April 24, 2013

Review #21: Forty Days by Stephanie Parent

Forty Days (Neima's Ark #1)
by Stephanie Parent 
Release Date: 02/10/13
125 pages

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.


"My grandfather is a madman, and the entire village knows it."

I really enjoyed this twist on the old Christian religious story of Noah and the Ark.  If you are looking for a traditional telling, this is not it.  And I am so thankful for that.  The traditional story has been told a thousand times but it is always the same.  This is a fresh perspective:

  • It is told from the point of view of Noah's granddaughter.
  • It is told from the point of view of a culture (not to mention Noah's family) who doesn't understand the concept of only one god.
  • There is a secondary story of romance with the granddaughter, Neima, at the center.

I want to make it sure I am clear that this is not a Christian specific story yet it is not anti-Christian, either.  Rather, so far, as it appears to me, it is a blending of Christian belief and the cultural belief of Neima and Noah's people before Noah knew of God.

I greatly appreciate Stephanie's Author's Note in the beginning, explaining why only certain animals are on the ark, why she chose the setting she did, and other tidbits.  It helped me to understand as I read

Forty Days is only the first half of the story though.  The second part is in Forty Nights, which I hope I get an opportunity to review as well.


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.

Forty Days is on sale this week only for only $.99!  

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

Thanks to YA Bound for this review copy!


Personal Note:
Book Qualifies for these reading challenges of mine:


  1. I like the idea of retelling Noah's story this way but am already bristling at the liberties taken (8 people were saved from the flood-Noah, his three sons, and all of their wives-no kids mentioned) so this probably won't work for me. Glad to see it was a good read for you.

  2. If the entire town thought my grandfather was crazy, I'd be like, "Awesome!"


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