{Review/Giveaway/Ebook Sale} FORTY DAYS by Stephanie Parent

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Keep reading after the review for 
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This week only!
FORTY DAYS is on sale as an e-book for 99¢ 
on nook, Kindle, and Kobo!
Snag it now, because it goes up in price this weekend!

FORTY DAYS is part one of a two-book series.  
The second book, FORTY NIGHTS, will release this summer!

O P E N I N G   L I N E:
MY GRANDFATHER IS A MADMAN, and the entire village knows it.
(pg. 10, US e-book edition)

For as beloved as retellings are, it's rare to find a novel revolving around the Bible.  Religion is very taboo for many people.  Depending on your outlook, such books could either be labeled historical fiction or mythological fantasy.  I won't make that decision for you, but for those who don't like characters being inserted into religion, FORTY DAYS might not be for you.  It retells the journey leading up to the great storm from Noah's granddaughter Neima's POV.  The only other retelling of Noah's Ark I've encountered is Madeleine L'Engle's classic novel MANY WATERS, a companion to A WRINKLE IN TIME.  I'm not really sure how over/under-done retellings are, but I don't often see religious retellings.  I was especially intrigued when I found out the story would be retold from a secondary character's POV.

By seeing everything through Neima's eyes, readers can see the way everyone ridicules Noah and his family.  The women steer away from Neima when she does her laundry by the river or pretend she stinks.  They whisper and tell stories about the entire family.  Even Noah's own family is in a state of disbelief, believing Noah to be mad with old age, but willing to humor him...until he starts gathering up vicious beasts and filling his ark.  When the rain begins to fall, Noah's family is boarded up in the ark, leaving behind everyone else.  Neima dreams about her last memories of her friends and wonders why everyone save her family had to die.  How are they any better than everyone else, especially her friends with kind hearts?

FORTY DAYS looks at the thoughts and feelings of one of Noah's granddaughters, who faced the ridicule and scorn firsthand.  Exploring her psyche adds a new layer to the tale told in Bible School.  We're taught all about Noah and his family and the ark, but never really stop to think about everyone else's perspective.  A twist late in the book reveals a new perspective altogether that will become the launching pad for FORTY NIGHTS, out this summer.  My only major complaint with the book?  I definitely wasn't expecting a cliffhanger ending when I picked this up, and being a novella, the two could probably have been merged into one longer novel.  Just don't go into this blind like I did and be prepared for the drop!  It will be interesting to see the way this new theme is embraced and developed as the second half of everyone's journey onboard the ark begins.  My favorite element of the novella was the way readers are able to so freely emphasize with Noah's family, fleshing out Noah's Ark in new ways, and it will be interesting to see how we'll care in FORTY NIGHTS, when the family is already onboard the ship.  I also like the way Parent chose to include only the animals known to Turkey, instead of every animal in the entire world, since Noah obviously wouldn't know about more-exotic animals far from home.  I'm hoping to see more on this as well in the second book!

C O V E R   D E S I G N:

You can tell this is a novel revolving around Noah's Ark from this image alone.  You have the water, the ark, the dove, the stormy sky.  

You also have an image of a couple kissing, which spotlights the fact that this will be a romance.  Granted, most of the romance will occur in book two, so it's a bit of a tease, but it does give readers a taste of what they have to look forward to! 

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Stephanie Parent
Release Date: Out Feb. 10, 2013
Publisher: Stephanie Parent
Received: For Review

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.
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.

Follow Stephanie on her blog and Twitter.

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ebook of FORTY DAYS and $10 Amazon giftcard! 
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ebook copy of FORTY DAYS!

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