I really, really wanted to read this book when I participated in the cover reveal for it. It was so very intriguing to me. As much as I loved the cover, I adored the actual novel. And this was only the first part. What I'm getting at is I'm giddy over being a stop on the blog tour for Stephanie Parent's Forty Days! My stop includes everything you need to know about Forty Days, my review, and a giveaway. This tour is presented by YA Bound. For the complete list of participating blogs, click here.
Forty Days (Neima's Ark #1)
by Stephanie Parent
Release Date: 02/10/13
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
Wow! Completely, totally, utterly fascinating!
I'm so very impressed with Forty Days. To take a well known story and not just re-tell it...to help me live through it along with someone who's living through it...someone so close to Noah...brilliant! What better story to build upon than Noah's Ark? Stephanie Parent has woven a unique and fascinating tale. Noah's Ark from a different perspective - that of his teenage granddaughter.
Noah's Ark is a story we all know. And I must admit to questioning the wisdom of Noah building the ark solely because a voice claiming to be the one God told him to. Forty Days tells the story of Noah and his ark from Neima's point of view. It discusses the gossip and shunning Noah's family endures because of Noah's "madness'. It also details the building of the ark, the work entailed, the sounds and smells. Parent's ability to describe these events allowed me to feel as though I was witnessing them...quite an accomplishment. I could even feel the heat and humidity.
Neima is a little different - and not just because she's Noah's granddaughter. She's taller then most girls and she has an unusual hobby. She carves objects out of wood - something her mother wants kept secret to protect her marriageability.
There are two boys interested in Neima. Kenaan, her cousin, and Jorin, a neighbor whose father opening shuns Noah's family. While preparing for the ensuing flood, Neima's village becomes more and more opposed to Noah's plan. They've dealt with the noise, the view and the smell of the construction of the ark. Now Noah is bringing dangerous animals into the village and it's too much.
Then the rain begins. We know the story but actually being on the ark is something to experience. The stomach churning movement of the ark and the caring for the animals...feeding them and removing the dung from their cages. Oh, the smell! And hearing Neima's inner thoughts on the events that put her on the ark -- whether there is only one God? Why would He destroy his creation? Why was Noah's family spared and others not? -- all valid and intriguing questions. It felt as though this was a journey of self-awareness and Neima experienced several existential moments. And then Neima discovers that not only her family escaped. What does it all mean?
I could gush on and on about how much I love Forty Days. It is masterfully written with great historical detail and asks age old questions. I will anxiously await Neima getting her answers.
"...I make out the tiger's telltale growl amid the din, it somehow draws me closer. That feral sound seems to encapsulate everything I've just witnessed up above: a world turned dark and dangerous, savage and incomprehensible."
"My mind, even my body is too full of wanting to hold anything else. Wanting things to be simple, clear, the way they used to be, when I knew who was good and who was bad, whom to hate and whom to love. Wanting the world to be whole once again."
(1) e-book of Forty Days and $10 gift card to Amazon (INT)
(3) e-book copies of Forty Days (INT)a Rafflecopter giveaway
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.