Forty Days by Stephanie ParentYA Bound. Click HERE to see the full blog tour schedule!
The entire village knows Neima’s grandfather is a madman. For years the old man has prophesied that a great flood is coming, a flood disastrous enough to blot out the entire earth. He’s even built an enormous ark that he claims will allow his family to survive the deluge. But no one believes the ravings of a lunatic…
…until the rain starts. And doesn’t stop. Soon sixteen-year-old Neima finds her entire world transformed, her life and those of the people she loves in peril. Trapped on the ark with her grandfather Noah, the rest of her family, and a noisy, filthy, and hungry assortment of wild animals, will Neima find a way to survive?
With lions, tigers, and bears oh my, elephants and flamingos too, along with rivalries and betrayals, a mysterious stowaway, and perhaps even an unexpected romance, FORTY DAYS is not your grandfather’s Noah’s Ark story.
FORTY DAYS is approximately 45000 words, the length of a shorter novel, and is the first installment in a two-part epic story. It does contain a cliffhanger ending.
Readers looking for a traditional, religiously oriented version of the Noah’s Ark story should be warned that FORTY DAYS may not appeal to them. The novel will, however, appeal to lovers of apocalyptic fiction, historical fiction, and romance, as well as anyone who’s ever dreamed of having a baby elephant as a pet.
Some parts of this book were rather monotone, though. I skipped reading tiny bits of the book, like the parts I felt weren't relevant to the book. For example, all the little tidbits in the main character, Neima’s life. I just felt like they were boring, mundane and not really helpful to the overall plot line.
Stephanie Parent has done a great job in characterisation; she portrays Neima's enemies as truly detestable. Instead of going really overboard with trying to get the audience to dislike the antagonist, like how some authors, she manipulates the words and just makes the reader dislike the antagonist by the actions they commit against Neima. In addition to this, I really love how Parent has adapted the Biblical tale to fit her purposes, and how Noah isn't the central character. She also has taken into consideration the outrage the society that Noah was part of would have felt, and the beliefs and how they would react. Having everything thought out like that just makes the story seem so much more alive.
Neima was a really relatable character. I felt like I could understand her, that she didn't want to be part of the family she was in at times, that she just wanted to be accepted, by her best friend, etc. She wanted to be normal and to have guys go after her, etc., instead of being part of a family that is ostracised for having an odd grandparent.
It’s a pretty short book, in terms of length, apparently. Thankfully though, there will be a sequel, Forty Days: Part 2. On the topic of sequels and endings, the cliffhanger at the end of the book was so irritating! I hate cliffhangers; they always just make me want to read more and more. That is the curse of a booklover; once they start reading, they can’t stop.
I would rate this book a 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. I just got frustrated when I felt like the plot was moving too slow, yet I found the book too short as well. Mixed emotions! Nevertheless, this book was a really good read, and I most definitely will be looking forward to the next part in the story, which comes out the summer of 2013~ CAN'T WAIT!!
Keep reading and loving books,
About the Author
Stephanie Parent is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts as a piano major. She moved to Los Angeles because of Francesca Lia Block's WEETZIE BAT books, which might give you some idea of how much books mean to her. She also loves dogs, books about dogs, and sugary coffee drinks both hot and cold.
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