ARC Review: The Beast Is An Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale



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 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.


**** Big thank you to Margaret K. McElderry Books for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review****

I was almost positive I would adore this book because the cover is so gorgeous and the synopsis sounds amazing, however, that really wasn’t the case and I couldn’t be more saddened by it. I can’t tell if I’m more disappointed with myself for not liking it as much, the book for not living up to my expectations, or just a bit of both which I’m sure it is.


My biggest problem with this book was that it had pretty slow pacing and the overall storyline was very….vague. I spent a lot of time wondering what exactly the main plot was or what was even supposed to happen, there was also never any sort of climax in the story either. Nothing was ever really explained and I felt that I was supposed to already know what was going on before I started reading. I spent a lot of time confused and bored.

On top of that there was virtually no world building whatsoever and we are in some type of fantasy world with the Beast and soul eaters with some type of magic but none of it is ever fleshed out our further developed. Everything is just sort of …….there. Which is very unfortunate since this world had a lot of potential but it fell completely short. I would have at least liked to know more about the Beast and what it is or how the soul eaters become what they are….but no.

I can’t explain what kept me reading but some parts of the story were interesting and the atmosphere was eerie and mysterious (the only reasons this is getting 2.5 stars instead of 1), it’s just that overall I honestly couldn’t tell you what the story was even about.


The characters were a little better than the plot, more developed and I cared more about them than the story but they STILL fell flat for me. When something tragic happened to a character I felt a little sad maybe but overall I didn’t much care either way.

Alys was an alright heroine she was curious, clever, and cared a lot about the well being of others. Other than that though she wasn’t a very memorable protagonist just as many of the characters weren’t memorable either.


At first I thought for sure there would be no romance in this story and there did end up being some, just when I thought the plot couldn’t get more tedious. Alys meets a boy that travels with other characters she knows and ends up falling in insta-love with him and vice versa. Overall it was an extremely pointless romance and become a big focus at the end of the book and I felt nothing for it because it was so underdeveloped.

in conclusion

I was extremely disappointed with this book since I thought it had such wonderful potential but ultimately fell very short. Honestly though I found it to be quite a mess.

What I Liked:

  • Alys and a handful of characters
  • The story was interesting in certain bits
  • The atmosphere was mysterious and eerie at parts

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The plot was confusing and messy
  • No clue what was going on at all whatsoever
  • Lack of world building
  • Slow pacing
  • Pointless romance with insta-love


Sorry but I just can’t recommend this one especially if you’re thinking this will be a dark, action packed book. It’s slow and confusing and there’s no world building at all, just those things right there are enough for me not to recommend this book.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

12 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Beast Is An Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

  1. ichabod2014ic March 6, 2017 / 11:58 am

    At least it’s pretty, right? :-/
    I hope your next read is better.
    ~Icky. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek March 7, 2017 / 2:39 pm

      It’s so gorgeous! Probably why I’m even more disappointed but you’re right at least it looks good. Thank you! 🙂


  2. Kelly March 10, 2017 / 6:57 pm

    I just finished this one a few days ago and I have to say that for like 95% of the book, I had no idea what was going on, either. I mean, I really did enjoy the story and the dark fantasy vibe that the book had going on, but some of the things that happened just…made no sense to me. Great review, and I’m sorry that you didn’t like this one more!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek March 16, 2017 / 3:00 pm

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed this one more than I did I was pretty confused with how I felt because I liked some parts but also didn’t. I think overall I enjoyed the beginning and middle parts far more than the ending which felt kind of rushed to me. 🙂


  3. TeacherofYA March 12, 2017 / 7:17 pm

    Thank you! You and I agree on this one! Very cool read but it was like, “So…what did I just read here?”
    I was so let down. It seemed to be so much less than I was expecting, you know? So agree with your review.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek April 5, 2017 / 11:15 am

      I’m glad we agree! I feel like a lot of people did enjoy this one but like you said what the heck was it all about? I for sure was disappointed with it, everything was just sort of messy and confusing a lot of the time. 🙂


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