Title: Forty Days
Author: Stephanie Parent
Published: February 12th, 2012
Book rating: 5 stars
Cover rating: 3 stars
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, you guys! I wasn't sure I'd like Forty Days, I had no clue what to expect, but I had high hopes and I was blown away. I'm really interested in retellings of anything really because I haven't read many. I've heard the story of Noah's Ark several times throughout my life so I was interested to see exactly how Stephanie would twist this story into something unique and her own. I was very impressed with the writing, the detail, and how the story progressed. Forty Days was definitely one of those novels I just didn't want to put down, although I had to a few times.
The story is told from Neima's point of view who is Noah's granddaughter. Neima was very interesting and easy to like. It was fun seeing how others around Noah possibly felt. I liked how Stephanie put detail into all of her characters, even if they didn't have a huge part in the novel. They all had their own personalities and flaws, it made the story more believable for me. The family aspect of this novel was really well thought out and written. Stephanie explored all of the possible emotions that a family member of someone who is viewed as insane by the town could possibly feel. I liked how even though not all of Noah's family believed him they respected him enough to help him with what he needed to do. Although some of them did it for selfish reasons. I loved the love interests aspect of this book, Neima had her eyes set on someone but her family has other plans. I loved the love triangle and I'm saying love a lot. I'm not exactly sure if that's what you would call it but I'm going to anyways. It was a fun aspect to have in the book, making it feel more like a fun retelling than a serious, super religious one. I especially appreciated Stephanie's detail in describing how it felt, smelled, and was like on the ark. I felt like I was there with Neima and her family, suffering with them. I really liked the way she incorporated the animals into the story, if you know the story of Noah's Ark they're a huge aspect to the story. She was descriptive and made me fall in love with baby elephants!
I really, really enjoyed Forty Days. The cliff hanger ending sort of really sucked. Especially when I found out there's no information on the second book posted on Goodreads. Either way I loved this retelling of Noah's Ark and suggest you all give it a chance. It was a fun, easy read for me and really enjoyable.
Huge thank you to the author herself for giving me an advanced readers copy to review.
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