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172 Hours on the Moon Hardcover – April 17, 2012

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316182885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316182881
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #751,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


A 2013 YALSA Teens Top Ten Nominee
Dagbaldet's Best Norwegian YA Novel of All Time

"This irresistible premise is often intoxicating and occasionally downright terrifying.... pretty darn effective."—Booklist

"Imaginative.... Well-crafted suspense.... Interesting and original."—Kirkus Reviews

"Harstad combines the perfectly paced creepiness of classic Twilight Zone episodes with Battlestar Galactica's chilling portrayal of the vast, unknowable emptiness of space."—Romantic Times

"Creepy and bleak, Harstad's story is both psychologically and atmospherically disturbing."—Publishers Weekly

"Original, creepy, intense... 172 Hours is page-turning sci-fi that will stay with readers long after the shocking and heartbreaking conclusion."—School Library Journal

"Surprisingly creepy.... The novel's strength is its rising tension and skin-crawling conclusion: Scandinavian thriller meets sci-fi horror movie."—VOYA

"Hard to put down."—Library Media Connection

About the Author

Johan Harstad won the 2008 Norwegian Brage Award in the young adult/children's literature category for172 Hours on the Moon. He has also written several novels for adults, including Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion?, a Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction of 2011 book, which has been published in thirteen countries; four plays; a collection of short stories; and a prose collection. He has been described as "one of the most important [Scandinavian] authors to emerge in the early years of this century." He lives in Oslo, Norway.

Customer Reviews

Which, based on the totally creepy factor of the novel, set up the story perfectly.
P. J. Hoover
The writing didn't seem to flow very well, but I'm not sure if that was due to the fact that the novel was translated to English from its original language.
Jordan Rose
It was little things like these that took away from the plot and made me not like this book.
Woodland Park Writer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jerry on August 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
I don't normally bother doing reviews on books I like or don't like. This is a first for me as the book was so bizarrely bad that I wanted to save others from reading it.

This book appears to try to be a combination of "hard" science fiction (that is, scientifically accurate) and horror. As horror goes, it's not that horrifying and the epilogue seems to completely undo the "horrifying" finale. As science fiction, it's just awful.

The author appears to have vaguely heard about NASA and the Apollo era moon missions but didn't seem to bother doing much research on how NASA does things. Have a lottery to send three teenagers (along with fully trained astronauts) on the first mission back to the moon after 40 years of absence using untested hardware? Well, that's pretty ludicrous but even ignoring that, NASA would not just randomly pick 3 "winners" and send them. They would pick a larger group (I'm guessing about two dozen), interview the hell out of them, test them physically, mentally and psychologically and eventually boil it down to a primary team and a backup team at minimum.

When the astronauts and teenagers land on the moon, it's practically on top of the Apollo 11 landing site. In the real world, NASA would send them someplace more geologically (I know, "selenologically" or whatever) interesting. The Apollo 11 site was chose as it was bland and relatively safe. When they leave the lander and first step on the moon, do they have any inspiring words for the folks back home? Nope, not a one. Oh, they do take time to put a plastic box over Neil Armstrong's first footprint on the moon. As if they could tell which one that was as it would have been trampled over by Amstrong and Aldrin during their two lunar walks.

What do they do next?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By P. J. Hoover on July 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book tops my list for most bizarre read of the year. Or maybe even of the last few years.

172 HOURS ON THE MOON by Johan Harstad (Little, Brown, April 17, 2012)

Why bizarre? Let's see...

1) Yes, it's a YA book, but it is so different than anything else in the YA market right now. There were multiple points-of-view (including an adult POV), and they were all in third person. Which, based on the totally creepy factor of the novel, set up the story perfectly.

2) The creepy factor...172 HOURS ON THE MOON was basically a horror story. About some kids who get sent to the moon for a big publicity thing. And of course everything that can go wrong does because there is something hunting them on the moon.

3) And people die. Lots of people. Like die and don't come back to life. I actually adore how the book was willing to take this chance and do this.

4) And though the ending totally threw me (like came out of nowhere!), it fit perfectly with the novel. I'm not sure what other ending would have actually worked quite as well.

172 HOURS ON THE MOON is the kind of book you finish reading and *immediately* want to discuss with your friends. It would make the perfect book club read (wait - we can read this for the boys' book club I run!). With the various points-of-view, it's great for boys and girls, 6th grade and up. And given its strong sci-fi element, it's equally appealing to adults. Definitely recommended if you want to take a break from the standard YA novel and read something totally different!

Source of book: From publisher at trade show
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf on April 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was absolutely thrilled to get my hands on this ARC and I'll start by saying that happily it almost lived up to my expectations. (They were probably too high).

I loved how the author slowly introduced each of the teens and their perspectives over the beginning third of the novel...and then built up to the take off in the middle of the book. At times it may have seemed a bit slow paced while I was reading it, but in retrospect Johan Harstad did an excellent job of building up to the actual space flight and time on the moon. I think it was that build up and anticipation which made the latter part of the book so thrilling.

One does, as with any science fiction story, need to suspend disbelief otherwise you will never be able to get over the initial hurdle which is that the US government and the teens' parents are all ready to send random lottery drawn kids with only 2 months of "training" into space. If you can simply focus on the teens experiences and feeling throughout their individual journeys...you'll get to the heart of any good thriller--the character development. (Sadly though...these characters are not long for this world--or any other.)

I also loved the little pictures and diagrams that at times accompanied the text. It made the story feel that much more "real." And despite being a translation the writing style flowed easily and seemed to fit well with the content of the book.

The ending was one that I did not in any way expect. And I would imagine that most readers were also blindsided as I was. And that takes me to my one complaint about the novel. The wonderful twist at the end which unfortunately is complete puzzlement.

Usually after a twist such as this one...
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