Apr 23, 2013

Blog Tour: Forty Days

Title: Forty Days
Author: Stephanie Parent
Publisher:  Stephanie Parent
Publish Date:  10 February 2013
Pages: 125
Source:  blog tour
Genre:  young adult, romance
Series:  Neima’s Ark
Other books in series:  Forty Nights (June 2013)
Other books by author:  Defy the Stars, Precious Things
Rating:  Liked

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.

**I received this book as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review**

What would you do if your family had the person who the whole village pegged as crazy?  That is Neima’s grandfather, Noah.  Noah has been telling people of the end of days for years now and is now putting all his resources into building this ark.

Neima is affected by everybody thinking that her grandfather is crazy.  There are some people in the village who won’t even associate with her because of it.  It isn’t fair how it doesn’t affect other people in her family like her cousin, Kenaan. 

Then Noah calls a family meeting.  Neima’s mother thinks it is to announce that Kenaan and she will marry.  Neima does not know if she is ready to marry and is worried about the meeting.  Noah tells them that the time is come for the great flood and they need to prepare.  As if things weren’t bad enough, now Noah wants them to bring in animals to take on the ark with them.  That surely isn’t going to win Neima any friends.  Good thing she has friends in Jorin and Derya, who don’t bother with what people say about Neima’s family.

Then the rains come.  Her family is all in the ark.  This includes Kenaan, who she still hasn’t spoken to after the preparations.  What will happen between Neima and Kenaan?  Will Neima see her friends again?

Everyone has heard of the tale of Noah and the Ark.  This story gives a little different spin on it.  It is told from the POV of the sixteen year old granddaughter of Noah.  When I first started reading this book, I couldn’t stop thinking about Bill Cosby’s “Noahs” and how comedic they were.  I liked that this book thought up of some of the same issues.

I liked how you could tell that Neima was young by the problems that she faced, but they were still relevant to the time period.   It is sometimes hard to understand the customs of another time period, especially one that is drastically different than your own.  In Forty Days, it was well explained what the social norms were (i.e.: men sleeping in one room and women sleeping in another).  I also liked how Parent explained why she wrote things in the way she did.  I think that this was important given the sacredness of the story of Noah.  

Neima as a protagonist is wavering.  She has an ongoing battle with herself on what she wants to say versus what she really says.  She doesn't always think inline with what the customs or social norms are.  She is just finding her voice in this first book and it will be interesting to see how that develops in Forty Nights.

I only rated this as “like” or 3 stars because it can be a little heavy reading at times.  Given the story, it would be difficult to be otherwise.  I’m not saying that you cannot just read the story and really like it without all the “heaviness” (history, social norms, etc).  I just couldn’t bypass those.  All in all, it was a good read and I’m excited to read Forty Nights when it comes out in June.

 Click on the banner to see the full list of blog tour stops.

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.

YA Bound and Stephanie Parent is holding a giveaway with this blog tour.  This contest is international.  You can win:

(1) e-book of Forty Days and $10 gift card to Amazon (INT)

(3) e-book copies of Forty Days (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 On sale for 99¢

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