REVIEW 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

172 Hours on the Moon
by Johan Harstad
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
April 17, 2012

It's been decades since anyone set foot on the moon. Now three ordinary teenagers, the winners of NASA's unprecedented, worldwide lottery, are about to become the first young people in space--and change their lives forever.

Mia, from Norway, hopes this will be her punk band's ticket to fame and fortune.

Midori believes it's her way out of her restrained life in Japan.

Antoine, from France, just wants to get as far away from his ex-girlfriend as possible.

It's the opportunity of a lifetime, but little do the teenagers know that something sinister is waiting for them on the desolate surface of the moon. And in the black vacuum of space... no one is coming to save them.

In this chilling adventure set in the most brutal landscape known to man, highly acclaimed Norwegian novelist Johan Harstad creates a vivid and frightening world of possibilities we can only hope never come true.

This book is hard for me to review because while all I've been hearing from my fellow bloggers was rave reviews...I didn't love it.

I did LIKE it however.

I think this one sits firmly in the 3.5 star range for me.

Here's why...

I LOVE science fiction.  I really do.  I'm such a huge geek, you have no idea.  But although I'm a firm believer in the fact that you have to suspend disbelief when you read a story, I couldn't for the life of me figure out why they were sending teenagers to the moon.  If anyone who has read the book knows why, PLEASE let me know.  I think I missed something.

I liked the characters and the switching points of view.  They really were typical teenagers...the two girls both seemed to pine over Antoine, but really, can you blame them?  He's a cute French guy.  There is no bad there.  And I really liked the dynamic and bonding between the three of them when they finally got to the moon and things started going wrong.  They banded together like a little family.  LOVE.

I LOVED the setting.  The moon-base was brilliantly described.  Totally felt like I was there.

That being said, once they got to the moon and everything started going to hell, the book felt a little rushed.

By the end I was sitting there going "wait...what?  what's going on?" and that was a little disconcerting.

So in summary, I'm a little torn about this one.  I'm not really sure what I think about it.  I did enjoy it though, and if you're a fan of science fiction, I urge you to give this one a shot.

Happy Reading!



  1. Okay so I'm super sad that you didn't love it and that we all probably oversold it to you.. BUT still glad you enjoyed it overall.

    I think the idea with the teens adn the moon- it was box logic for me. It would never happen in real life (I don't think) but the way Johan tried to sell it was that NASA needed money/wanted another expedition so they decided to play it up to the media and make a game out of it. Does it make sense? Definitely not completely. Have you watched the youtube videos they have for this? There's one with Antoine that freaked me right out!

    Brenna from Esther's Ever After

    1. I haven't watched the Youtube vids yet, but they're totally on my list. I remember you telling me about them and I'm all intrigued.

      And yeah, that's pretty much all I got for the teen explanation too. I'll probably give it a re-read someday to re-evaluate.

  2. Re Brenna's comment above: There's YouTube videos?! I have to check this out!

    Re your review: I totally understand your feelings here. I happened to love this one but I could easily see how the things you mentioned could dampen this read. Nevertheless I'm glad you liked it - and if you need someone to take your copy off your hands... ;)

  3. OH! And new blog design = Awesome! Did you do it yourself?

  4. Okay so now I seriously need to read this one. Everyone I've talked to (and all reviews I've seen) have loved this. It's kind of nice to see a review from someone who wasn't absolutely in love. I hope I do enjoy this one!

    1. I wasn't in love with it, but it was still a fun read.

      I hope you enjoy it too!

  5. Thank you for your candid review. I enjoyed the fact that you were straightforward and that you gave us the points you liked and didn't like as much. Your blog is gorgeous and I look forward to more reviews.


Post a Comment