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 thought I was going to lo
Jeff Giles
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

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.
Sheila Goicea
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 harmless G
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Beth  (YA Books Central)
Full review to come....absolutely LOVED this book! Beautifully written with phenomenal characters and an enchanting atmosphere.....LOVED it!
Overall pretty good, but I felt that it was a bit on the longer side and the ending wasn’t as grand as I expected it to be.
Sep 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition

Crystal | decorating.reader
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 discon
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Heather Fawcett
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that sticks with you--a quiet, eerie, and utterly compelling fairy tale about monsters and heroes, and how those two categories sometimes overlap. Peternelle van Arsdale's writing style is lush but not flowery--sometimes, books with this amount of worldbuilding can drag in places, but this story starts off with a bang and never really lets up. I absolutely loved her descriptions of the dangerous but beautiful fforest (also just a really fun word to pronounce) and Alys ...more
Clare Snow
How did I not write about this spectacularly macabre masterpiece when I read it!?
"Alys knew better. Every day she felt like a monster walking among the innocent."

Will rectify this anomaly when its not 2am and I'm not asleep, dreaming of soul eaters devouring my nightmares.
"She'd even grown accustomed to letting her own hair hang loose, and to dressing as she wished instead of as she ought."
Annemieke / A Dance with Books
The Beast is an Animal is an atmospheric, Wells inspired book. Especially the first half of this book was really strong. I have some bits and pieces with the second half but for the most part I really enjoyed this.

The first part of this book starts us of with two twin girls and showcases us how a small village deals with those that are different. For the prospect of being witches, they are cast out into the fforest. The fforest is known to be invested with all kinds of creepy animals and the Be
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a gritty and dark fairytale-esque story…up until the last 20% of the book when the author threw in an ABSURD insta-love romance and tried to throw life lessons/morals at the reader. I honestly couldn’t tell you much of what happened in the end because I skimmed it and then promptly forgot it. Ending aside though, this book was a creepy and eerie tale. I definitely would have rounded this up to a 4 stars if the novel hadn’t been hindered by its mushy conclusion.

This spooky tale follows Alys t
☾ Liz ☆ Stellar Kitten Book Reviews ☆
Full review on Stellar Kitten Book Reviews:

Although there are so many scenes I would like to talk about I will refrain from doing so because I know it would spoil the mystery and beauty of this book. Instead, let me talk about how great the development of the story and characters were–because it really was. Although I hated to read about all the oppression, judgement, and hypocrisy I have to admit it was well developed.

I mean it wasn’t just that people disliked things that were diff
"Now she had to face what she had tried to ignore for too long. She couldn't get away from the monster. She was the monster."

Written almost like a fairy tale, The Beast is an Animal is a slow-paced fantasy with captivating descriptions and a picturesque setting. We really delve into the heart of matters, and throughout the book the author really makes you think about what makes something a beast... no matter how they look.

Although it was a bit slow for my current mood, I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
Corrie Wang
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE BEAST IS AN ANIMAL is a gorgeously told, atmospheric fairy tale that makes you want to curl into your couch and not move until you've finished it. Alys's life pivots on a dime, so you never quite know what to expect, but it's wise to expect death, horror, and heartbreak. The Beast is...amazing. So wonderfully written and imagined. You'll see. I'd highly recommend this book for anyone that liked BEAUTY.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Adaptácia
  • Greta and the Lost Army (Mylena Chronicles, #3)
  • The Flight of Swans
  • The Serpent's Shadow: The Graphic Novel (The Kane Chronicles, #3)
  • The Secret Journal of Ichabod Crane
  • Jim Henson's The Storyteller
  • Fruits Basket Collector's Edition, Vol. 3
  • From Far Away, Vol. 03
  • True North (Undertow, #3)
  • The Wilful Eye (Tales from the Tower, #1)
  • Songstone
  • The Breathless
  • Bless the Child
  • The Agony House
  • Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood, #5)
  • Hellworld
  • Rose of the Oath: A Beauty and the Beast Novella (Legends of Light # 1)
  • Contagion (Contagion, #1)
See similar books…
Peternelle van Arsdale is a young adult novelist, essayist, and short story writer. Her first novel, THE BEAST IS AN ANIMAL, is being developed for a feature film by Amazon Studios, produced by Ridley Scott’s Scott Free and directed by Bert & Bertie. Her second novel, THE COLD IS IN HER BONES has been described as a "dark, magic-infused story lit by bravery and hope." (Booklist) She lives in B ...more
“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.” 6 likes
More quotes…