Apr 25, 2013

Review: Forty Days by Stephanie Parent

Hello, book lovers and internet explorers! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Stephanie Parent's Forty Days, hosted by YA Bound! I have all the information about the book and author, as well as an interview and giveaway, so enjoy!

Title: Forty Days
Author: Stephanie Parent
Publishing Date: February 10, 2013
Pages/Format: 123, eBook
Add to Goodreads!
Barnes & Noble

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 45,000 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.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: LIKEY!

 Lately, I've been reading a lot of books that I thought I would love but ended up just liking. So I am surprised--and happy--that I ended up liking Forty Days more than I thought I would. I was intrigued by the synopsis--Noah's Ark, a concept I've always loved, because, hello, a boat full of animals, and I love animals--and the pretty cover. Sure, it was short, and it's not my favorite, but I liked it more than I thought I would, and that's just excellent.

There really isn't anything bad I can say about this book. I may have wanted more from some scenes or wanted things done differently, but I think that's it. There's this thing with eBooks where I have a hard time reading them and getting through them and really liking them. I'm not sure if it's because this was formatted differently (bigger words on a smaller page, 314 pages total, PDF format), but I had pretty much no problems with that. Right away I liked the writing--thank gosh, because writing is kind of big for me. It flowed well and was readable and was simple but with enough detail that it worked well. (Only complaint is the lack of some Oxford commas; I love the Oxford comma.)

The characters were good, even if they were a little...different. What you have to remember is that this isn't set in modern times--back then, I think it may have been more normal for cousins to be paired together. (I did not like that.) Neima was a great MC--an average person who cares for her family, even if they have a bad rep. And she cares for the animals on the ark, and I liked her. It's hard, though, because the village looks at her and her family like they're a walking plague, and that's because of Noah. After an incident years ago, he began raving about a God who said he had to build an ark. Since then, his family helps him (though not necessarily believing him) and everyone thinks he's crazy. For the most part, the characters Neima interacts with are family members--Japheth, Arisi, and Shai are my favorites--and her two friends, Derya and Jorin. I liked Jorin more, for reasons. (Wink wink.) Derya wasn't a bad friend, and she stayed by Neima's side even though people hated her family, but after one little thing happens and she refuses to believe her best friend, things change. Jorin, on the other hand, is always there, and I really liked him.

If you're worried about this book being religious, don't. I didn't see it like that at all. Sure, it features Noah's ark, and it mentions God, but it never felt like a book about religion, just one that mentions it. If that's hindering you from reading it, please don't let it.

Forty Days was a short and quick read that I really liked. It's got a little bit of everything, including young elephants. I look forward to reading more from Stephanie Parent, and I wish I could dive into Forty Nights (book two, out sometime this year) RIGHT NOW. But, sigh, I can't. (Cliffhanger! I guessed it might end that way but still, ahhh!) I was pleasantly surprised with this book, and it was really just enjoyable.

Did I like it? Yes!
Did I love it? Not quite.
Would I reread it? Possibly.
Would I purchase it? I just might.
Would I recommend it? I think I would.

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.


The Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I'm not sure this is really up my alley, but I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's always nice when you like a book more than you thought you initially would.

  2. I read an ARC of this one ages ago and really enjoyed it as well!