The Beast Is An Animal by Peternelle Van Arsdale reads like a really fun acid trip. [Editor’s note: not that Cassidy knows what an acid trip is. She’s just watched too many YouTube videos.] Everything is far out, mysterious, elusive: the story of a damaged and abused girl transforming into a fearsome creature.
The book is compelling, with an engaging plot, but is simultaneously hyper realistic and impossible–the decisions and paths Alys (the main character) follows, are incredibly real, yet the story is based in a fantasy land more similar to classical China or medieval Europe than anything else.
The real world blends with fantastic creatures, and a “fforest” (this spelling was incredibly obnoxious, and my biggest complaint) is never what it seems (at one point, the fforest spelling is broken and a normal forest is written, leaving the reader wondering if it was on purpose, or was just a typo).
The Beast is by far the most interesting character, but remains absent most of the book, and while it’s alluded that part of the Beast is inside Alys, this is never really mentioned until the last chapters. For being the title character, he sure isn’t a leading one.
Five Things I Learned While Reading The Beast Is An Animal
- People are selfish when they are scared.
- People with power often act like @ssh@les.
- Sometimes a girl doesn’t need a guy to solve a problem.
- Nothing is ever purely good or evil.
- Don’t judge a Beast by the stories others tell.
Overall, despite the annoying spelling of forest (as fforest), The Beast Is An Animal by Peternelle Van Arsdale is a well-written story that will keep the reader engaged from cover to cover.