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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Stefanie's Thoughts: The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

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 were sent to live in a neighboring village. There the devout people created a strict world where good and evil are as fundamental as the nursery rhymes children sing. Fear of the soul eaters—and of the Beast they believe guides them—rule village life. But the Beast is not what they think it is. And neither is Alys.

Inside, Alys feels connected to the soul eaters, and maybe even to the Beast itself. As she grows from a child to a teenager, she longs for the freedom of the forest. And she has a gift she can tell no one, for fear they will call her a witch. When disaster strikes, Alys finds herself on a journey to heal herself and her world. A journey that will take her through the darkest parts of the forest, where danger threatens her from the outside—and from within her own heart and soul.

**ARC received from Simon and Schuster Canada for my honest review**

Hi everyone,

Turns out I lied to you when I said I would be reviewing Take the Key and Lock Her Up; I will get to that one though. Turns out I was given an ARC of The Beast is an Animal and have decided to review that instead. Thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing the ARC for this!!

I can for sure say that I have never read a book like this before. The closest book I can think about comparing it to would be The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich; both were extremely atmospheric and at one point within the forest setting I felt so claustrophobic and I loved it.

I don’t know how I felt about this story. I really enjoy books that are written in first person and this one was in third. I think that threw me off, because of this it took me a long time to get into the story. When I finally did, I realized I had no idea what was actually happening. Even after closing the book I wasn’t actually sure what the plot was.

My favorite part of the whole thing was the atmospheric feeling of the story; I can’t praise that enough. I don’t watch horror movies because I’m too much of a chicken, but I love horror-ish books. That feeling of not knowing what’s going to happen and you desperately need to know by turning that page, only to find out it’s the end of the chapter. I love creepy as well and this was full of that starting with the cover. Have you seen that cover? Holy Soul Eaters Batman!

The opening chapter really sets the creepiness and made me feel like I was put inside a Grimm fairy tale (I mean, those were so darn creepy. I think that’s why I love traditional fairy tales so much). The only downside- the first chapter was the best chapter of the entire book. The pacing of this story was so slow, to the point where I wanted to close the book, yet there was something that really made me want to keep reading and to learn about the mystery of the Soul Eaters. However, I feel like nothing was really explained and as though I was expected to know the backstory of the characters and the setting.

Alys was an interesting main character, in the point that I couldn’t figure her out. In parts of the story I liked her and in other parts I didn't. I feltlike she had the best intentions about her fellow townspeople, but it fell pretty flat. Don’t ask me about any other characters because I can’t name them and they were all pretty forgettable.

I can see people totally loving this story, because of the Gothic creepiness. This book should have been for me, but the pacing was too much of a drag (see what I did there!) for me to be fully engaged and excited to read it. Maybe it’s the Soul Eaters that appealed to me and kept me reading it. I don’t know why I kept reading it, but I guess I’m happy I did; I always get a weird, almost guilty feeling at times when I mark a book as DNF.

I’ll probably check out the author’s next book when it’s released. Give me more creepiness and a faster plot and I’d be all over that! 

This is a two out of five star read.

Happy reading,



  1. I've seen the cover for The Beast is an Animal around on Goodreads, but the plot summary never really interested me. Your review is the first I've read for the book and pretty much confirmed that I'm not going to be reading this one. It's not great to hear that the first chapter is the best one, lol. And I know what you mean about the hesitance to DNF a book. I rarely do it too because I wonder if the book will get better if I just keep going...

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Liz at Midnight Bloom Reads

  2. I've read some really positive reviews of it. I think it's one of those books that you either love or it's not your cup of tea.
    I think I've DNF'd the most books in the last year than ever before. I keep thinking too what if this doesn't get any better. But what if it does! That's the worse being a book lover, playing book roulette!

  3. Huh, too bad this one wasn't a winner for you, Stefanie. And by the sounds of it, I'm not sure it would be for me either. I would be morbidly interested in another book about soul eaters though...

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