TITLE: The Beast is an Animal
AUTHOR: Peternelle van Arsdale
PUBLISHING: Margaret K. McElderry Books
RELEASE DATE: March 7th 2017
GENRE(S): Fantasy, Young Adult
STAR RATING: 4 ****
“MOVIE” RATING: PG-13
I was completely taken in from the very beginning with this book. It was one that I had a hard time putting down. The book is almost like a fairy tale but it is a totally different idea than I’ve read or heard of before, which is part of the reason why I had to keep reading and was immediately drawn into the simple, yet original ideas and story within this book.
The Beast is an Animal follows Alys from when she is a young, seven-year-old, to about fifteen and her life. You could say that this is somehow a coming of age story for someone like Alys and her determination to differentiate the good from the evil in her town, the next village, and beyond. I’ve read from a few reviewers that they think of this as a dark tale. Yes, this is probably not a warm and fuzzy book that you should read to your children, but I wouldn’t completely call it dark. The circumstances are definitely unfortunate and devastating, and there are some spine-tingling parts. I like to think of this book, however, as just a story about growth and realizing who you are and what you are willing to do for happiness in your life.
I adored Alys from the very beginning and admire her for her character, bravery, and determination. Her drive is what leads the story on and I tried to follow her thoughts and expressions carefully just because I knew they were both important to the story and to her journey.
There is a minor love story but it doesn’t occur until the very end and I didn’t really feel that strongly about that connection just because of the lateness in the novel. With that said, I think the author did this on purpose because of how he wanted the plot and moral of the story to unfold. Yes, love is a wonderful key to happiness, but there’s also something to be said about inner peace and self-understanding that helps someone to love and find happiness with others as well. This is well-done and I completely agree with how this book made me feel afterwards.
At some points, I wanted MORE to the story. More details, more background, more description of the places, etc. and that’s probably the reason why I didn’t give it 5 stars. But once again, it might not have been a need to explain every little occurrence or place in the book. The focus was completely on Alys and her story. This was really intriguing to me and completely different from most of the other YA or fantasy books that I’ve read before. It’s really great to find something like this book that’s different from the normal mold of dystopian or fantastical worlds.
Overall, I would recommend this book and I wish there was more to read. But don’t we all usually want that? J
I was given the opportunity to read this via Simon and Schuster publishing.
ABOUT Peternelle van Arsdale:
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 http://peternellevanarsdale.com.