Cassidy Nicks

[Book Review: The Beast Is An Animal]

By Cassidy Nicks

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 beast is an animal book coverThe 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

  1. People are selfish when they are scared.
  2. People with power often act like @ssh@les.
  3. Sometimes a girl doesn’t need a guy to solve a problem.
  4. Nothing is ever purely good or evil.
  5. 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.

 

[Cassidy Nicks, 2016-17]

Cassidy Nicks rides horses.

Cassidy Nicks loves science.

Cassidy Nicks loves math.

Cassidy Nicks is a sophomore.

Cassidy Nicks writes, too!

Cassidy writes prose.

Cassidy writes short stories.

Cassidy writes horror.

Cassidy has been writing for six years.

Cassidy always writes in pen except when she forgets her hatred for pencils.

Cassidy believes pencils are dumb.

And most importantly,

Cassidy loves red pen.

Cassidy Nicks, YAC 2016-17

Cassidy Nicks, YAC 2016-17

“I write because I love red pen. It’s vibrant and glides onto the paper and is totally unacceptable in day-to-day life–except when editing. So I write to be able to edit. . . and use my red pen.” ~ Cassidy

[A Psychoanalysis of Ellen Huggins]

by Cassidy Nicks

About Ellen Huggins

*Disclaimer: Cassidy Nicks is not licensed and has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, so all documents should be taken with that in mind.

In my deep analysis of Ellen, I’ve concluded she has mommy issues. One cornerstone memory for her, although she didn’t say so (I used my amazing skills of psychological deduction), was making chocolate. While this could just indicate her family traditions adopted from their time living in Belgium, there was genuine stress in her voice as she described her mother yelling at her to ‘roll the chocolate faster!’ In addition, one of Ellen’s secret desires is to be able to sing publicly like her brothers, but her mom (and also her dad) never put effort into figuring that out for her. But most telling of all are Ellen’s dreams. Many times she has been peacefully dreaming, and finds she has to pee… But then, a woman, a beautiful woman, (i.e. Mary Poppins) tells her to ‘just go!’ And she does.

Dreams are widely believed to be our brains dealing with and processing our problems. Ellen dreams of an authoritative woman telling her to do something shameful. That sounds like… Mommy issues.

In conclusion, I, Dr. Cassidy Nicks, am diagnosing my patient Ellen Huggins with severe Class A mommy issues and have recommended that she continues to repeat this phrase to herself to boost her confidence- ‘just go… For it!’

The Terrible Journey

By Cassidy Nicks

  1. Train of Thought

Train tracks rumble

As you walk across them

Searching for a hidden treasure.

A wild goose chase.

But don’t worry,

I know how you feel.

I once hunted treasure, too.

Until I realized how useless it was

Just chasing our tails

In cycles that never end.

But I know you don’t know this yet

And I don’t want to ruin your treasure hunt

But watch out for fools gold

And watch out for trains. (more…)

Meet Cassidy Nicks

cassidy nCassidy Nicks is an avid writer, unless she’s asked to write about herself. In that case, she’d prefer the story, poetry or essay you just read speak for her.

What’s your favorite genre to write? Dark poetry and flash fiction.

What’s your idea of perfect happiness? Unlimited food and a giant mansion full of nooks and crannies.  

What trait do you most value in yourself? My magical personality.

What trait do you most value in other writers? Honesty.

What do you do when you’re not putting words on the page? I horseback ride and play in a marching band, but I’m not really a fan girl or nerd. (I swear!)

Which author(s) do you most admire? Romance authors who are actually comfortable with their writing.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Swear words and “man.” I also tend to throw up really weak ‘fierce’hands.

Favorite word? I don’t choose favorites, it’s unfair.

Least favorite word? Squelch.

When did you first identify yourself as a writer? Fourth or fifth grade, I guess. I don’t really remember.

Why are you actively involved in Lighthouse Writers Workshop? It’s a great program to get kids and adults involved in writing.

What is your motto? The fence is never too high to climb! Haha, I don’t even know what that means.